Reference : Foreign language teaching and intercultural citizenship
Scientific journals : Article
Arts & humanities : Languages & linguistics
Multilingualism and Intercultural Studies
Foreign language teaching and intercultural citizenship
Byram, Michael mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Education, Culture, Cognition and Society (ECCS) >]
Iranian Journal of Language Teaching Research
Yes (verified by ORBilu)
[en] : cultural turn; language teaching aims; education; citizenship
[en] In the ‘cultural turn’ which has taken place in recent decades – in theory if not yet in practice – the
crucial question is ‘What should a language teacher’s aims be?’ This will be the main focus of this paper.
There are however other questions which are frequently raised in the new context, questions about the
relationships among ‘language’, ‘identity’ and ‘culture’. If language learning influences identity or even
creates new identities, should this be one of the aims of teaching? At the same time it is important to
place foreign language teaching in the wider context of all language teaching: national languages,
heritage languages, and minority languages. I will attempt to take these other factors into account
while addressing the main issue of teaching aims.
Teachers’ aims should be both functional and educational. Language teaching of all kinds – but my main
concern will be foreign language teaching as practiced in general education – should develop
competence for communication and interaction whilst stimulating critical thinking and action in the
world. In order to illustrate this, I will turn to some recent work which realises new theory in practice
and combines the aims of language education and education for citizenship in the concept of
intercultural citizenship.

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