Re-creating Antigoni: Promoting Intercultural Understanding through Empathy

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Book Chapter

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Dramatic Interactions: Teaching Languages, Literatures, and Cultures through Theater- Theoretical Approaches and Classroom Practices


"Once upon a time, there were four skills. But what did it mean to be a listener? A speaker? A reader? A writer? Skills in a vacuum are useful neither for describing how well one uses language nor for how to teach it effectively." June Phillip's rhetorical questions address the challenge of second and foreign language (FL) teaching and learning in the twenty-first century: attaining functional communicative competence in the FL is insufficient within our multicultural societies, in which diverse communities of different languages and cultures cohabit and interact. In this "cosmopolitan" world, where cultural misunderstandings play a big role in social and political conflicts, intercultural communication is becoming a precondition for survival, and sociopolitical awareness is fundamental to communicate efficiently and productively. FL teaching and learning should contribute to fostering dialogue among individuals and social groups from different countries, languages, and sociopolitical backgrounds, and encourage deeper exploration of one's own and the others' cultures. The guidelines outlined by the MLA "Ad Hoc Committee on Foreign Languages" established in 2006 reflect this new scenario and aim to produce" educated speakers who have deep translingual and transcultural competence."


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