Introduction by Professor Debra Kelly, Language Acts and Worldmaking, Strand Co-Lead Language Transitions
Chair: Dr Cristina Ros i Solé
This theme debates whether current policies in Modern Language Education are fit for purpose. We start from the premise that we need a radical new and coherent scope for the field that not only reflects current social and demographic changes, but that also aspires to exert influence and bring about change in society. Languages are not merely an advantage for ‘business overseas’, ‘employment’, or for other instrumental purposes such as travelling or ‘understanding another culture’, but are also a fundamental intellectual endeavour that fosters the cultivation of the self and the promotion of a more responsible and solidary society. ‘Foreign’ languages are an essential element in a super-diverse and multilingual world where new cultural roles, stances and responsibilities are needed. Beyond the role of the intercultural brokers and mediators, there is the need to seek new goals for the language learner and for the language educator.
This is the first in a series of debates to be convened by the Language Transitions strand.
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