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NZALT, 6 July 2010 Keynote address Teachers’ lives, loves and learning: intercultural language learning Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa Dr Robyn Moloney Macquarie University Sydney, Australia
teachers’ understanding of their own interculturality (relationships between first, second and other cultures and languages) is the most critical element in a teacher’s ability to facilitate intercultural development in students…we make the wheel turn
Do we have these skills? Are we ready for this change?
23 years ago…
Do teachers possess enough meta-awareness of their own culture to have the ability to engage with their students in more than superficial comparisons across cultures? (Kramsch, 1987)
I think I need to be in Japan to realise that I am really western…I am the only person in the train that wears a loud parka and sits clumsily and has a shabby bag. I laugh more loudly than a Japanese woman. I think I am reasonably authentically myself even though I’m moderating that to some extent
… you feel the need to understand behaviour and how your own behaviour can fit in better. Not to the point of mimicry or diverting from your own self but unconsciously you adapt..I think you feel an obligation …to expose yourself to experiences that help you understand
Student CG: … you don’t really need to say please and thank you as much in Spain. Like we say it almost unnecessarily …
It was just kind of a habit for us to say it, but for them they only say it when it’s absolutely necessary, which is probably because then it’s more meaningful. The less you say it, the more significant it is.
They are proud of knowing these little invisible “secrets ” which open the door to the real Spain. It also makes them aware of the little invisible “secrets ” that operate in Australian life too. (teacher, I. Braun, 2009)