Fourth annual language and culture workshop

Apr 03, 2015 609

May 29th, 2015 - IONA COLLEGE, New Rochelle, NY

Teaching Critical Thinking and Cultural Diversity in the Foreign Language Classroom. In collaboration with IACE

The perception of a lack of understanding of cultural diversity in the American learning community leads instructors to challenge assumptions and stereotypes while addressing misconceptions: especially those teaching foreign languages and cultural studies feel the need to redesign curricula and lesson plans to better serve the 21st century learning community. The paradox is that having global access to information makes the learner aware of the infinite variety of cultural diversity: however, this does not make him a critical thinker.

For this reason, there is an opportunity to reshape critical thinking in a more global perspective, while enhancing the tools to identify, interpret and compare the different cultural models the learner is in contact with.

Having easy access to information may lead to a greater awareness of the world's immense cultural diversity, but it does not necessarily develop a student's critical skills. For this reason, teachers, particularly teachers of foreign languages and cultural studies, face the crucial challenge of building the critical abilities of our students while providing them a more global perspective.

It is a challenge, but also an opportunity to present in new and stimulating ways cultural material from a wide variety of historical periods which students are encouraged to question, analyze, and interpret.

In this workshop, we will discuss how we can teach areas of contents such as social issues (economy, politics, migration and borders, etc.) contemporary life issues (education and career, holidays and celebrations, health, the social impact of digital media, personal and public communication/privacy); personal and public identities; and aesthetics (fashion and design, ideals of beauty, performing and visual arts, music, literature), while teaching the foreign language. Participants will be engaged in critical discussions on such issues and others related to the teaching of languages, especially the Italian language, and how to integrate teaching critical thinking into the foreign language classroom.

To register send an email to Dr. Elda Buonanno Foley at and/or Dr. Thomas E. Mussio at

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