In language teaching it is possible to identify a distinction between a cultural perspective and an intercultural perspective. A cultural perspective implies the development of knowledge about a culture, which remains external to the learner and is not intended to confront or transform the learner’s existing identity, practices, values, attitudes, beliefs, and worldview. An intercultural perspective implies the transformational engagement of the learner in the act of learning. The goal of learning is to decenter learners from their preexisting assumptions and practices and to develop an intercultural identity through engagement with an additional culture.  — Liddicoat & Scarino, 2013


The 6th annual Language Educator Symposium focuses on the development of intercultural competence within and through language education. Co-sponsored by Penn Language Center and the Educational Linguistics Division, this symposium offers language teachers a hands-on opportunity to explore what taking an intercultural perspective entails and how they might design classroom experiences that foster intercultural competence within themselves and their students. A keynote talk by Dr. Anthony J. Liddicoat, a renowned leader in the field of intercultural teaching and learning, will be followed by six interactive workshops that focus on specific classroom practices that support the development of intercultural competence. Workshop topics include: 

  • Staging, Supporting, and Evaluating Structured Reflection
  • Intercultural Communication through Scaffolded Critical Thinking Activities
  • Core Practices in Intercultural Teaching
  • Intercultural Magic: Unlocking the Potential of Museum Objects for Intercultural Teaching and Learning
  • What’s so funny?:  Using Humor to Develop Intercultural Competence
  • Citizen Sociolinguistics in the Language Classroom: What is it? Why do it?

The symposium will close with a panel discussion that brings all workshop leaders together with the participants and offers an opportunity to engage in a formal discussion of the promises and challenges of taking an intercultural approach to language education.


This event is eligible for Act 48 continuing education credits.


View the event flyer here.

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