Bridging the Gap Between Language and Culture: Developing a Culturally Responsive Pedagogy
This KA2 project aims to promote the integration of culture in the second/foreign language (L2) classroom through a culturally responsive pedagogy. The primary motivation for this project lies in the shift of the cultural, political, ecological, economic and technological realities and boundaries that has transformed the twenty-first century world into a global and heterogenous village. In this global and heterogenous village, people confront communicative challenges or breakdowns due to their diverse social, cultural, and language backgrounds. They experience affective, cognitive, and behavioral challenges or breakdowns when communicating social and cultural meanings through a given language. Therefore, the need to integrate culture in the language classroom has received increased attention in recent decades. As a response to this need, the Council of European Union, the Council of Europe, and European Commission have issued several policy documents that highlight the importance of intercultural education for social cohesion and intercultural dialogue. Of these policy documents, the Common European Framework of References for Languages (CEFR) identifies intercultural education as a fundamental component of language teaching and learning to foster learners’ intercultural competence for effective and appropriate operation in different parts of the world.
Based on this overall rationale, this project will continue over a period of two years with different transnational meetings, multiplier events, and disseminations activities. It includes six basic stages during which different and yet related activities will take place. In the first stage, there will be an online seminar to introduce the project and recruit pre-service and in-service English language teachers for the project. In the second stage, the recruited teachers will receive a series of webinars based on a module developed by the project team. Each webinar will focus on a particular culture theme, facilitate hands-on practices for the teachers, and be offered by well-known scholars in the field of language and culture. In the third stage, each partner will hold a workshop to bring the project team and teachers together and enable further hands-on practices for the teachers. In the fourth stage, the in-service and pre-service teachers will be paired to teach language and culture in their classroom through a culturally responsive pedagogy or culturally-based approach. In the fifth stage, a grant meeting and conference will be held both to disseminate the project and provide opportunity for other people to share studies. In the six and final stage, the project team will cooperate with the pre-service and in-service teachers to publish papers on outcomes of the projects. Each stage will be led by a different partner, but all the others will play active roles in each stage. This will enable easy and effective navigation and operation throughout the project. The potential outcomes of the project include developing a culturally responsive or theme-based approach to language teaching, a module to teach culture in the language classroom, a virtual resource center with various tasks and lesson plans, different rubrics and surveys, and a booklet including tasks and lesson plans for language teachers.