Intercultural Language Teaching AND Communication (ILTAC) Cluster

Facilitators

About

 

The ILTAC cluster of LCNAU brings together researchers working towards a broader understanding and enactment of the intercultural dimension in language and culture education in tertiary environments. It concerns the sub-fields of Foreign Language Teaching (FLT), Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Indigenous Language and Culture Education (ILCE), as well as Language and Intercultural Communication (LIC). ILTAC’s theoretical orientation is inspired, though not limited, by Critical Pedagogy. That is, it views language and culture education as an inherently non-neutral, political, ethical and social act. ILTAC seeks to support research into issues related to intercultural understanding, cultural and linguistic content, as well as a pedagogical orientation most suited to realising its overarching goal in practice. This goal is to promote critical engagement with the language and culture nexus in interaction at personal, local and global levels. Cultural content within an ILTAC perspective includes the historical, political and societal dimensions of culture. Linguistic content includes the teaching of language(s) with a focus on the complexities of meaning-making processes, interpretation and reflexivity. Pedagogical strategies include approaches to learning, teaching and assessing language, culture and intercultural communication. The ILTAC cluster aims to support and be actively engaged in regular conference symposia and presentations, collaborative research projects and publications. Contact the facilitators for further information and/or to be added to the ILTAC mailing list.

 

Announcements

 

Training opportunity for students

ONLINE SUMMER COURSE (2021)

Unthinking and rethinking intercultural dialogue in education

21-25 June 2021

Co-organised by The Faculty of Educational Sciences (University of Helsinki, Finland) and The School of Education (Minzu University of China)

Course organisers and lecturers: Prof. Fred Dervin (University of Helsinki, Finland) and Prof. Mei Yuan (Minzu University of China) + invited speakers

COURSE FORMAT

The course will take place online through Zoom, 2 hours per day (time: 2-4pm Beijing time) 

Duration: 5 days

Assessment: Active participation and final essay

Participation fee: EUR200 

COURSE DESCRIPTION

The rationale of this course is based on the repeated observation by both Western and non-Western scholars that discussions around intercultural dialogue in world education remains centered on concepts, methods and theories developed in the ‘West’ (Andreotti et al., 2020). In their previous work Dervin et al. (2020) argue that this lack of diversity can limit the spheres of intellectual engagement with intercultural dialogue and exclude certain scholarly voices that could help unthink and rethink it. This also represents a contradiction since intercultural dialogue should entail interculturality of theories, concepts and methods. The current COVID-19 crisis has shown that dealing with global dialogue, but also well-being, safety and sustainability, requires listening to all the voices that can contribute to such endeavours. This means being able to understand, problematize and analyse the world from different standpoints, while negotiating similarities. 

The course contributes to this vital objective for the present and especially the future, by proposing to unthink and rethink intercultural dialogue by both taking stock of current achievements and including and problematizing important contributions to global discussions. The originality of the course is to have identified a specific field of research and practice in China which is proving to make such contributions: Minzu education. Throughout its very long history China has been involved in intercultural dialogues with other countries/parts of the world but, in a sense, from within – dialogues between Chinese ‘ethnic groups’ or Minzus (Sude et al., 2020). Since its beginning in the 1950s Minzu education has represented an endeavor to take into account diversity and unity of the Chinese nation into account in different educational contexts. Although it is about ‘dialogue’ from within China, the course organisers argue that we can draw inspiration from it to expand understandings and practices of intercultural dialogue globally (e.g. Yuan et al., 2020; Sude et al., 2020; Dervin & Yuan, 2021). The course is not claiming that Chinese Minzu education is an answer to the problems faced in other parts of the world in terms of diversity education (intercultural but also multicultural/transcultural/global education). However, by examining what it is, what it entails and how it is ‘done’, students can reflect on how intercultural dialogue is problematized and taking place in the contexts they study and think about ways of rethinking it.

In this course the participants will learn and be urged to

  • Expand their scientific knowledge about intercultural dialogue by including new perspectives from China and other countries
  • Have other ‘stories’ around intercultural dialogue heard in world scientific and educational contexts; build up further confidence in sharing other voices about intercultural dialogue 
  • Reflect with students from other countries on intercultural dialogue sustainably (e.g. negotiate what concepts and theories of intercultural dialogue could mean and entail across contexts)
  • Find ways to improve intercultural dialogue in education.

The course is targeted at Master’s and PhD students. Ideal participants will have a strong interest in disrupting current status quos about intercultural dialogue in education and be open to new and original worldviews about diversity and interculturality. They will also be willing to question their own assumptions about what intercultural dialogue is and what it entails. A background in ‘diversity education’ (intercultural/multicultural/transcultural… education/communication) is required.

COURSE LITERATURE 

The accepted students will be provided with pdfs of articles and book excerpts before the course starts.

APPLICATIONS

20 students will be selected for this course. 

Please send a motivation letter to interculturalcompetences@gmail.com by 1st April 2021

The letter should not be more than 500 words. After a brief self-introduction, you should state what you expect from this course and the contributions you are willing to make during the lectures. Try to be as clear and transparent as possible in the way you express potential expectations and contributions.

Questions should be addressed to interculturalcompetences@gmail.com

 

ILTAC Events

 

2020

Teaching, learning and assessment of language/s learning within an intercultural orientation (an interactive online seminar), presented by Michelle Kohler and Angela Scarino, at the University of Melbourne, 19 September 2020

2018

Click on the image below to access a detailed report on the 2018 Inaugural mini-conference