our words make worlds

2017/18 Debate 5: Interculturality and Creativity in Language Education

25 April 2018, 6–7.30pm, Language Resource Centre (Room K-1.072, first basement), strand Campus, King’s College London, WC2R 2LS 

Chair: Professor Catherine Boyle 

Contemporary approaches to language education agree that Intercultural Communication is an integral part of the getting to know and using of another language and culture. If the first formulations of Intercultural Communication (IC) applied to language education drew on anthropological traditions which highlighted the importance of understanding cultures through the study of day-to-day activities rather than a body of knowledge, more recent understandings propose to place the subjectivity and identity of the intercultralist centre stage. It is within this focus on the translation and transposition of the self in other languages and cultures that philosophical approaches have been gaining ground. These understandings have thrown light on the possibility of developing more personal, subversive and unexpected cultural formations that defy generic descriptions and prescriptive ways of understanding IC. This debate aims at tackling such challenges for language education and the ways in which it can promote an understanding of IC which are different from the teaching of a set of competences with its focus on cultural conflict and misunderstandings. Instead, it will discuss IC as a way to explore more positive, vital and creative IC assemblages. This new model of IC then sets out to explore a range of possibilities and avenues rather than a set path, whether this is in the field of translation, language learning or the moving through cultures more generally. 

This debate will consider the following motion: 

Can language pedagogy adopt an approach to Intercultural Communication that privileges less functional agendas in favour of more creative ones? 

Speakers: Professor Jane Fenoulhet (Emerita Professor of Dutch Studies, University College London), Dr. Inma Alvarez (EdD Programme Leader, Open University) 

Discussants: Donata Puntil (Programme Director, King’s College Modern Language Centre), Dr. Hongfen Zhou (Team Leader for Japanese, Korean, Mandarin and Bengali, Gujarati, Panjabi and Hindi, King's College Modern Language Centre)

A drinks reception will take place in the Language Resource Seminar Room (K-1.07.3, first basement) from 7:30–8pm


Read the papers from this debate here:

Professor Jane Fenoulhet

Download the poster for this debate here