This capstone research study explores the intercultural impacts on two specific Boston-area international ESL host families. Primary data for the research was collected using self-administered questionnaires in which each participating homestay family member answered self-ratings on various items relating to an aspect of intercultural competence, sensitivity, or awareness. Respondents were asked to provide two self-ratings, one for “prior to hosting” and another for “after having hosted.” Data analysis focuses on any changes in self-ratings. Other background information was also collected on the questionnaire to identify possible correlations among the given responses. The study shows improvement in homestay respondents’ intercultural competence in several categories, most notably in knowledge and critical awareness areas although many respondents showed no change. Of the background variables explored, amount of prior international/intercultural experience was most significant with a strong inverse relationship. Four other significant variables with recognizable patterns were found. Greater increases in scores could be achieved through structured reflection and processing of the homestay experience. Findings from this study can be used for developing homestay programs specific for international ESL students so that homestays and students may get the most out of the experience.
Calleja, Anna M., "Intercultural impacts on U.S. homestay families" (2004). Capstone Collection. 100.