Intercultural Communication - Education for a multicultural society - NAPOLI 2003
Toscano, Maddalena and Wadsworth, P. and Massioni, C, (2003) Intercultural Communication - Education for a multicultural society - NAPOLI 2003. UNIOR, Napoli.
The project was started in 1997 by the Istituto Universitario Orientale di
Napoli, supported by funding from the European Union. The group
comprised partners from Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Belgium
and England. Although most members were involved in teaching, others
came from community groups working in related fields. All were drawn
into the project to address intercultural education and how this could be
made more effective for our students. The issues involved are both broad
and complex and need to be viewed alongside the current global and
political climate, which, of course is constantly changing.
During the project, partners shared experiences of teaching in
multicultural settings, and also addressed the problems faced by teachers
dealing with new arrivals. The team decided to focus on:
• producing classroom materials
• devising a teacher training course
• producing strategies for involving parents and community in the work
• valuing the importance of local traditions.
Members of the project met together to update one another on their work,
to work on common projects and to agree on common terminology.
Reaching a shared understanding of terms such as ‘multicultural’,
‘monolingual’, and ‘mother tongue’ was not always easy, as these expressions
vary according to the country and language of the user. Some of the agreed
definitions have been included in the glossary at the back of the book. The
products resulting from the collaboration were varied and included CDs,
videos, surveys, classroom materials and resources for teacher education.
Because some of the products were developed with specific contexts in
mind, it became apparent that they could not all necessarily be used in
Presenting T.I.M.E for Teachers
other contexts, so we decided to summarise the aims of each product
and to suggest ways in which others may try out similar ideas in their
own situations. The details of the original products can be found in Section
5 together with how the authors can be contacted directly if further
details are required. The outcomes of the project do not attempt to
replicate the wealth of materials already available, but instead, summarise
useful existing ideas and present some new practical teaching resources.
As we write, we are aware that situations are constantly changing as
people move from economically impoverished and troubled areas of the
world to areas which are comparatively wealthy and safe. Many teachers
in Europe are involved with ethnically and linguistically diverse student
populations and are having to constantly review both what and how they
teach. Sharing experiences and developing teaching materials has proved
to be an extremely valuable experience. We hope that this book will
enable others to share in the flavour of the project and to benefit from
some of the practical ideas for developing multicultural education.
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