Semester: Wintersemester 2017/2018

3.02.200 S Crossing Language and Cultural Borders: Plurilingualism and Pluriculturalism


  • Dienstag: 12:00 - 14:00, wöchentlich


Research conducted in the field of bilingualism shows that speakers of multiple languages often show the tendency to blur the boundaries between the different linguistic and cultural codes that are available to them. Their communicative practice can be described as “hybrid language use”, which is a “systematic, strategic, affiliative and sense-making process” (Gutierrez, Baquedano-Lopez & Alvarez, 2001: 128). Multilingual speakers “translanguage” to include and facilitate communication with others and, at the same time, to make sense of their linguistically and culturally complex environment. Such practices of multilingual speakers can also inform actions and decisions taken in institutionalized educational settings, which strive to be inclusive and embrace the cultural and linguistic diversity of their learners. This has been visible, on the one hand, in the Council of Europe’s plurilingual/pluricultural approach to language learning, which emphasizes the fact that “as an individual person’s experience of language in its cultural contexts expands, from the language of the home to that of society at large and then to the languages of other peoples (whether learnt at school or college, or by direct experience), he or she does not keep these languages and cultures in strictly separated mental compartments, but rather builds up a communicative competence to which all knowledge and experience of language contributes and in which languages interrelate and interact” (CEFR, 2001: 4). On the other hand, this logic has not received widespread acceptance on the level of local/national curricula or classroom materials, which largely promote the idea of functional monolingualism and intercultural (as opposed to trans- or pluricultural) competence.

Upon completion of this course students will have:
• Described and discussed research findings in the field of bilingualism relevant for the area of foreign language teaching
• Discussed, reflected on and operationalized the notion of plurilingual and pluricultural competences
• Analyzed various ways of including multiple languages in the EFL instruction and the associated challenges as well as advantages
• Discussed the notion of standards and norms from the point of view of teaching English as Lingua franca
• Analyze the practicability and effectiveness of various media types and teaching formats applied in the primary classroom
• Develop and evaluate teaching activities that embrace the pluricultural/plurilingual approach
• Develop a research proposal dealing with the topic of pluriculturalism and plurilingualism



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