Discussion papers

The following set of discussion papers has been written to support participants’ understanding of key aspects of the ILTLP project. The papers identify important issues, develop points for discussion, provide background information and elaborate key questions that have arisen through the development of the project.

 

1 - An orientation to the ILTLP programme

3 - Programming insights from project team feedback

5 - Language choices in the intercultural classroom

7 - Changes to programming from a feedback process

9 - In conversation with Nhu Trinh

 

2 - Developing learning programmes

4 - The importance of questioning

6 - Assessing intercultural language learning

8 - Why an investigative stance matters

10 - Culture knowledge and intercultural learning

           
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Discussion paper 1

Why the intercultural matters to languages teaching and learning: an orientation to the ILTLP programme

This paper provides a rationale for intercultural language learning, with a specific focus on its role in engaging students in life, learning and employment. It then describes the nature of intercultural language learning and how it differs from communicative or task-based language teaching and learning. The difference is not just methodological. It is a difference in the way language, culture, learning and teaching are understood.

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Discussion paper 2

The challenge in developing learning programmes for intercultural language learning

This paper describes the way in which developing programmes for intercultural language learning, for students who are both performers/participants and analysers of intercultural communication, needs to be conceptualized. The shift is from concepts such as ‘content’ and its ‘coverage’ to address ‘learner needs and interests’, to programming focused on meaning-making in interactions and learners as meaning –makers. Specific questions are provided to stimulate a consideration of programming practices.

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Discussion paper 3

Developing programming for intercultural language teaching and learning: insights from project team feedback

Feedback provided by ILTLP project team members to participants in Phase 1 is analysed to provide insights into the process of developing programmes. The questions provide a starting point for considering current programming practices in developing units of work and long term programmes to support intercultural language teaching and learning.

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Discussion paper 4

The importance of questioning in intercultural language teaching and learning

The significance of questioning in intercultural language learning was highlighted during Phase 1 of the project, as ILTLP team members worked with teachers preparing units of work and long term programmes. This paper explores the types of questions asked by team members to elicit teachers’ thinking regarding student learning and teachers’ roles in the intercultural classroom. They are intended as a stimulus to personal reflection.

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Discussion paper 5

Language choices in the intercultural classroom

 

Intercultural language learning gives a place to the use of both the target language and the learners’ first and/or other language(s). There is a need to develop a balance however as each language contributes differently to learning. The aim of language choices is to develop an informed approach to using as much of the learners’ language repertoire as needed to enhance learning. The balance of languages will differ according to the features of individual classrooms, but the use of each language is not random, but rather relates issues such as learning focus, modes of communication, degree of creativity and participants. Both languages can be used in combination to achieve a range of communicative aims.

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Discussion paper 6

Assessing intercultural language learning

 

This paper provides background to considering how to assess intercultural language learning. It describes why traditional views of assessment are not sufficient. Essentially, assessing intercultural language learning requires assessment of both students’ performance of communication in the target language (students as performers) and how they explain the intercultural to themselves (students as analysers). Some features of assessment of intercultural language learning are provided.

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Discussion paper 7

‘Before’ and ‘after’: changes to programming arising from a feedback process

 

During Phase 1 of the project, Nhu Trinh, a teacher of Chinese, was one of a number of teachers who worked with project team members in a feedback process to develop intercultural units of work and long-term programmes for their classes. Changes to Nhu’s programming that arose through this process are presented in a ‘before’ and ‘after’ model. The importance of dialogue in intercultural language learning is explored in Discussion Papers 3 and 4, and provides the foreground for this paper.

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Discussion paper 8

Why an investigative stance matters in intercultural language teaching and learning: an orientation to classroom-based investigation

 

This discussion paper seeks to develop the idea that classroom investigation can be an integral part of teaching and learning, an ongoing ‘stance’ which enables us to gather valuable information about teaching and learning which may otherwise go unnoticed. This information can in turn inform how we understand and develop intercultural language teaching and learning for our students.

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Discussion paper 9

In conversation with Nhu Trinh

 

Building upon discussion papers 3 and 7, this paper provides Nhu’s perspective of the feedback process, and is intended to consider the notion that dialogue lies at the heart of the intercultural language learning process.

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Discussion paper 10

Culture knowledge and intercultural learning - issues to consider from a teacher’s perspective

 

This paper argues for the useful distinction between cultural knowledge and intercultural learning from a teaching perspective. It explores first the common and different challenges native and non-native teachers of the target language face in acquiring and/or maintaining the two types of culture knowledge (culture as background and culture as cultural codes embedded in language) needed to teach languages from an intercultural perspective, which is not only process oriented but also content rich. It then turns to the meaning of intercultural learning and argues that,unlike cultural knowledge, it cannot be learnt or taught but only modelled.

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