Languages for all: World languages for meaning-making and intercultural citizenship

Date
2019-01-01
Authors
Back, Michele
Wagner, Manuela
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Cengage
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2019
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176
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198
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Abstract
As world language (WL) instructors and program coordinators, our primary goals for our students include developing their target language (TL) proficiency; using this proficiency in a variety of real-world contexts; and developing richer, plurilingual identities. Although many resources are available to help educators reach these goals, balancing linguistic and intercultural objectives is not easy to do in everyday teaching practice. Thus, in this chapter, we outline how WL educators can make informed decisions about classroom practices to support the simultaneous development of TL proficiency, intercultural competence, and plurilingual identities while building bridges between the target language/cultures and students’ existing languages and heritages. We do this by first drawing on theoretical frameworks in symbolic competence (Kramsch, 2009, 2011), intercultural competence and citizenship (Byram, 1997, 2008), translanguaging (García & Li Wei, 2014; Flores, 2016), and language education for social justice (e.g., Nieto, 2000; Osborn, 2006; Reagan & Osborn, 2001; Wesely, Glynn, & Wassell, 2016). We then present findings from interventions we have conducted, which offer concrete strategies for situating a meaning-making approach within the current framework of WL education while still supporting the goals of TL acquisition and communication. Finally, we explore what information and skills are needed to promote teaching languages for intercultural dialogue and discuss implications for P-16 WL instructors and language program directors. Specifically, we outline how we can apply existing research and theory to classroom practices that draw upon a variety of linguistic and cultural resources to develop meaningful relationships and language proficiency grounded in relevant social action.
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Back, M., Wagner, M. (2019). Languages for all: World languages for meaning-making and intercultural citizenship. The American Association of University Supervisors, Coordinators and Directors of Foreign Languages Programs (AAUSC), 176-198. http://hdl.handle.net/102015/69797
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