Article published in:Language and Intercultural Communication Pedagogies in Australian Higher Education
Edited by Paul J. Moore and Adriana Díaz
[Australian Review of Applied Linguistics 42:2] 2019
► pp. 146–170
An experiential learning project for developing intercultural competence
Some of the key challenges in teaching intercultural communication (IC) are to engage learners in activities which develop their critical intercultural awareness and to prepare them for communication in superdiverse (Vertovec, 2007) contexts. This paper discusses linguistic landscapes (LL) as an innovative method for teaching intercultural competence. Undergraduate linguistics students conducted a LL project to explore linguistic diversity in their chosen suburb of Sydney and reflected on their own intercultural learning experience. Student reflections revealed that the project had a strong impact on their perceptions of diversity and their attitudes towards other languages and cultures. Students increased their critical awareness of how identity, ideology and attitudes influence language choices and intercultural interactions. The experiential learning project also made them reflect on their own identity as intercultural citizens. The findings of this study highlight the usefulness of the project in developing intercultural competence (ICC). The paper discusses methodological implications for teaching IC in the context of increasingly multilingual and multicultural learning communities.
Keywords: intercultural competence, linguistic landscapes, multilingual Sydney, intercultural citizens, Australian multilingual spaces, experiential learning, cosmopolitanism, intercultural learning in tertiary education, university students’ intercultural development, learners as ethnographers
Published online: 15 July 2019
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