The Visible Cities': Teaching Language and Culture through the City
Most language teachers think that cities, in all their aspects, are an important and rich resource for the language classroom. The study of a city, what we can see in a movie or read in a literary work, exposes students to authentic language and offers plenty of material to be integrated in the classroom. Cities are privileged windows through which students have the opportunity to address historical, political, artistic and social issues. Moreover, there are many elements inside the city that have the potential of making students aware of the importance of intercultural proficiency and can stimulate their interest in the culture of the target language.
In the spirit of this year's general convention theme, "Transnational Spaces: Intersections of Cultures, Languages, and Peoples", our roundtable session intends to promote the sharing of ideas about the city as a tool to improve intercultural competence. Scholars and instructors are cordially invited to talk about activities, strategies, and approaches they use with their students to exploit all the dimensions of the urban space. Some of the questions we will address are: With the city as our foundational element, how do we design and develop student-centered activities to improve oral and written communication? What are the most successful strategies to engage students in discussion, productive exchanges and to promote their intercultural competence?