Examining Service Learning as an Approach to Intensify International Students’ Multicultural Understanding





service-learning, International Students, Globalisation of Education, Diversity


The purpose of this investigation was to identify, examine, and analyse the opinions of four international postgraduate students who embarked on a service-learning project required by the course taken in Semester 2, 2021/2022. It included engaging in community service, connection to their academic endeavours, reporting the outcomes, critical reflection, and reciprocity. Choral speaking activities were selected as the tool for their engagement with children in the community. The qualitative approach was chosen as the research design, employing in-depth semi-structured interviews. The findings pointed to the beneficial aspects of service-learning which include: (1) enhances multicultural understanding; (2) improves civic involvement; (3) acknowledges that academic work has real-world importance; and (4) promotes language learning as well as reciprocity, that need to be improved.

Author Biographies

Faizah Idrus, The International Islamic University Malaysia

FAIZAH IDRUS is a professor at the Department of Language and Literacy, International Islamic University Malaysia. She teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the Department of Language and Literacy, Kulliyyah of Education for the TESL programme. Her research interests include but are not confined to English Language Teaching and Learning, Language, Identity and the community, Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy, Cultural Intelligence and Diplomacy as well as the well-being of Indigenous Communities. Email: ifaizah@iium.edu.my

Syakirah, International Islamic University Malaysia

SYAKIRAH ABD HALIM is a teacher with over 7 years of experience dealing with students ranging from elementary to tertiary level. She also has extensive experience running English programmes and training students for district to national level English competitions, including poetry recitation, public speaking, chorasical sketch, and debate. She is now pursuing a postgraduate degree in Teaching English as a Second Language at the International Islamic University Malaysia. Email: syakinthemiddle@hotmail.com  




How to Cite

Idrus, F., & Halim, A., S. (2023). Examining Service Learning as an Approach to Intensify International Students’ Multicultural Understanding. Journal of International Students, 14(1), 469–486. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v15i1.5499