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NZALT, 6 July 2010 Keynote address Teachers’ lives, loves and learning: intercultural language learning Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa Dr.

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Presentation on theme: "NZALT, 6 July 2010 Keynote address Teachers’ lives, loves and learning: intercultural language learning Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa Dr."— Presentation transcript:

1 NZALT, 6 July 2010 Keynote address Teachers’ lives, loves and learning: intercultural language learning Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa Dr Robyn Moloney Macquarie University Sydney, Australia

2 3 chapters Who is the self that teaches ? What new directions do we need ? Snapshots of practice: 5 teachers over 10 years, a process of change

3 1. Who is the self that teaches? (Parker Palmer, 1998) Life never becomes a habit to me. It’s always a marvel. (Katherine Mansfield) learning that unseats our assumptions, shows us something new about ourself and the other Robyn, the intercultural guru?

4 Robyn…an experience Travelled in Europe, Asia, but not WA Learnt 3 languages but no knowledge about Aboriginal languages

5 An awareness of self in relation to others.. I am an East coast, white, Australian, first lang English I have middle class values, house, education I expect to be treated well by justice, health I want to know about the bush, the Dreaming, kinship systems, Aboriginal languages…


7 Chapter 2: new directions, new skills? Teach about language and culture, as embedded,- communication in much more depth – critical observation of the language Be a partner learner, construct together critical thinking with students, assumptions, questions, ask different questions – critical observation of ourselves

8 The lynchpin in the journey teachers’ understanding of their own interculturality (relationships between first, second and other cultures and languages) is the most critical element in a teacher’s ability to facilitate intercultural development in students…we make the wheel turn

9 Do we have these skills? Are we ready for this change? 23 years ago… Do teachers possess enough meta-awareness of their own culture to have the ability to engage with their students in more than superficial comparisons across cultures? (Kramsch, 1987) A process of change…

10 self : not interested, becoming aware, asking questions task : experimenting, struggle with managing impact: fully involved, design learning, seek further challenge (CBAM)

11 Chapter 3. Process of change: 5 teachers, 10 years.

12 1999 Robyn – W. Armour’s study I think I need to be in Japan to realise that I am really western…I am the only person in the train that wears a loud parka and sits clumsily and has a shabby bag. I laugh more loudly than a Japanese woman. I think I am reasonably authentically myself even though I’m moderating that to some extent (Armour, 2001)

13 …you feel the need to understand behaviour and how your own behaviour can fit in better. Not to the point of mimicry or diverting from your own self but unconsciously you adapt..I think you feel an obligation …to expose yourself to experiences that help you understand better (Armour, 2004)

14 2004: Year 6 language teachers Sydney Japanese teacher Bettye : Australian, married to Japanese German teacher Anna: Swiss / German You just want to be like that (Moloney, 2008) Babel 42, 3, 10-18.

15 Shift perspective ? Anna - I’m somewhere in between… I shift continually… it’s not that fixed anymore. Bettye has developed, a more Japanese perspective and has learned to put on a different hat.

16 Anna I always give them the example of me saying ‘hairs’ for years, because of the German plural noun, and they laughed at me, Bettye I never pretend I know something, I just say, ‘No, don’t know’. I think she is a lot Japanese even though she’s not. I reckon she’s really good because she has learnt a lot of stuff, and she tries hard to be Japanese.. She tries more.(Grace)

17 Teachers intercultural skills shaped Incidental anecdotes in class Interaction with students L2 and English Design of tasks Questions and curiosity re differences in language/ culture Specific learning outcomes in students

18 2008: Rosalba and Irina Rosalba: Italian Australian Irina: Romanian, German, Spanish…

19 2008: Rosalba and Irina Year 7 and 8 classes, 1-2 years study Phase 3 Impact Explicit intercultural teaching- involves: Asking opinions, problem-solving in L2

20 secondo voi, la festa di Carnevale e una festa religiosa, pagane o commerciale? (in your opinion is Carnevale a religious, pagan or commercial festival?) Actively comparing in L2: what young Italians like to do at festivals cf. to young Australians (what are the Aust’n festivals?).

21 Ai Giovani italiani piacciono stare insieme e scambiare i regali per natale (Young Italians like being together and exchanging presents for Christmas)(Student 1) Ai giovani australiani piace fare un BBQ per la festa di Australia (Young Australians like having a BBQ on Australia Day)(Student 2) Ai giovani australiani piace assistere ad una marcia il giorno di ANZAC (Young Australians like to watch the march on ANZAC day) (Student 3) Rosalba:ANZAC e` una giornata emozionante (Anzac day is an emotional day)

22 Which is the most important Australian festival, and why? Per noi il giorno di Australia e` al primo posto perche` mangiamo dell’agnello (no. 1 is Australia Day, because we eat lamb) (Student 4) Il capodanno e` al primo posto per noi perche` ci sono dei fuochi d’artificio (no.1 is New Years Eve because there are fireworks) (Student 5)

23 Irina : Year 8 Spanish, a dinner party What do you notice? no one says “thankyou”. Student CG: … you don’t really need to say please and thank you as much in Spain. Like we say it almost unnecessarily … It was just kind of a habit for us to say it, but for them they only say it when it’s absolutely necessary, which is probably because then it’s more meaningful. The less you say it, the more significant it is.

24 little invisible “secrets” They are proud of knowing these little invisible “secrets” which open the door to the real Spain. It also makes them aware of the little invisible “secrets” that operate in Australian life too. (teacher, I. Braun, 2009) An intercultural communicator…

25 Irina elicits… Use of TL and English to express opinions, problem solve, identifying, analysing cultural difference, asking why? intercultural knowledge … concrete details of social etiquette, language behaviour in Speaking, listening, reading writing activities and assessments Measuring the learning?- assessment…

26 Irina – making it assessble… I measure intercultural learning, not so much by what language they are using, but sometimes by the language they are not using. not including “thankyou”, not translating an idea from English direct into Spanish. I am listening (or reading) for the use of idiom and “real” sounding Spanish, for attempting to include little typical scenarios… These little details represent a lot of knowledge, they make a big difference…. (Teacher, I. Braun, 2009)

27 Conclusion: “who is the self that teaches?” the teacher is the catalyst of any change. Palmer (1998, p.4) intercultural language learning is producing a process of change in language teachers today.

28 “we simply teach who we are. A wounded person teaches woundedness. A person in search of her freedom teaches others to search for their freedom.” (Sapp, 2001, p. 27). To get at the essence of intercultural learning, you have to BE an intercultural learner yourself, to model and convey it. Resources…

29 Our lives, loves and learning …. a central facilitating role in student intercultural language learning Remarkable intercultural language educators All the leaders we need are in this room.

30 Thankyou Kia hora te marinoMay peace be widespread Kia whakapapa pounamu te moana May the sea glisten like greenstone I mua i tō huarahi.Guide you on your way.

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