Making a difference: Language teaching for intercultural and international dialogue

Making a difference: Language teaching for intercultural and international dialogue INTRODUCTIONIn 2010, then‐U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan proclaimed, “To prosper economically and to improve relations with other countries Americans need to read, speak and understand other languages” (U.S. Department of Education, , para. 12). The significance of this statement, 8 years later, scarcely needs to be underlined. Global and national challenges increase daily, and the modes of talking across frontiers and languages become ever more aggressive. In this article we argue that in this new context, language teaching must include intercultural communicative competence as its aim, and this means that language teaching professionals must accept their social and political responsibilities and change their professional identity.While proclamations in favor of foreign language education and its effects on international or intercultural understanding are by no means rare, language educators and administrators in English‐speaking countries often face challenges from skeptics. They either doubt the validity of foreign language study because they believe that English suffices as a means of communication or they claim that language study in schools cannot prepare students to achieve the desired level of proficiency. The Anglophone perspective is currently very significant in Britain. In the British newspaper The Guardian, at a moment of European divisions and Brexit, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Foreign Language Annals Wiley

Making a difference: Language teaching for intercultural and international dialogue

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2018 by American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
ISSN
0015-718X
eISSN
1944-9720
D.O.I.
10.1111/flan.12319
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

INTRODUCTIONIn 2010, then‐U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan proclaimed, “To prosper economically and to improve relations with other countries Americans need to read, speak and understand other languages” (U.S. Department of Education, , para. 12). The significance of this statement, 8 years later, scarcely needs to be underlined. Global and national challenges increase daily, and the modes of talking across frontiers and languages become ever more aggressive. In this article we argue that in this new context, language teaching must include intercultural communicative competence as its aim, and this means that language teaching professionals must accept their social and political responsibilities and change their professional identity.While proclamations in favor of foreign language education and its effects on international or intercultural understanding are by no means rare, language educators and administrators in English‐speaking countries often face challenges from skeptics. They either doubt the validity of foreign language study because they believe that English suffices as a means of communication or they claim that language study in schools cannot prepare students to achieve the desired level of proficiency. The Anglophone perspective is currently very significant in Britain. In the British newspaper The Guardian, at a moment of European divisions and Brexit,

Journal

Foreign Language AnnalsWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2018

Keywords: ; ; ; ;

References

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