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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education and Sport : Education

Postgraduate Course: Intercultural Language Learner Identity (EDUA11428)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education and Sport CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course aims to enable students to develop a critical understanding of the discourses of identities and interculturality as they are perceived in global societies in the 21st century. Taking into account cultural, social, political and economic conditions, the course focuses on how different identities are classified, constructed, negotiated, and performed in intercultural contexts across time and space. Particular attention will be paid to theoretical perspectives of intercultural language learner identities, methodological approaches and analytical frameworks. Students will be able to analyse how intercultural language learner identity is conceptualised in language education and its implication for their pedagogical practice. Students¿ identities (e.g. as learners and language educators) and experience in second language learning and teaching will be discussed through workshop activities. The course will investigate how language educators can facilitate creative collaboration to perform their identities within communities and support their role as full members of society. This requires a critical examination of the connections of language competencies to pedagogical practices, especially symbolic competence. Pedagogically, the discourses on intercultural language learner identities and competencies provide innovative educational and dialogic practices that draw on arts-based, technology, and social media approaches. Students will be able to examine how these three approaches reconstruct learning environments into inclusive spaces that recognise various languages, cultures, identities and forms of representation.
Course description Block 1:
This block outlines the theoretic foundations of intercultural language learner identity within a range of interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary approaches. Three main perspectives ¿ the psychological, sociocultural, critical realist, and poststructural ¿ on the conceptualisation of intercultural learner identities will be examined for points of intersection and difference. Students will critically examine the link between theory, methodology (e.g. social anthropology, ethnography, narrative and case study), and methods when analysing the intersectionality between identity and interculturality through reflecting on different type of data. Ethical dilemmas and challenges are addressed in relation to interculturality and language identities research, particularly issues such as global intercultural identities, inclusive language policy, civic responsibility and social justice. Learners will critique their influence as researchers in constructing representations of interculturality in their research or classroom discourse.

Block 2:
This second block discusses how intercultural language learner identity is a key construct in different second language learning contexts. The course will introduce the development of a theory of social identity in second language learning, mainly the ¿social turn¿. Students will examine the key constructs that arise in current discussions of identity before moving on to consider seven key perspectives on identity which, to varying degrees, have been present in theories and research on identity: race, ethnicity, nationality, migration, gender, social class and language. Students will study language and human mobility and complexity in the age of globalisation which have led to proposing certain forms of competencies: ¿intercultural communicative competence¿, ¿multidialectal competence¿ and ¿symbolic competence¿. Students will also evaluate their role as educators of language and intercultural and multilingual communication confronting increasingly complex challenges at the local-global fronts, resulting from border control, forced migration and displacement, war, diseases, policies and other forces that influence access to education, employment, security and sustainability.

Block 3:

This block focuses on innovative approaches to intercultural language learner identity in the new era. Firstly, the study of intercultural language identities and symbolic competence drawing on arts-based approaches ¿ going performative is explored. This perspective will be connected to professional practice and the use of art-based methods (e.g. filming, symbols and collage) to understand the other and break barriers. Secondly, in this block problematises the notions of ¿culture¿ and ¿interculturality¿ in the context of postmodernism and the nature of digital interactions and global mobility. Students will explore how the introduction of technology and online learning to language classrooms construct cultural experiences and digital selves. Thirdly, intercultural language learner identity and the possibilities of social media is introduced. Pedagogically, the study of intercultural identities in the digital media approach provides language educators with innovative educational and dialogic practices that draw on the affordances of social media and reconstruct language learning environments into more inclusive spaces.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2021/22, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  50
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 9, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 16, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 171 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Summative: Students are required to write a 3000-word essay (80% weight) and a presentation (20% weight). References are not included in the essay word count.

Formative: Feedback and feedforward from workshop group tasks, mock presentation, and blogs.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Analyse critically a wide range of key historical and theoretical approaches to identity, and interculturality and their limitations.
  2. Categorise and classify identities in diverse glocal contexts and related policies.
  3. Explore and critically examine research on intercultural language learner identity and second language research and related interdisciplinary fields.
  4. Select, describe and apply approaches to the analysis of language and intercultural identity and reflect on their limitations.
  5. Reflect critically on their intercultural identities, personal experiences, and professional practice in second language education and policy.
Reading List
Block, D. (2007). Second Language Identities. London: Bloomsbury.

Canagarajah, S. (2017). The Routledge Handbook of Migration and Language. New York and London: Routledge.

Clark, J. S. B. and Dervin, F. (Eds.). (2014). Reflexivity in Language and Intercultural Education. Rethinking Multilingualism and Intercultruality. New York: Routledge.

Creese, A. and Blackledge, A. (2018). The Routledge Handbook of Language and Superdiversity. An Interdisciplinary Perspective. London: Routledge.

Cummins, J. and Margaret, E. (2011). Identity Text: the collaborative power in multilingual schools. Trentham Books: Stoke-on-Trent, UK.

Dervin, F. and Risager, K. (Eds.). (2015). Researching Identity and Interculturality. New York: Routledge.

Jackson, J. (2020). The Routledge Handbook of Language and Intercultural Communication. London and New York: Routledge.

Preece, S. (Ed.). (2016). The Routledge Handbook of Language and Identity. Oxford: Routledge.

Sharofian, F. and Jamarani, M. (Eds.). (2013).
Language and Intercultural Communication in the New Era. New York: Routledge.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge and understanding: Students will develop their knowledge and critical understanding of concepts and theories relevant to intercultural language learner identity in glocal contexts.

Knowledge and understanding: Students will develop their knowledge and critical understanding of perspectives, methodologies and methods relevant to analysing and researching intercultural language learner identities.

Critical analysis: Students will demonstrate critical analysis of data relevant to intercultural language learner identity using appropriate methods.

Research and inquiry: Students will produce a critical case study on intercultural language learner identity by collecting spoken and written texts, artifacts, and examining real-life encounters. Students can create original texts (e.g. through interviewing a specific participant, recording classroom data, or real life conversation) or use secondary data. Students need to follow all ethical procedures required to obtain any sources of data.

Autonomy and accountability: Students will work on their own analysis of data and respond to question(s) about the connection of intercultural language learner identities to professional practice and policies in second language learning and teaching.

Communication and IT skills: Students will present their reflexive analysis of data in writing to a knowledgeable audience and readership using supporting textual, multimodal and semiotic data and discursive devices.

Evaluation: Students will build evaluation skills in presenting their analysis of the specific context, case study, and the data and implications.
KeywordsInterculturality,Identity,Language Learner and Teacher,competencies,pluriliteracies,paradigms
Course organiserDr Maryam Almohammad
Tel: (0131 6)51 6044
Course secretaryMiss Hanna Albrecht
Tel: (0131 6)51 6012
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