Conference theme: Intercultural Awareness and Addressing Global Issues: The Role of the Media in Conflict
Deadline for abstract submissions: May 19 (submit here)
Conference date: September 16 (Saturday)
Venue: Kanda University of International Studies
Participation fee: Free
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Visit the Conference section of this site for more information.
My ICLE Share #2: "Becoming a Better Intercultural Observer"
Presenter: Stephen M. Ryan
Saturday, July 2nd, 2022 (10:30am - 12:00pm)
This session is based on a series of activities designed to help students improve their observational skills. It is motivated by the thought that preparing students to encounter the cultural Other entails far more than giving them information about cultural differences and theories based on them. There are skills to be learned (observation is just one example) and attitudes to be formed.
The activities are designed to increase students’ awareness of the importance of being careful observers of their cultural context and to give them practical experience developing and using observation skills within the context in which they now live. By doing so, the students will (hopefully) learn to approach their intercultural experiences in a spirit of open enquiry, basing their interpretation of events around them on observational evidence rather than preconceived notions.
While originally designed to help students prepare to study abroad, these activities are in fact of value to anybody who takes an interest in the world around them and seeks to learn from it. Isn’t that we all want for our students?
In 2021, JALT ICLE started the Activity Initiative where we invite members to submit and share activities they use to promote intercultural communication and understanding with their students. In 2022, we invite you to join us to discuss some of these activities. These events will include two basic sections: a short discussion by the event submitter on how to use the event followed by a discussion time for all participants to talk about how the theme and how they could modify the activity for their students. In the first event of this style, we welcome Javier Salazar to talk about stereotypes and nationalities.
When: Saturday April 23, 2022 | 10:30am - 12:00
Where: Zoom → To receive the Zoom link, please pre-register here.
Topic: Stereotypes vs. Nationalities
Presenter: Javier Salazar
Discussant: Michael Boyce
Classroom activity overview: Stereotypes are part of human nature ... and this in spite of the fact that they are among the many root causes of social problems such as racism, discrimination, xenophobia and even wars. There is a vast body of research in social psychology that suggests that “cognitive biases” determine how we perceive others that are labeled as the “Other” due to their preferences, interests, affiliations, gender/sexual orientation, ethnicity or nationality. In this sense, although cognitive biases constitute an important mechanism for humans to make sense of their environment (and the people that inhabit it) they inevitably lead to the formation of stereotypes. Even more, these stereotypes tend to be largely unconscious; in the sense that humans are usually unaware of how their own biases shape their perceptions of the “Other”. When it comes to learning a foreign language (and ultimately communicating with the “Other” through it) stereotype awareness becomes an essential element of true intercultural communication. In this activity, students will be “tricked” into making explicit the stereotypes they may (or may not) have of people from other nationalities, as a means to eliciting stereotype awareness.
Thursday, November 19th, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM; Room 4
Context: College & University Education
Content area: Culture (CUL)
Delivery: Live (Zoom)
The world has been coming closer than ever, thereby, creating new communities based on diverse cultures. One of our roles as language teachers should be to build vibrant communities that are based on trust, and willingness to accept beliefs that are different than our own. Embracing this year's theme of "communities of teachers and learners", we discussed some practical ways adopted to reduce or eliminate any barriers that could have hindered a great learning experience.
Presenter(s): Valerie Hansford - Soka University; Eric Hagley - Hosei University
ICLE SIG Annual GENERAL meeting (AGM)
Thursday, November 19th, 7:15 PM - 8:00 PM; Room 4
Context: Non-teaching Context
Content area: Culture (CUL)
Format: SIG AGM
Delivery: Live (Zoom)
This is the Intercultural Communication in Language Education (ICLE) SIG's annual general meeting. We aim to promote discussion about various approaches to teaching intercultural communication in a foreign language classroom. At this meeting, we reported on our ongoing activities and discussed plans for future activities and publications.
Adopting this year’s conference theme, we discussed ways to encourage teacher efficacy and increase learner agency in the intercultural classroom. In this forum, the presenters (1) demonstrated how they have stimulated the learning process through intercultural language learning activities in their own teaching settings or (2) discussed the impact they believe they had on their students’ intercultural learning taking into considerations their own intercultural journeys.
Presenter(s): Benthien, Gaby - Shumei University; Ouma, Mei - Meisei University; Salazar, Javier - Kanda Institute of Foreign Languages
Bringing Culture into the Foreign Language Classroom
Culture permeates every single human act and is both a fascinating and daunting subject to bring into a foreign language classroom. Since the wide acceptance of the ‘language is indivisible from culture’ truism, foreign language teaching has faced the challenge of bringing this seemingly evident into the classroom. In this forum we look at the pedagogical considerations of deconstructing cultural phenomena in a way that can be practically taught to the language learner and how to tackle these challenges by introducing alternative ways to incorporate culture into the language classroom.
Cost: JII and JALT members: Free (Non-members may attend once for free)
‘Caught in the loop’: The engagement-resistance cycle in intercultural encounters
Description: There is no doubt that intercultural interactions can cause either engagement or/and resistance in any party involved. Shaules (2017: 69-70) explains that “an encounter with foreignness imposes adaptive demands on learners, which they respond to with more or less acceptance of change, which generates engagement and/or resistance.” In the hope that intercultural communication will be viewed in a more positive way, freshman students at a Japanese university were asked to participate in an online exchange over a period of eight weeks. This exchange offered them the opportunity to connect with English learners from other countries via Internet using English as a lingua franca. The results of pre- and post-questionnaires administered to all Japanese students participating in the exchange, along with the data collected from seven follow-up interviews indicate students’ engagement, as in an overall more positive image towards intercultural communication. On the other hand, some students appeared to be caught in an engagement-resistance loop, showing both engagement and resistance towards this type of interaction either due to anxiety towards foreignness or intolerance to unpredictability and their own lack of communication skills. Participants will be encouraged to share their own experiences and analyze them from an engagement-resistance cycle point of view.
Facilitator Bio: Roxana Sandu (PhD, Tohoku University, Japan) is currently an assistant professor of English at University of Tsukuba. Her main publications are in the field of pragmatics and discourse analysis, but recently her research interests also include raising intercultural awareness in an EFL setting, as well as teaching 21st century skills, such as critical thinking, communication and collaboration.