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Third Level, Third Space

Intercultural Communication and Language in European Higher Education


Michael Kelly, Imelda Elliott and Lars Fant

This book argues that intercultural communication generates a ‘third space’, between people, languages and cultures. It has a particularly important role to play in third level education. But those who teach about it need to be more aware of language, especially (but not only) in the context of Europe, which is characterised both by creative linguistic and cultural diversity and by obstacles to communication. The world is undergoing rapid and profound transformation. Internationalisation of the global economy, the communications revolution, and increased mobility have exponentially increased the scale of encounters between people and cultures. This has a far reaching transformative impact on the identities and values they carry. The chapters were first presented at colloquia of the Thematic Network in Languages at Antwerp and Boulogne in 1998 and 1999. They contain a wealth of reflection and good ideas, and identify a number of practical imperatives: ethical, political and institutional. The book presents a series of challenges, and invites the reader to consider how changes might be implemented in different contexts, so as to strengthen the ability of higher education to contribute to the successful development of a multi-cultural and multi-lingual Europe.
Contents: Walter Lorenz: Intercultural communication and ethical commitments in post-modernity – Geneviève Zarate: Cross-cultural awareness in higher education – Angela Chambers: Intercultural communication: the role of virtual mobility – Pol Cuvelier: Implementing a flexible model for the teaching of intercultural communicative competence – Lars Fant: Creating awareness of identity work in conversation: a resource for language training – Marie-France Noël/Isabelle Roblin: Case study: a joint module for first year students in two institutions in two adjoining countries – Shirley Lawes/Marie-José Barbot: The intercultural problems involved in setting up a joint teacher training programme – Michael Kelly: Towards an intercultural practice of language teaching – Martine Abdallah-Pretceille: Intercultural communication: elements for a curricular approach – Marie-José Barbot/Alain Payeur: The intercultural approach and the evolution of the education system – Imelda Elliott: Institutional knowledge and intercultural communication in higher education.