Intercultural understanding and professional learning through critical engagement
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Intercultural understanding (IU) is one of the seven General Capabilities identified by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) in the national curricular reform underway. Conceiving languages education as 'an endeavour focused on the development of intercultural understanding' (Liddicoat & Kholer, 2012, p. 73), requires teachers to identify and challenge their own beliefs and conceptualisations of the very nature of their task as educators. This paper presents the outcomes of a small-scale Professional Development program designed to help languages teachers engage with this re-envisioned task. The program aimed to provide an opportunity for teachers - in primary and secondary language classrooms - to critically explore the links between language and culture and how these can be translated into classroom practices to foster learners' IU. This paper examines the insights yielded by this program and considers them in relation to the field of languages education and teachers' professional learning. In addition, it also identifies the main implications for current policies supporting the development of IU.
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Language Studies not elsewhere classified
Language, Communication and Culture not elsewhere classified