One of the central concerns of foreign language learning is how to communicate our fluid identities in a language used to express worldviews different from our own. In a context of growing international contact, virtual as well as face to face, intercultural competence has become paramount.
This competence involves not only the capacity to understand the values and customs of others but also to be able to express our own meanings so that others can understand them. How can we find the words to express concepts, habits and perceptions which do not seem to have an equivalent in another culture? How can we find points in common that make communication possible? And how effective is English as the language of international communication to express local meanings? Reading, listening, watching and responding to creative cultural products (such as songs, poems, stories, video clips, blogs and V-logs, etc.) can help us develop intercultural awareness. The encounter with otherness can encourage reflection on how meanings can be communicated across cultures. Considering such products critically and comparatively and then finding ways to respond to them can contribute to developing the linguistic repertoire necessary to express our own meanings in English.
- “Developing Intercultural Awareness”
- Activities and projects based on the story of the meeting between the Welsh and the Tehuelche, in The Value of Diversity, Buenos Aires: Pearson/Longman, 2009 (for young learners, pages 8 - 9 ; for teenagers and adults, pages 10 - 11).
- Reflections and projects based on Walter Owen’s translation of the Martín Fierro, with a focus on ‘viveza criolla’, in The Value of Commitment, Buenos Aires: Pearson/Longman, 2010 , pages 12 - 15 (for teenagers).
- Reflections and projects based on polemic extracts from Anglo-Argentine texts, in The Value of Commitment, Buenos Aires: Pearson/Longman, 2010 , pages 16 - 17 (for teenagers and adults).
- ‘Attitudes to Others’ - Worksheet on discrimination (for teenagers). Worksheets on Sebastian's Pride: