Film, culture and identity: Critical intercultural literacies for the language classroom

  • Pegrum M
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Language teaching in the last 10-15 years has seen a shift away from the communicative approach and towards the paradigm of intercultural (communicative) competence. It has also been influenced by a broader educational shift away from an emphasis on print literacy and towards multiliteracies. At the same time, we have witnessed the rise of interrelated sociocultural and critical discourses which have made their presence felt, somewhat belatedly, in the areas of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and Modern Foreign Languages (MFL). Film is an ideal medium through which to exploit the tools offered by sociocultural and critical discourses for the exploration of visual literacy and intercultural perspectives. Such exploration, it is suggested, should take place with full awareness of the transformational power of language learning which can, on the one hand, stimulate students' exploration of their own identities and, on the other, help prepare them for global citizenship. The model of intercultural literacies proposed here seeks to tie together these strands of possibility and serve as a practical guide for the pedagogical use of films in language courses. It is, more broadly, applicable to the use of any nontraditional literacies in developing students' intercultural competence.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Citizenship
  • Film
  • Intercultural competence
  • Literacy
  • Multiliteracies
  • Transformation

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  • Mark Pegrum

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