07 SES 11 A JS, Curriculum Spaces and Strategies for Social Change through Education
Symposium Joint Session NW 03 with NW 07 and NW 23
It is well established that the benefits of being bi/multi-lingual includes personal, cognitive and economic benefits (CBI 2009; HMIe 2010). Importantly, knowledge of another language can contribute to understanding different cultural practices and diverse cultural perspectives. It can also contribute to the development of attitudes of inclusivity, respect and tolerance for cultural difference.“Language learning is a powerful tool for building tolerant, peaceful and inclusive multicultural societies. The experience of learning a new language helps to develop openness to other cultures and acceptance of different ways of life and beliefs" (Davis 2004). Language learning is also believed to contribute to the development of global citizenship, a contentious concept for which there is a multitude of definitions, both popular and academic. Cook describes the ideal global citizen as someone who “reflects on their complicity in global power relations, considers their responsibilities to those who are disadvantaged by current global arrangements, and who actively resists perpetuating them so that Othered groups can actively exist in a more just social reality” (2014 p. 125). In this paper we focus on the potential of language education in Scotland to contribute to the development of global citizens as agents of social change. Scotland, like the rest of the UK and other Anglophone nations in general, has struggled to establish foreign languages study as high profile and only a minority of the population is bi/multilingual (Worton, 2009; Scottish Government Languages Working Group, 2012). The Scottish Government, recognising the need for multilingual citizens has recently introduced an ambitious new model of language teaching in schools based on the mother tongue + 2 additional languages model adopted in many countries (Scottish Government Languages Working Group, 2012). This new framework has major implications for pedagogy, curriculum, teacher recruitment, teacher education and teacher support. Drawing on literature about global citizenship and language learning we analyse and critique this curriculum innovation in terms of its potential to contribute to the development of multilingual global citizens who understand their potential to be agents of social change.
CBI (2009) Stronger together: What business wants from higher education. Cook, N. (2014). ‘I’m here to help’. Development workers, the politics of benevolence and critical literacy. In V. de Oliveira Andreotti, & L.M. de Souza (Eds.). Postcolonial Perspectives on Global Citizenship Education, New York: Routledge. Davis, T. (2004) Speech to mark the 2004 European Day of Languages http://www.languageswithoutlimits.co.uk/languagesplus.html (accessed 28/01/15) HMIE (2010) Learning Together: International education: responsible, global citizens. Livingston, Scotland: HM Inspectorate of Education. ttps://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/Images/Learningtogetherinternationaleducation 26Jan10_tcm4-711319.pdf Scottish Government Languages Working Group (2012) Language Learning in Scotland. A 1+2 Approach Report and Recommendations, Worton, M. (2009) Review of Modern Foreign Languages provision in higher education in England. London: HEFCE.
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