Professor in the University of Durham
The Role of ELT in Intercultural Education
Europe is, I would argue, a real-world example of what globalisation and internationalisation might – perhaps ought – to lead to on a larger scale. It is a ‘globalised’ economic space but also an ‘internationalised’ and democratic space for Europeans living together.
There are nonetheless problems since identification with national or ethnic group remains a strong part many Europeans’ ways of seeing themselves and others, and this leads to mutual suspicion or worse. There is therefore a need to develop intercultural education – and intercultural and democratic competences in learners – which provides a foundation for living together.
The Council of Europe is working on a ‘framework’ for intercultural and democratic education which I will explain briefly in order to discuss what role there is for language teaching in all of this development. For Europe is also a multilingual and multicultural space, a factor which brings its own tensions and needs for analysis and developments.