NEMLA 2021. Rethinking the language curriculum through Intercultural Competence and Social Justice

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Anna Cellinese / Princeton University
contact email: 

Chair: Anna Cellinese, Princeton University.

This panel aims to reflect upon ways to critically redesign the language and culture curriculum in light of the political nature of language study – i.e. the engagement with issues of diversity and multiculturalism and the observation, analysis and critique of cultural and social phenomena (from education to poverty to migrations) through the lenses of xenophobia, racism, ableism, classism, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, etc. In today’s world, language programs urge to become a platform where learning how to recognize cultural struggles and reconcile different perspectives of the world. The language classroom cannot be “a neutral medium of communication, but takes on different meanings when the relationship between speakers change, together with shifts in relations of power” (Norton, 2010, p.175). How can we design an entire curriculum on these urgent themes? How can we maintain the study of the cultural and literary tradition of the language studied without losing sight of today’s social urge for involvement, action, and change? What is the theoretical framework that supports such a curricular shift? And more importantly, how do we translate a theoretical perspective into a pragmatic, effective and critical pedagogical approach? If the classroom is the antechamber of students’ future, it is indeed imperative to give them the opportunity to develop social awareness and be part of a transformational learning experience both inside and outside the classroom.

This panel invites contributions that address such questions from a theoretical and/or pedagogical perspective – related to classroom teaching applications – and is open to any L2. Please submit an abstract directly to:

by September 30th 2020.