intoThe Center for Teaching and Learning is committed to supporting faculty in developing learning environments that include diverse perspectives and viewpoints from other world cultures. To accomplish this goal, the CTL has partnered with INTO UAB to provide faculty and staff with ongoing team-based training, including teaching strategies, tips, and tools for working with and teaching international students. The Global Awareness workshop series, along with these resources are provided as a starting point for intercultural awareness, understanding, and effectiveness. View details about each workshop here.

CTL Global Awareness workshops are presented by CTL Associate Director for International Student Support, Dr. Ariel Gil. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) global awareness workshops are presented by DEI Education Director, Amanda Shaffer, and include the following topics: Cultural Awareness Building Blocks, SafeZone Training, Unconscious Bias Training, and Bystander Intervention.

For more information about this workshop series, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the UAB Center for Teaching and Learning.

  • October
  • November
  • December


“Our Students as Cross-cultural Learners” by Ariel Gil



"Unconscious Bias" by Amanda Shaffer


"Achieving Cultural Efficacy in the Classroom" by Ariel Gil



"Bystander Intervention" by Amanda Shaffer



For additional resources and individual consultation on global awareness, please contact:

Ariel C. Gil, PhD - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Associate Director for International Student Support
UAB Center for Teaching and Learning

Amy Snow - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Academic Director

  • Workshop Descriptions
  • Global Awareness Resources

Promoting Global Awareness in the Classroom
The political, social, economic, and cultural impact of globalization on education will be discussed. Understanding differences and similarities among cultures, including race, ethnicity, religion, culture, age, gender, family structure, and sexual orientation (among other factors), will be explored. Fostering a teaching and learning environment based on interconnected sensitivity and respect toward diverse cultural perspectives will be emphasized. Faculty will engage in hands-on team-building activities that incorporate global perspectives into their instruction.

Achieving Cultural Efficacy in the Classroom
Do faculty need to understand their international students’ native languages in order to be efficacious instructors? Albert Bandura’s concept of “Self-efficacy” and the triadic reciprocality theory will be discussed as a viable framework to encourage international students’ meaningful engagement in the learning process. The interplay of people, behavior, and the [classroom] environment, and the contrasting processes of acculturation and assimilation will be explored.

Challenges Facing International Students in American Classrooms
Participants will explore ways to encourage culturally and linguistically diverse students and their English-speaking counterparts to work together in teams while showing mutual empathy, respect, and tolerance for individual differences. Discussion will center on videotaped dialogues by international students expressing their perceptions and lived experiences while interacting with their American classmates and professors. Strategies fostering teamwork among diverse students will be provided. Emphasis will be placed on how to create welcoming spaces for diverse voices and perspectives.

Contextualizing Instruction Culturally
This workshop will serve as an open forum to discuss challenges faculty face while delivering instruction to international students. Participants will be given examples of how to integrate aspects of the students’ native cultures in their course content. Tips on how to best improve the teacher-student cultural relationship, vis-à-vis team-building strategies will also be provided.

Encouraging Cross-cultural Communication in the Classroom
This workshop will engage participants in real scenarios where they will have to communicate with counterparts using non-verbal and verbal cues to interact in a second language. Participants will discuss how cultural differences can impact communication that may be considered appropriate in one culture but inappropriate or even offensive in another. Examples of language and cultural biases will be explored as well as best practices used in second language teaching and learning to meet students’ challenges. Geert Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory will drive this presentation, specifically how the way faculty communicate with international students has a direct effect on the institutional culture and the shared values of its members.

Melting the Iceberg: Native Language vs. Target Language
This workshop will explore the differences between Native Language (L1) and Target Language (L2) as well as the “Common Underlying Proficiency” (CUP) that accounts for students’ interlanguage transferability of skills. It will also focus on Jim Cummins’ seminal research based on the differences between Basic Interpersonal Communicative Skills (BICS) and Cognitive Academic Proficiency Skills (CALPS) as they relate, specifically, to the teaching of STEM subjects to international students. Cognitive-demanding vs. Cognitive-undemanding linguistic input will also be discussed. Samples of collaborative team activities based on peer tutoring and Lev Vygotsky’s concept of scaffolding and the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) will be provided.

Our Students as Cross-cultural Learners
As teachers of multilingual and multicultural classrooms, it is essential to learn and remind ourselves of the process of acculturation faced by our students. How do adults form new cultural identities? What is the connection between culture and language? How can we support our students’ acculturation process in the classroom? What are the various aspects of culture that we can use to discuss and analyze cultural differences? What are the essential aspects of American culture generally and academic aspects of American culture specifically that we should focus on for our students? These questions will be the focus of this workshop.

The Impact of Globalization on Higher Education
The interconnection of four major global systems - political, socio-economic, ecological and cultural – will be discussed to understand the direct impact of globalization on higher education. The importance of developing practical skills, which students will need to function as successful entrepreneurs in globalized societies will be emphasized. The traditional role of memorization and drilling, vis-à-vis the development of critical thinking and decision-making skills will also be discussed.

Why do International Students Act Differently
Participants will analyze different scenarios that illustrate how international students may appear to behave different from their American peers. The concepts of time, silence, age, and gender, among other factors will be discussed to understand how they vary across cultures.

Building Literacy Skills in International Students
How do international students become culturally and linguistic competent in their host country? This workshop will explore James Paul Gee’s New Literacy Studies by developing a situated socio-cultural approach to literacy. The distinction between language learning and language acquisition will serve as a framework for participants to consider practical ways of delivering instruction to diverse students while connecting English speakers with their non-English speaking peers in a socially situated context.

Teaching and Learning Strategies for the Multicultural Classroom
This workshop will explore the roles of the instructor and of multicultural learners within a constructivist approach to learning, including the role of domestic students as scaffolders. Going beyond a fixed curriculum, participants will learn about strategies that support “flexibility within structure” and still ensure positive Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs).

Forward, Central, and Backward Design in Second Language Learning
Is lecturing a thing of the past? Is working in teams the latest fad? The input, process, and output in the multicultural classroom will be discussed as it relates specifically to Forward, Central, and Backward curriculum design with emphasis on the means and the ends of teaching and learning within the multilingual and multicultural context.

Workshops from the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

SafeZone Training
The SafeZone Program offers LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning) awareness training for all UAB faculty and staff. This session will provide an opportunity to learn about identities, terminology, concepts of gender and sexuality, and ways to create a welcoming and inclusive campus. Participants will also be able to sign up to receive a SafeZone Trained sticker to communicate their LGBTQ friendliness, although this is not a requirement of the session.

UAB is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and family-friendly environment in which all faculty and staff can excel and achieve work/life balance irrespective of race, national origin, age, genetic or family medical history, gender, faith, gender identity and expression as well as sexual orientation. UAB also encourages applications from individuals with disabilities and veterans.

Back to Top