Reference : Language and intercultural education: an interview with Michael Byram
Scientific journals : Article
Arts & humanities : Languages & linguistics
Multilingualism and Intercultural Studies
Language and intercultural education: an interview with Michael Byram
Byram, Michael mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Education, Culture, Cognition and Society (ECCS) >]
Porto, Melina [School of Humanities and Sciences of Education, Institute of Research in the Social Sciences and the Humanities, National University of La Plata and CONICET, Buenos Aires, Argentina]
Pedagogies: An International Journal
[en] Michael Byram; intercultural education; (foreign) language education; criticality
[en] This article reports an interview with Michael Byram, Professor Emeritus, University
of Durham in the United Kingdom, during his visit to Argentina in September 2011.
Michael Byram is one of the main international referents in intercultural education.
The interview addresses issues such as language education, intercultural and citizenship
education, education in general, formal schooling, critical pedagogies, political
and economic factors involved in education, teacher education and research in education,
among others. Even though Byram specializes in foreign language education and
focuses upon language education in particular at certain moments in the interview, the
connection with other subjects in the school curriculum surfaces at all times, as does
the connection with general aspects of education, which are relevant to all the actors
involved in this field.
This interview is framed within current understandings of the cultural dimension of
language education and education in general. In order to introduce the reader to this
framework, the article first addresses the connection between language and culture in
a historical perspective, which makes Byram’s work relevant to all educators (not only
language educators). It goes on to provide an outline of Byram’s model of intercultural
competence for the description of cultural understanding. Topics of general interest
emerge such as the role of emotion, affect and imagination in education as well as the
interconnection among culture, language, imagination and literature – something that
Byram and his colleagues have put forth. The discussion is permeated by identity issues
which are involved in the learning and teaching of any language, and in the learning and
teaching, in a given language, of any discipline. The centrality of language in education
becomes manifest, and consequently the relevance of Byram’s work to all the actors
involved in education in one way or another. Throughout the political and ideological
dimensions of education are touched upon, along with a discussion of the pedagogical
implications of the various theoretical considerations addressed in the article

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