Constructing EFL learners as Intercultural Speakers through digital technologies

link to conference proceedings paper

Lanugage Assumptions
Quotes about Language Pedagogy

Language and culture are mutually shaping
(Kress, 1988)

“The responsibility of the language teacher is to teach culture as it is mediated through language, not as it is studied by social scientists and anthropologists” (Kramsch, 1998, p. 31).
Representations are ideological
rather than isomorphic with reality
(Lankshear & McLaren, 1993)
Kramsch (1998) explains how students’ linguistic products, or meanings, are cultural products that reflect their different “life experiences, ethnicity, social and economic background, attitudes and beliefs” (p. 28).
Symbolic practices are culturally constructed,
not inherent or autonomous psycholinguistic practices
(Scribner & Cole, 1981; Siegel & Fernandez, 2000; Street, 1984),
The intercultural speaker has “a willingness to relativise one’s own values, beliefs and behaviours, not to assume that they are the only possible and naturally correct ones, and to be able to see how they might look from the perspective of an outsider who has a different set of values, beliefs and behaviours” ( Byram, Nichols, & Stevens, 2001, p. 5).
The goals of language learning include
the development of a reflective consciousness
about the cultural values that constitute representations
so that symbol wielders may have greater control
over the agency and social relations
constructed in acts of communication
(Friere, 1987; Furstenberg, 2003).

"the attainment target of intercultural language teaching is ‘critical understanding of otherness’. A first condition for acquiring this ability is that one gains some insight into one’s own culture and into the conditions of observation" (Sercu, 1998, p. 261).

The intercultural speaker has a conscious ability to transform cultural practices by using language from “a position which acknowledges respect for human diginity and equality of human rights as the decocratic basis for social interaction” (Byram, et. al., 2001, p. 7).

Digital technologies are especially powerful tools to generate an intercultural critical literacy practice:

We can support decentering through two types of digital activities: