A Transcultural Approach to EIL Teaching and its Impact on Learners’ National Identities
This article reports on an initiative characterised by a transcultural approach to English Language Teaching (ELT) which may be seen as an instance of Internationalisation at Home (IAH). Participants were ninety-five learners of English from three secondary schools in Spain and Poland who stayed in touch throughout the project through Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC). The article explores the impact of this particular IAH experience on the participants’ national identities through a combination of qualitative and quantitative data. Data point to national identity discourses being perceived very differently by the Spanish and Polish participants in the sample, and show how the participants’ positions with regard to such discourses change during the programme. The results challenge the notion that transcultural competence may result in the individual perceiving him/herself as culturally closer to members of other imagined communities. Instead, they point to the gradual erasure of national imagined communities as transcultural competence develops, thus opening up a new avenue of research.
Keywords: Internationalisation at Home; national identity; transcultural pedagogy; English as an International Language; Computer-Mediated Communication; ethnocentrism
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