Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 16

Accepted Abstracts

Let’s Celebrate Diversity! An Opportunity to Foster Cultural Awareness and Plurilingualism

Elena Martí Alonso, American School of Valencia (Spain)


World language teachers share the challenge to promote linguistic and cultural literacy while developing an open-minded perspective to help reflect on the similarities and differences between cultures and respect for other people’s ways of life. Diversity has become a fact in one’s daily life, and our classes often represent this reality. Therefore, educators play a key role in taking advantage of this situation to expose students to a better understanding and acceptance of this increasingly multilingual and multicultural world. There’s an imperative need to create opportunities to experience intercultural awareness among students, to bring them out of their routine in order to meet new people from different backgrounds and to be exposed to new cultures. Nowadays, technology allows multiple ways of interaction and collaboration with schools all around the world and it represents a chance to enjoy and learn about diversity. The purpose of this article is to analyze the experience and results of an eTwinning project where High School students from seven different countries had the opportunity to share their mother tongue(s) beyond the walls of their schools or houses (due to Covid-19). The aim of this project was to celebrate cultural and linguistic diversity, the differences that enrich us, the
similarities that bring us together and the importance of learning languages. Students were asked to use a number of technology tools to share and interact about their mother language(s) and culture(s) through different activities and finally, in mixed groups, work together in a creative project of their choice with the purpose of encouraging young people to learn languages. The creativity and quality of the final projects made and presented by students and the excellent feedback from students and
teachers showed, once again,that collaborative and interdisciplinary projects are valuable tools to work on skills such as open-mindedness, critical thinking, cooperation, social skills and, above all, to experience alterity while showing acceptance and respect, which are fundamental for efficient communication.
Keywords: collaborative projects, engagement, diversity, intercultural awareness, technology.

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