Cultural-Political and Social-Educational Perspectives
Stephan Breidbach, Daniela Elsner and Andrea Young Language awareness in teacher education: culturalpolitical and socialeducational perspectives 11
Language awareness in teacher education: cuturaoitica and sociaeducationa diensions Stephan Breidbach, Daniela Elsner and Andrea Young Teaching language and teaching with languages is what is called for in contemporary classrooms, be they language classrooms or otherwise. hen the learners’ plurilingual ism and societies’ multilingualism have social, cultural or political implications, be coming aware of language matters is a necessity both for nonspecialist teachers and language teachers alike. In the first part of this introductory chapter, we try to show that language awareness is a multifaceted concept which should play a major role in the re form processes of teacher education in the 21st century. In the second part, the structure of this volume and the inner logic of its three parts are explained. 1 Language awareness and education The promotion of mutual understanding has traditionally been regarded as one of the objectives of modern foreign language (MFL) learning. By broadening horizons, opening the doors to diversity and promoting comparison and aware ness of languages it was hoped to foster tolerance of otherness amongst students. Such utopian declarations of intent have been called into question (Byram 2000) and viewed as unrealistic, given the time and space allotted to MFL learning in curricula at school. Although it is true to say that language teachers are in a prime position to champion such aims, in our current world of mass international exchange and communication, this objective has taken on greater significance and can no longer be...
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