Reviving the 'moments': from cultural awareness and cross-cultural mediation to critical intercultural language pedagogy

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Abstract

In the field of modern language education, the discourse of intercultural communication has experienced three ‘moments’: cultural awareness, cross‐cultural mediation, and critical intercultural language pedagogy. The first refers to the equation between culture and country. The second concerns the development of intercultural competence through acts of tolerance while the third aims to enable a more promising sense of agency within wider political contexts. Despite progression to the third ‘moment’, many intercultural theorists are sceptical of the shifting nature of this discourse. Drawing from cultural and intercultural theory, this paper challenges the first two ‘moments’ through discussion of the notions of imagined communities and communities of shared meanings. It argues in favour of critical intercultural language pedagogy by proposing that the latter be informed from the Habermasian Theory of Communicative Action where acquisition of knowledge depends on the meeting of the Self with the Other.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-39
JournalPedagogy, Culture and Society
Volume19
Issue number1
Early online date23 Mar 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • intercultural communication
  • cultural awareness
  • cross-cultural mediation
  • critical intercultural language
  • pedagogy
  • theory of communicative action

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