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Modern Languages: Learning and Teaching in an Intercultural Field

by A Phipps and M Gonzalez SAGE Publications Ltd
Pub Date:
Pbk 208 pages
AU$92.00 NZ$94.78
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This accessible book aims to challenge and stimulate all those engaged with teaching modern languages in higher education. It is not a `how to' book; rather it engages with the complex, often paradoxical position of modern languages today, and offers arguments for, and illustrations of the ways in which teachers of modern languages can position themselves critically in that rapidly changing context. It works with the concepts of languaging and being intercultural, which arise from a rigorous examination of research findings, a challenging critique of current models of work within the discipline and a reflection on existing teaching practices.

Beginning with an examination of the 'crisis' in modern languages in the U.K. and North America, the authors draw on data and descriptions of learning experiences in the field and position themselves critically within the debates. Key problems for teachers and learners are identified and elaborated through examples of critical incidents which point to generic as well as specific issues and solutions in teaching languages in higher education.

The Politics of Languages Signs of Belonging Culture in Pieces Culture and beyond Languaging Matters Languaging in Time and Place Being There Resonant Reading Living in Translated Worlds Being Intercultural

"The qualities of languaging evident in the volume are remarkable. The format of the book is unique in that the exposition of theoretical stances and comment thereon is interspersed with a variety of narratives in which the principles outlined are brought to life with reference to particular experiences."
My research interests focus on languages and intercultural studies, with a particular critical concern for the different ways in which people learn to live and communicate together by stepping outside comfortable or familiar contexts. My work is interdisciplinary and draws on the resources of social and cultural anthropology, theatre and cultural studies, theology, law, modern languages and education. My Ph.D. research and ethnographic training focused on open air community theatre in Germany. I have continued ethnographic work among tourists, modern language students, adult learners of tourist languages, in conflict zones and among sanctuary and asylum seekers, refugees and befrienders. At present I am developing research on languages and intercultural advocacy with asylum seekers and refugees; and through intercultural workshops on education for peace and non-violence with a growing focus on constructions of faith and on the contribution of theological perspectives. I am a published poet and bring poetic approaches to bear on much of my work.I was voted 'Best College Teacher' by students and awarded the Student representative Council's first Prize for Excellent Teaching in 2011. In the same year I was given a 'Teaching Excellence Award' for a career distinguished by a commitment to significant and sustained excellence at the University of Glasgow. In 2012 I was awarded an OBE for services to Education, and Intercultural and Interreligious Relations in the Queen's Birthday Honours. Click here for a full biographyTogether with Rebecca Kay I co-convene the Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network, a knowledge exchange research network based at the University of Glasgow.