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Modules on Intercultural Education 5 Modules Structure Module 1 Introducing the concept Intercultural Education An Intercultural Selection of Books

Module 2

Module 3

Problems of intercultural communication An Intercultural reading club session

Module 4

Module 5

The role of mentor of an intercultural reading club

Module 1 Introducing the Concept Intercultural Education Aims & Objectives to understand the implications of the concept intercultural education in relation to reading clubs to understand own role as citizen who promotes a fairer and more humane society. to defend equal opportunities to consider human diversity in ethnic, racial, social and religious terms as a source for cultural enrichment To understand own role as citizen who promotes a fairer and more humane society. to defend equal opportunities to consider human diversity in ethnic, racial, social and religious as a source for cultural enrichment To learn to develop positive, productive responses to the diverse populations in own community. Main ideas Cardoso (1998: 13-14) defines intercultural education as a series of attempts to engage with diverse cultures and lifestyles showing respect. Intercultural education should promote understanding and respect for other people and cultures, fight racism and xenophobia, and promote equal opportunities for all.

European countries are characterised by diversity despite efforts to produce an idea of Europeaness. Europe is multicultural and multilinguistic and therefore interculturality in Europe has to imply openness to plurality of values, religions, beliefs and ways of life. The main role of intercultural reading clubs is to promote tolerance, dialogue and respect for other cultures. Practical activities (part one) Sit participants in a circle to explore the concept with them. This can be done in two alternative ways: Write the word Intercultural on the blackboard and brainstorm with participants on all the notions they associate to it. OR: Collect definitions of intercultural education, put them in a bag and let everybody (or in pairs) take one definition, present it to the group and expand on it.

Materials: 1 Definitions of intercultural education 1. Intercultural education engages with diverse cultures and lifestyles showing respect for them. 2. Intercultural education develops transcultural understanding. 3. Intercultural education is about examining differences in cultures and peoples. 4. Intercultural education is about uncovering stereotypes and the semantic contents of simplified judgements. 5. Intercultural education implies the realisation that the others are different from ourselves and that they make us re-analyse our own system of values. 6. Intercultural education requires a new attitude in relation to the other and to ourselves. 7. Intercultural education challenges the inherently dominant modes of doing things and thinking about them. 8. Intercultural education is about stimulating the understanding for otherness. 9. Interculturality admits the mutual influencing of cultures and deals with conflicts among cultures or with their solution. 10. Interculturality recognises that cultures are open one to another and mutually interdependent. 11. Intercultural education requires that we give attention to books from different cultures in order to reduce prejudice and to develop analytical and critical thinking.

Practical activities (part two) Once the definition of intercultural education is understood, link the role of reading clubs to intercultural education. Use a brainstorming technique to get as many suggestions as you can to the following question: How can reading clubs activities promote intercultural education? Materials: Here are some examples; Join a European network of reading clubs and exchange experiences and notes. Address reading materials from diverse cultures Promote readings in foreign languages

Activities (part three) Agree with participants on what should be valued as intercultural education (you can also have a list ready and let them choose from it) Materials: A possible list of criteria: Books that describe other places and other cultures Books that deal with topics of racial and ethnical problems Books that address issues of equal rights Books that highlight the experience of being different Books that use surprising points of view Books about refugees and immigrants

Module 2 An Intercultural Selection of Books Type of session: lecture Aim & Objectives To select books that may be used for intercultural education To approach cultural diversity To understand how to use reading for intercultural education To define criteria for the selection of books Main Ideas Intercultural reading clubs should: Be used for learning about other cultures and ways of life Promote the growth of the learning of foreign languages. Propose the following topics in debates: democracy, humanism, human rights, freedom, cultural heritage. Educate against inequalities, injustice, racism, stereotyping and prejudice. Literature is an expressive and imaginative form that contributes to knowledge. Everybody edits his or her own reality through a set way of thinking which may be influenced by literature, stories, and myths. National literatures are a cluster of ideas, associations and strong identifications that aim to separate us from others and that are extremely difficult to change. Analysis: If we agree that literature offers and encourages a continuing scrutiny of who we think we are, than reading for intercultural education should Create attitudes about the world and life itself Develop different stances from which to view and interpret reality Test a reliable set of beliefs Negotiate the observable world, the stories and the cultures of people Open possibilities of conflict and contradiction Debating books Discussions in reading clubs need to be oriented towards: discrimination critique appreciation clarification response to alternative realities learning of different ways of doing things understanding the language we use about ourselves development of powers of analogy encouragement of interconnectedness

How do you respond? Form groups and discuss the issues below. These are issues that concern criteria for choosing books: *intercultural reading clubs should reflect in their choices of books the multicultural societies we live in. Cultures clash. Cultures may clash in one and the same person. *Translation of texts becomes intercultural. Intercultural reading clubs need to engage with translated books that originate outside their country. *Intercultural reading clubs need to include books that present a cultural context that is unfamiliar. Books have to take readers on journeys of the mind and of the imagination. Activity 1 Here is a list of criteria for choosing books for intercultural reading clubs. Use a scale 1 2 3 4 5 (1 for not important and 5 for very important) Rate each statement. Then get together in groups and analyse those statements that the group rated 4 or 5. Present them to the rest of the group and explain why you consider them important. Criteria The work of migrating authors because they combine elements of two or more cultures and their meeting points into an artistic whole. Works from different genres and in translation to bring in different perspectives. Works that have different settings and represent may diverse aspects of life. Works that expose controversial topics and challenge preconceived views and stereotypes Works that enable the exploration of cultural-specific issues such as biased views, prejudice, stereotyping, interconnectedness, and human rights.

Module 3 Problems of intercultural communication Type of session: lecture Aim & Objectives To point out problems that may arise in reading clubs, which concern intercultural communication To analyse own feelings in relation to issues of ethnic and cultural difference To develop positive expectations in relation to ethnic, cultural, social and linguistic specificities. To make sure that people understand the limits of a preconception - free environment Main problems & Tips In the context of using intercultural texts and promoting interculturality some problems may arise. Not all topics are suitable to all groups, some may even reject some controversial, religious, political or sexual topics. TIP1: Tread carefully and have an open-ended discussion in your reading group about the things you like / do not like to read about. Try to avoid books about religion, politics or sex if they prove embarrassing. TIP2: Be clear about what made you want to read a certain book and why you suggested it to the group. Be prepared to discuss it in intercultural terms. 1. It is not always easy to generate discussions around a book that bring out intercultural issues in the open. TIP1: Take a stance that's different from the consensus of the group and force the members of your group to defend their opinions of the book. TIP2: Go through the book, chapter by chapter, pointing out scenes or passages that were especially touching/memorable/interesting to you in intercultural terms, and then asking the group what their reaction to these selections are. 3. An intercultural focus requires that discussions around a book are genuinely enriching for participants. TIP1: It is especially important to allow time for genuine exchange of views and to encourage debate. TIP2: Encourage members to ask questions directly to other members, stimulating exchange between them 4. It is not always easy to centre discussions around cultural issues. TIP1: Encourage members of the reading club to note points of similarity with own culture and, also, difference. Its important to give club members time to debate/discuss the differences, and outline own views. TIP2: Request members to chose parts of the text that they consider culturally relevant and to present them to other members.

TIP3:Ask each member to consider key cultural issues or questions. 5. It is known that people tend to look at Europe from the national and local perspective and tend to prefer the local cultures and stories because they are closer to daily experiences and history. TIP1: The notion of a European cultural identity is non-existent and difficult to conceive in mental terms, though politically guaranteed and circulated: call attention to the fact that there are European passports, license plates and a flag. 6. It is not only easy to develop an awareness of belonging to a wider and complex multicultural system. TIP1: Encourage reactions of glad acceptance of cultural bricolage the ready integration of stories in creative ways into peoples lives, but be ready also of some local and national cultural upsurges.

Module 4 An Intercultural reading club session Aim & Objectives To give examples of successful reading club sessions where the intercultural dimension is integrated Avoid unintentional cultural or ethnic slights Understand how historical distrust affects present-day interactions Accept that each culture finds some values and behaviours more important than others Activities (part one) Selected books may be used to: Clarify certain central convictions Explore socio-cultural norms, attitudes and values Know more about the history of Europe Talk about a range of common problems across cultures Understand how knowledge in human societies comes to be socially established as Clarify certain central convictions Explore socio-cultural norms, attitudes and values Know more about the history of Europe Talk about a range of common problems across cultures Understand how knowledge in human societies comes to be socially established as reality. Materials The story to be explored is Joseph Conrads The Inn of the Two Witches WHY? Its a mystery story of an encounter of cultures: The English go to land in Spain; On land there are three different opposing cultural groups: village people, rebels and witches. The readers literary expectations become a culture in the sense of a cultural code to unlock what happens. Its a tale by an author experienced in crossing cultures. Joseph Conrad was born in Poland but ended up writing in English and acquiring British citizenship in his thirties. His career in the navy reflects an intercultural awareness i.e. knowledge about the socio-cultural norms, attitudes and values of many cultures throughout the world. The time and space frames of the short story allow for: Historical knowledge about the French Invasions to be reviewed; A characterisation of the environmental and human geography of a Spanish rural

community; A concentration on actions & relationships of power through mystery that is common in many societies. Exploration of conventions of the mystery story in a playful way.

Activities (part two): A game Conrads story plays with the readers expectations and involves the reader in the story by asking questions. The questions reinforce the uncertainty with which the narrative of the Inn of the Two Witches is introduced by the narrator who found a manuscript. Answering questions allows readers to learn about the structure of the story and to reflect on their own cultural codes as readers of mystery as well as on the cultural logic of the author. The Inn of the Two Witches Joseph Conrad The Mysteries In the dark night he sensed rather than saw something massive in front of him. What could it be? The foot of a hill? A house? Could those scarecrows be that mans aunt? Would they be the ones that had a deal with the devil? Which was Lucille? Which was Hermione? He asked them, Who is it? Why had the witches fought over which room he should sleep in? What did that girls long stare mean, as if she had wanted to memorise his face forever? He examined the doors lock. No one could surprise him through it while he slept. Even being certain of that, would it be possible for him to sleep? He was convinced that nothing would interrupt him except for Toms voice. He had heard his voice already twice. How strange! However, come to think of it, why was it strange? Was it unnatural to think he heard his friends voice when he had had him on his mind for over thirty hours? Disappear. What did it mean to disappear? It said, Mr Burne open your eyes wide!. It was a warning. But against what? Suddenly he had a feeling that there was someone in the room. He turned quickly. Who could have been there? Wouldnt it be better if I lay down and tried to sleep? he asked himself. His eyes stopped at the wardrobe. He walked to it maddened by an idea but unable to set it apart. How would he explain to the two old women what he was about to do? How had they killed him? Who had killed him? How? Why dont you warn me about what I should fear, Tom? Why dont you? But why? How can it be explained? Burne exclaimed, what reason did they have to wish me dead? Burne did not ask further questions.

Conclusion This game uses a notion of culture that highlights it as what people need to make sense of the society around them and to be able to operate in a way that is acceptable to its members.

Module 5 The role of mentor of an intercultural reading club Aim & Objectives To define the mentors role To encourage dialogue from all participants To review the book carefully for specific discussion topics To define basic ground rules Main ideas Mentoring or leading a reading group is not a straightforward activity: it needs to be planned as to how to reach people, how to define a reading list, how to pedagogically and didactically approach books and reading materials. Activities (Part one) Make a list of ground rules and distribute a copy to each group. Groups discuss the rules they agree with, disagree with and would like to change. Groups present results. The plenary adds more rules if necessary. Basic rules Be confident to express own opinions Listen to and respect others points of view and opinions

Be critical when you present an argument Develop cooperation and conflict resolution techniques Trust your own creativity. Develop democratic modes of debating Be open to change and challenge

Activities (Part two) Discuss the competences of the mentor in the context of intercultural education. Distribute strips of paper and ask groups to build a pyramid of priorities. Pyramids are copied to the board and discussed in the plenary. Strips Competence to communicate cross-culturally

Knowledge of foreign languages Socio-cultural competence about foreign contexts Cultural knowledge of the reading club community Contextual knowledge of the work to be read

Knowledge of the world

Actions that matter Discussions in small groups over controversial issues Evaluation of information sources Allowing for interaction with one another in the reading group Promoting experiential involvement with the reading Promoting open mindedness and tolerance of difference Activities of intercultural mentors also include: Contacts with other European reading groups Setting up communication channels with reading groups of other cultures (eg. A website) Organising international and national reading group meetings Encouraging the learning of foreign languages and cultures through the setting side by side of the text in the original language and in translation. Preparing exhibitions about foreign authors read in the reading club highlighting the interconnectedness with own culture.