'Connecting Cultures' and internationalisation through Commonwealth Foreign Languages (CFL)

  • Date: 20 Jun 2012
  • Location/venue: Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study, Senate house, Malet Street, London , England, WC1E 7HU

The Higher Education Academy Discipline Workshop and Seminar Series

‘Connecting Cultures’ is the Commonwealth theme for the year 2012. Language is a crucial element in constructing/connecting cultures, and the seminar will discuss the provision for learning and teaching of languages whose use transcends national boundaries.

Intercultural dimensions of language will be foregrounded in the discussions. A key anticipated outcome of the event will be the impact on policy at institutional, national or Commonwealth levels with specific reference to internationalisation strategies in the university/tertiary sector.

Keynote address: Language policy/practice/pedagogy in the Commonwealth in the 21st Century (provisional title)

Session 1: Language policies and state building will focus on language policies, both historical and current. It will cover post-colonial use of language as an instrument of state consolidation and articulation of nationalist discourses as well as state-sponsored language acquisition as a way of enhancing citizenship and social cohesion in situations of migration.

Session 2: Language in practice – pidgins, creoles, code-switching will focus on language in practice, where users rather than policy makers define the nature of language and its various forms. The status and use of pidgins, creoles and code-switching, for example, highlight the gap between official endorsement and common practice in different countries and in diasporic communities.

Session 3: Language and intercultural competence/Commonwealth values will examine ways in which language can contribute to intercultural competence and address the question should one be bi- and/or multilingual to have intercultural competence? Are English translations, interpretations and subtitling of films sufficient substitutes for linguistic competence in another language?

Session 4 Language learning and teaching (pedagogy) and/in education will examine the learning and teaching provision and pedagogic strategies in the context of traditional (face-to-face) and ICT-enabled interactions. The role of Open Educational Resources in language learning will also be covered.

Plenary session: the role of languages in ‘Connecting Cultures’ and internationalisation in the Commonwealth.

There will be a reception to provide informal opportunities for networking, and to conclude the event.

A video of this event is now available as a podcast on the website of the School of Advanced Study.


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