November 5 #CdnELTchat (Intercultural Fluency in the LINC Classroom)
By Bonnie Nicholas
On November 5, 2019, the #CdnELTchat team was happy to welcome Sandhya Ghai (@GhaiSandhya) of Mosaic BC (@mosaicbc) as our guest moderator for a discussion of Intercultural Fluency in the LINC Classroom. This chat was a follow-up to Sandhya’s Tutela webinar on the same topic. (Tutela members can log in to view the recorded webinar.) Thanks to Diane Ramanathan (@ramdiane), Tutela Community Coordinator, for facilitating this partnership between Tutela and #CdnELTchat.
Here are some key points raised by participants during the chat:A first step in developing intercultural fluency is to be aware of our own positionality and our own cultural identities.
- Everyone has some intercultural experiences to draw on, even learners from countries that we might think of as being monocultural.
- As instructors, we need to be mindful of our choices in learning materials and resources.
- Think about having an attitude of curiosity and cultural humility.
- Several participants reiterated the importance of integrating inclusive intercultural practices into everything we do in the classroom.
- Create learning opportunities for learners to explore and share their culture.
- Be kind to ourselves when we make mistakes.
Participants used these questions as a springboard for discussion during the chat.
- What does it mean to be interculturally fluent?
- What steps can instructors take to increase their intercultural fluency?
- As teachers, we are always pressed for time. What are the most important concrete steps that we can take to make our classrooms more interculturally fluent?
- How can intercultural fluency be embedded in the LINC curriculum?
- Many of the students in our classes come from monocultural countries. How can we help them adapt to a multicultural environment?
If you’re on Twitter, you can find the conversation by following the hashtag #CdnELTchat, but we’ve also collected the relevant tweets using Wakelet, #CdnELTchat Summary on Intercultural Fluency in the #ELT Classroom.
The #CdnELTchat team is looking for people who would be interested in facilitating one of our bi-monthly chats. Please let a member of the team know if you are interested in co-moderating a live chat, or in collecting and writing the summaries which are posted on the BC TEAL and TESL Ontario blogs, and shared with TESL NS. Other provincial #ELT associations are also welcome to share. If you would like to volunteer, or have ideas for chats, contact any of us: Jennifer @jennifermchow, Augusta @ELTAugusta, Svetlana @StanzaSL, or Bonnie @EALStories. Post ideas anytime on our Padlet, https://padlet.com/BonnieJean/CdnELTchat.
Bonnie Nicholas (@EALstories) is an enthusiastic participant in the bi-monthly #CdnELTchat as well as a member of the #CdnELTchat team along with Svetlana Lupasco (@StanzaSL), Jennifer Chow (@jennifermchow), and Augusta Avram (@LINCInstructor). Bonnie teaches LINC at NorQuest College in Edmonton.