IACCM Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria

10/01/2015 / By Elisabeth "Elle" Weingraber-Pircher

IACCM Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria

Introducing the notion of lingua-cultural affordances for intercultural learning in diverse Classroom settings.

Co-Presentor Prof. Dr. Martina Gaisch

The authors of this paper conducted a cross-cultural study on lingua-cultural affordances perceived and acted upon by internationalist teachers. While the Brazilian context was investigated at the secondary level with a clear institutional commitment to intercultural sensitivity, the Austrian setting was explored at the tertiary level where English-medium instruction serves as a vehicle for meaning-making. Given that lingua-cultural affordances do not present themselves automatically, but need to be perceived and acted upon, the added-value of such a perceptual process had to be clearly outlined to the investigated teachers who were confronted with cultural theories to facilitate intercultural learning and heightened awareness for their classroom settings.

It was found that Brazilian teachers started to appropriate lingua-cultural affordances by drawing on the culturally diverse student population as a resource while the Austrian teachers demonstrated a good degree of deficit-orientation with strong expectations on the part of the international students to become uniculturally literate and adjust to the institutional culture.