The book opens with key contributions from a number of leading scholars: Dr Daniel Cassany on critical literacies, Professor Henrik Gottlieb on translation into ‘minor’ languages, and Professor David Little on autonomy in language learning. These are followed by explorations of translation, technology, intercultural issues, autonomous learning and the European Language Portfolio. The volume represents an important contribution to the development of new plurilingual approaches to language teaching and learning.
Part Four Intercultural Issues
Florence Le Baron-Earle Social Media and the Acquisition of Intercultural Communicative Competence: A Focus on Discussion Forums We should never denigrate any other culture but rather help people to understand the relationship between their own culture and the dominant culture. When you understand another culture or language, it does not mean that you have to lose your own culture. — Edward T. Hall 1 Introduction In the last few months, several European leaders1 have claimed that their respective policies of multiculturalism have failed and thus have opened a new debate on immigration and cultural integration. This highlights the need to stimulate a deeper understanding between nations or individuals of varied background. Despite many attempts to develop intercultural dialogue in the past this need is still very vivid today. This matter can be addressed in a variety of areas, including the foreign language classroom. As emphasized by the directives of the Council of Europe’s Linguistic Division Policy, language teaching and intercultural citizenship are both related to ‘communication, the promotion of mutual understanding and the development of individual responsibility’ (Lázár et al. 2007: 18). 1 German Chancellor Angela Merkel made this public statement in October 2010. A similar sentiment was echoed by British Prime Minister, David Cameron and French President, Nicolas Sarkozy in February 2011. 292 Florence Le Baron-Earle This chapter will demonstrate how sociolinguists have established that language learners cannot become proficient without understanding the culture in which the language they are studying is developed, and how their research has...
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