Education for Intercultural and Democratic Citizenship

Talk by professor emeritus Michael Byram (Durham University) in the Digital series of talks on plurilingualism and interculturality.

People can learn the skills and attitudes of intercultural communication competence and become more or less proficient. However, when people meet other ways of living and thinking (other ‘cultures’), they often respond emotionally - and negatively - and they need to learn how to deal with these reactions. In my view they need to be taught since learning may not always take place effectively without teaching. 

I will discuss what this implies in terms of ‘being critical’.  

One consequence of my assertion that criticality or ‘critical cultural awareness’ needs to be taught, is that teachers face ethical problems: What should they encourage their learners to do? Should they be neutral?  Is it possible to be neutral? I will not answer such questions but suggest how teachers can answer for themselves. 

Please register for the talk here (you will register for the whole series but are not obliged to attend all talks).