Presentation 2

Interculturality in Language Education:  An untapped resource for the Internationalisation of HE

Dr Trevor Grimshaw, T.Grimshaw@bath.ac.uk
Department of Education, University of Bath
&
Dr Irene Macías, I.Macias@bath.ac.uk
Department of European Studies and Modern Languages, University of Bath

The current policy of internationalisation in higher education does not only mean an increase in the proportion of international students and a more a diverse staff. It also implies the need for all participants to develop greater intercultural competence in order to engage with the complexity and dynamism of a globalised academic environment.

Language educators can play an important role in these processes. Academic staff from the fields of Modern Foreign Languages and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) habitually operate in the ‘third space’ between cultures. Their expertise may enable them to serve as facilitators and guides for students and colleagues across a wide range of disciplines.

This presentation offers a practical demonstration of some of the techniques that language educators deploy in order to aid the development of interculturality in the classroom.

This is linked to a review of recent developments in language policy, as embodied by documents such as the Common European Framework of References for Languages. Critical awareness of language, discourse and identity is enabling fresh perspectives on how we engage with the cultural ‘Other’, whoever that may be. The paradigmatic shift that is currently taking place in international language education has important implications for educators, administrators and students across the whole of the HE sector.

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