Project without external funding

Intercultural Learning and Teaching Online: An autobiographic and biographic approach towards raising cultural awareness

Project Details
Project duration: 01/200012/2007

As a result of the Europeanization and Globalisation people are confronted with an increasing cultural diversity. Furthermore, the availability of various forms of computer-mediated communication has added a new dimension to the ways people communicate across cultures. In consequence of this intercultural communication skills and media literacy are key competences in today?s society. At the age of five children begin to understand themselves as members of a particular ethnic group. This indicates special cognitive processes which lead to cognitive structures such as generalizations, simplifications and perception of familiar patterns and prototypes. Thus, cultural and ethnic identification of a child are natural processes which enable a child to understand and cope with its environment. However, it is important to make learners aware of these processes (cultural awareness) in order to prevent them from inappropriately projecting their own perceptions into a foreign culture. This project follows Schmidt?s model of the ABC?s of Cultural Understanding and Communication (1998; Schmidt & Finkbeiner, in print). This autobiographical and biographical approach is put into practice in several international dissertation projects with high school students, teacher students and in-service teachers. The whole projects as well as the PhD theses are founded upon empirical research on the processes and products of intercultural communication. The research on intercultural processes and products is based on the triangulation of data. The project is innovative in three ways: (1) It integrates everyday classroom life and teacher training. (2) The ABC?s model ? which so far has been implemented exclusively in face-to-face settings ? is adapted to online learning environments. (3) Until now the ABC?s model was solely used in monolingual settings and in this project it is adapted to the field of foreign language learning and teaching.



Last updated on 2017-11-07 at 14:55