Fukuoka JALT:

Developing intercultural communicative competence through intercultural mediation: Questioning the aims of foreign language education

Date: Saturday, September 24th, 2011 Time: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Speaker: Stephanie Houghton

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR, published ten years ago) has been influential not only in Europe, but also in East Asia and the Americas. However, because of a reduced interpretation and a focus on assessment, the discussion of foreign language teaching methodology and purposes tends to be overlooked, and the concepts of intercultural competence and mediation tend to be ignored (Byram, 2011).

This 2-hour workshop will be split into 3 parts. Firstly, the historical shift in emphasis from communicative competence to intercultural communicative competence (ICC) will be explored by reviewing the influence of Byram and Zarate's ICC model upon the CEFR, before contrasting this with Byram's (1997) ICC model to define and illustrate key concepts. Then, an overview of a case study based on action research conducted at a Japanese university (Houghton, 2007; 2009; forthcoming) will be presented to bring issues related to methodology and purposes into sharper focus, focusing specifically upon the management of value judgment in foreign language education. Data will be presented to illustrate how intercultural competence and mediation can 'look' in student work, and to question how such abilities could and should be assessed by the teacher.

Secondly, workshop participants will be asked to assess selected pieces of data in the light of the original theoretically-driven learning objectives applied in the study. Through group and plenary discussion, the aims of foreign language will be brought into question, referring to both theory and practice.

Finally, a research agenda will be set by highlighting key areas that urgently need to be addressed in this dynamic and exciting field. You can find info here.

Organization: Fukuoka Chapter of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (Fukuoka JALT)

Cost: JALT Members: free
Non-members: 1000 yen

Venue: Seinan Gakuen Community Center, Nishijin (map)

Location: Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan


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Contact Fukuoka JALT

Website: www.fukuokajalt.org

Trevor Holster
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