This book offers a theoretical backdrop on issues related to multicultural education and intercultural approaches to language pedagogy as well as a wide repertoire of educational practices for developing intercultural awareness and communication along with the enhancement of second/foreign language skills development. Considering the growing multicultural nature of education as well as the development of cultural knowledge, intercultural awareness constitutes a significant parameter in promoting effective communication and mutual understanding, leading to social inclusion beyond the classroom boundaries. These cultural dimensions stress the need for teachers to adopt effective practices (in the foreign language classroom) that blend intercultural knowledge and understanding, and enable students to identify themselves, understand others, and use a foreign language to convey and create a cultural reality.
It provides a space to academics, researchers and practitioners to present studies and projects that create an environment of “interculturality” in foreign language classrooms, in an attempt to open students' minds towards the acceptance of “cultural otherness”. This book does not pretend to be a work about theory; the authors do not, for example, delve into the complexities of the relationship between language, culture and globalization. The focus is on the manner with which teachers perceive the cultural dimension of foreign language teaching and learning as well as their students’ knowledge of and attitudes toward the target language countries, including their reflections on their own teaching practices. The contributors of this book report and reflect on practices that heighten students’ multicultural sensitivity and intercultural awareness, and are relevant to a range of stakeholders. They also discuss challenges of cross-curricular and CLIL applications in diverse contexts based on playful activities and stories that make students “know” and “apply” the culturally appropriate behaviour that goes with a second/foreign language.
The book consists of a selection of thirteen chapters that comprise eleven studies conducted by the two authors, Eleni Griva and Vasilios Zorbas, in collaboration with some researchers. Moreover, two colleagues, who are experts in the field of multiculturalism and intercultural communication, were invited to submit a chapter for this book, which is divided into three parts: The first part, consisting of four chapters, focuses on multicultural education issues. The second part, consisting of six chapters, discusses the role of “play” in multicultural awareness/ intercultural communication and second/foreign language development. The third part, consisting of three chapters, centers on aspects and considerations of the CLIL and multicultural/citizenship awareness. (Nova)
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