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Intercultural Language Teaching and Learning



Intercultural Language Teaching and Learning

Anthony J. Liddicoat, Angela Scarino

ISBN: 978-1-118-48210-0 February 2013 Wiley-Blackwell 208 Pages

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This wide-ranging survey of issues in intercultural language teaching and learning covers everything from core concepts to program evaluation, and advocates a fluid, responsive approach to teaching language that reflects its central role in fostering intercultural understanding.

  • Includes coverage of theoretical issues defining language, culture, and communication, as well as practice-driven issues such as classroom interactions, technologies, programs, and language assessment
  • Examines systematically the components of language teaching: language itself, meaning, culture, learning, communicating, and assessments, and puts them in social and cultural context
  • Features numerous examples throughout, drawn from various languages, international contexts, and frameworks
  • Incorporates a decade of in-depth research and detailed documentation from the authors’ collaborative work with practicing teachers
  • Provides a much-needed addition to the sparse literature on intercultural aspects of language education


Acknowledgments viii

1 Introduction 1

Language, Culture, and Language Education 1

The Concept of Method 2

Critiques of Method 3

Moving beyond Methods 4

About this Book 7

2 Languages, Cultures, and the Intercultural 11

Understanding Language 11

Language as a structural system 12

Language as a communicative system 13

Language as social practice 13

Concluding comments 16

Understanding Culture 17

Cultures as national attributes 18

Cultures as societal norms 19

Cultures as symbolic systems 20

Cultures as practices 20

Culture for language teaching and learning 21

The Intercultural: Understanding Language, Culture, and their Relationship 25

3 Second Language Acquisition, Language Learning, and Language Learning within an Intercultural Orientation 31

Introduction: Two Families of Theories 31

Key Understandings of SLA and Language Learning within Diverse Families of Theories 33

A Brief History of the Development of Theories of Language Learning 35

The Acquisition and Participation Metaphors 40

Expanding Learning: Recognizing the Role of Interpretation in “Moving Between” Linguistic and Cultural Systems 43

Conclusion 45

4 Language Teaching and Learning as an Intercultural Endeavor 47

Introduction 47

The intercultural in language learning 48

The Learner as Focus 51

Language learner as learner 51

Language learner as language user 52

The learner as person 54

The learner as focus: Concluding comments 56

Principles for Teaching and Learning Languages from an Intercultural Perspective 56

Practices for Intercultural Learning 59

Practices in learning 59

Conclusion 61

5 Designing Classroom Interactions and Experiences 63

Expanding “Tasks” to Focus on Interaction and Experiences 64

The Nature of Interaction 66

The Experiential Dimension 66

Considerations in Developing Interactions and Experiences 68

Examples 70

Example 1: Year 10 Chinese – examining translation 70

Example 2: Year 11 and 12 Indonesian: Developing intra- and intercultural understanding 75

Implications for Teachers and Students as Participants in Language Learning 81

6 Resources for Intercultural Language Learning 83

Textbooks as Resources for Intercultural Learning 84

Moving Beyond Textbooks 91

The Authenticity of the Resource 93

Literature as an Authentic Resource 95

Communities as Resources 97

The Classroom as a Resource 99

Selecting and Evaluating Resources 101

Adapting Resources 102

Using Resources Critically 103

Relating Resources to Each Other 104

Concluding Comments 105

7 Technologies in Intercultural Language Teaching and Learning 107

Introduction 107

Information Technologies and Intercultural Learning 108

Social Technologies and Intercultural Learning 111

Developing the Potential of Technologies for Intercultural Learning 118

Technology as information resource 119

Technology as content contextualization 119

Technology as communication tool 119

Technology as a construction kit 120

Technology as visualization and manipulation 120

Summary 120

8 Assessing Intercultural Language Learning 123

Contextualizing Assessment and Language Learning 124

The tension between traditional and alternate assessment paradigms 124

The institutional character of assessment 127

Understanding the Process of Assessment 128

Conceptualizing 129

Eliciting 131

Judging and validating 137

The need for experimentation 140

9 Programming and Planning 143

Programs and Programming in a Traditional Perspective 143

Conceptualizing Content for Language Teaching and Learning 144

Structural understandings of content 144

Communicative understandings of content 145

Content-based language teaching 147

Concept-based understandings of content 148

Content for intercultural language teaching and learning 148

Planning for Complexity 150

Planning for Conceptual Learning 152

Long-Term and Short-Term Planning 156

Planning whole of learning 157

Planning a course 159

Planning a unit of work 159

Planning a lesson 165

The Place of Context in Planning Programs 165

Conclusion 166

10 Evaluating Language Programs 167

Nature and Purpose of Program Evaluation 168

Paradigms that Shape Program Evaluation 169

The Process of Evaluation 171

The Principles for Teaching and Learning Languages and Implications for Evaluation 174

Evaluation and Teacher Professional Learning 177

Conclusion 177

References 179

Index 195

“Indeed, Intercultural Language Teaching and Learningcan be a valuable read for anybody interested in language and cultural diversity and the process that leads to intercultural competency”.  (The Delta Intercultural Academy, 1 January 2014)

“Valuable for those studying linguistics, second-language acquisition, and language teaching.  Summing Up: Recommended.  Graduate students, researchers, faculty, professionals.”  (Choice, 1 December 2013)