Málfríður - 15.03.2005, Blaðsíða 29

Málfríður - 15.03.2005, Blaðsíða 29
MÁLFRÍÐUR 29 us to be able to successfully interact with people with other languages and cultures. In fact, that is what language education is all about: making languages a means of open communication, and providing access to people from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. With this understanding, we see that the slogan from the European Year of Languages – LANGUAGES OPEN DOORS – can become a real- ity in the future. References Cortazzi, M. and L. Jin. 1996. ‘Cultures of learning: language class- rooms in China’ in Coleman, H. (ed.): Society and the Language Classroom. Cambridge University Press. Foreign Language Teaching in Schools in Europe. Eurydice, The Information Network on Education in Europe, 2001. Heyworth, F. 2003. ‘Introduction – A new paradigm for language education’ in Facing the Future – Language Educators across Europe. European Centre for Modern Languages, Council of Europe Publishing. Tinsley, T. 2003. ‘Language policies for a multicultural society’ in Facing the Future – Language Educators across Europe. European Centre for Modern Languages, Council of Europe Publishing. A new paradigm for language teaching Old model New model • Focus on nation-state and national language as source of identity • Emphasis on European citizenship and the plurilingual individual • Multilingualism is a problem for society • Multilingualism enriches society • Assumes learners start from monolingual base • Takes into account diverse language experiences outside the classroom as a basis for continued learning • Bilingualism and diverse cultural back- grounds ‘silenced’ • Bilingualism and diverse cultural back- grounds celebrated • Bilingual children’s education is seen as problematic – focus is on developing national language • Bilingualism welcomed – focus on developing ability in mother tongue as well as other languages • Speakers of other languages are ‘foreign’ • Speaking another language is the norm • Learning another language is difficult • Learning another language is the norm • Near-native speaker competence is the ultimate goal • Even low levels of competence are valuable and add to communicative repertoire – to be built on throughout life • Language teaching focuses mainly on linguistic goals. Cultural element tends to be weak, or focused solely on ‘high’ culture. Static view of culture • Language teaching has strong cultural element and includes intercultural awareness. Dynamic view of culture • Language learning focuses narrowly on one language at a time • Language learning focuses on links between languages, and on developing language awareness • Language learning tends to be elitist and problematic for the majority • Language learning can be successful for everyone (Tinsley, 2003)



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