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Webinar-Teaching Languages for Intercultural Citizenship and Social Justice

May 26, 2021

In this webinar we start by reflecting on connections between teaching languages and preparing our students for the challenges they (and we as a society) face (see UN global issues). Questions include: What should students learn in and take away from language education? Should language education go beyond the goal of teaching language proficiency? If so, what are some objectives language education can realistically pursue? Together we will reflect on the increasing demand for students to learn how to engage in intercultural dialogue, as evidenced by national and international initiatives to include intercultural competence (IC) in education in meaningful ways (e.g., ACTFL, Council of Europe, PISA assessments 2018).

Wagner will introduce some example in which the models of Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC, Byram, 1997) and Intercultural Citizenship (ICit, Byram, 2008) were applied to help students acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to engage in intercultural dialogue and solve problems together. Through interactive activities, participants will 1) discuss and reflect on the role of culture and ICC and ICit in language education, 2) discuss the implementation of model of ICC in sample activities, and 3) come up with connections to their own teaching. Participants will think about possible challenges and concerns regarding this way of teaching. Challenges and lessons learned from prior projects will be shared to allow for a beginning conversation about applying this theory to practice in different contexts. Finally, participants will reflect on how this way of teaching is linked to teaching for social justice, anti-racism, and decolonization.