In this section, we will examine how the organisation of ideas in sentences can affect the clarity of your writing.
Task: The two paragraphs below discuss the topic of intercultural competence (the ability to communicate effectively with people from other cultures). However, they differ in the way the information is organised. Is one of them easier to understand? Read and then answer the question below.
To aid students in the development of intercultural competence and create a multicultural environment, various programs and changes have been introduced, in formal ways such as internationalizing the curriculum (Leask, 2013) and informal ways in the form of co- curricular activities such as overseas exchange programs (Root & Ngampornchai, 2012). Research has shown that studying abroad facilitated the development of intercultural sensitivity, awareness, and maturity (Braskamp et al., 2009). However, factors like cost, possible delay in graduation, concerns to being in an unfamiliar environment and possible discriminations were some of the barriers identified to studying abroad or taking part in an exchange program (Dessoff, 2006; Shaftel et al., 2007). These studies, although mostly carried out in Western communities, highlighted the need to identify new ways of facilitating internationalization in universities.
Definition from: Deardorff, D. K. (2006), The Identification and Assessment of Intercultural Competence as a Student Outcome of Internationalization at Institutions of Higher Education in the United States, Journal of Studies in International Education 10:241-26
Internationalised curriculums (Leask, 2013) and co-curricular activities such as overseas exchange programs are examples of the informal and formal ways that programs and changes have been introduced to aid students in the development of intercultural competence and create a multicultural environment (Root & Ngampornchai, 2012). Intercultural sensitivity, awareness and maturity are developed by studying abroad as shown by research (Braskamp et al., 2009). The factors of cost, possible delay in graduation, concerns to being in an unfamiliar environment, and possible discriminations are, however, barriers to studying abroad or taking part in an exchange program (Dessoff, 2006; Shaftel et al., 2007). New ways of facilitating internationalization in universities need to be identified although the studies which highlighted this were mostly carried out in Western communities.
Text adapted from: Law, L., Hafiz, M., Kwong, T. & Wong, E., (2019). Evaluating Students’ Perceptions on the Effectiveness of Online Intercultural Learning Experience via a SPOC. Current Issues in Comparative Education (CICE). 21(1), 69-92.
You probably noticed that in Paragraph A is easier to understand.
The ideas flow logically from sentence to sentence so that the reader can follow them easily. In other words, the transition from sentence to sentence is clear. However, In paragraph B, the ideas do not flow logically and the reader has difficulty reading from sentence to sentence.
Another way of explaining the difference between the paragraphs is that paragraph A uses given and new information more successfully than paragraph B. It also chooses the main subject and verb in a logical way and presents it clearly to the reader.