Perceptions and Practices of Interculturality in a Danish School Context (ENG3 Reflection)

Reading up for todays class was difficult for me. A Ph.D should be read at a time where I am fresh, have time to look into difficult phrases, terms and methods. I was hoping to get some insights into Byram, Intercultural Language and Interculturality in the classroom.

The first part of class turned out to be group work, where we should write down answers for 6 questions regarding intercultural speaker, mediating between cultures/nations, student’s learning processes, Five dimensions (Byram: Skill of interpreting/relating, Skills of discovery/interacting, Knowledge, Attitudes & Critical Cultural Awareness) and the FFM, Criticism of ICC and intercultural citizenship education in foreign language education.

Reflections on cases from "Teaching Interculturality: Developing and Engaging in Pluralistic Discourses"

Svarstad, L.K. (2016) in English Language Teaching. Ph.d.-afhandling, Aarhus Universitet.

Stonehenge

  •  The teacher choses something she thinks the students would find interesting, and tries to teach the students about it in an innovative way by showing a music video, that sort of parodies the mystery surrouding stonehenge. The only work the students do with the music video however, is that the teacher deconstructs the lyrics, and students then reconstruct them.
  •  There aren't really any explicit learning objectives to the lesson. The approach of the teacher seems really just to be to 'spice up' the content of the old textbooks.
  •  In doing so in an unreflective manner however, she completely overlooks the intercultural dimension by not allowing time for reflective questions or planning activities of that nature, that would have allowed the students to reflect about the subject on a more culturally, deeper level.

British Stereotypes

  • Aims: The aims were to teach about minorities in the British society and to break down stereotypes and prejudices. 

  • Material: She uses a powerpoint presentation with lots of pictures of different minority groups and some texts about minorities, as well as worksheets. 
  • Activities: She makes use of activities such a brainstorming, pair work, class discussion, individual work,  listening  exercise.
  • Potential learning outcome: There is potential for the students to learn to form a critical opinion and discuss these view. There is also potential for the students to break down stereotypes and stop prejudices. 
  • Key aims for the teacher: Bildung, to focus a little less on activities and more o the content and ideas behind the activities.

Global Connections

Aim/learning objectives

  • To teach about fair trade and outsourcing but it doesn't do that
     

Choice of material and activities

  • They are working on the book and the theme that it has
  • She could have included something that is going on in the world and makes it more relevant to the students
  • They could have written something down so they and the teacher can keep track
  • Outsourcing and Fair Trade
  • It is ethnocentric; we are more superior and developed
  • They could have worked with the text because now the students could have been left with the feeling that they are better
  • The teacher doesn't work with the material but uses it as a listening comprehensive exercise
  • She could have drawn parallels to the students' travels and experiences

Learning outcome - potentials

  • They could have learned about other ways of life
  • Understand Fair Trade
  • But it seems they could have been left with the impression of being better and more developed than other countries and cultures (ethnocentric)