Sommier, Roiha & Lahti: Implementing Critical Approaches to Interculturality in Higher Education

Guest Posts
Implementing Critical Approaches to Interculturality in Higher Education.
Guest post by Mélodine Sommier, Anssi Roiha & Malgorzata Lahti.

Critical approaches to interculturality have gained visibility over the years, both within and outside of academia. And yet, the increasing drive across European hHigher eEducation institutions to implement internationalization strategies is often articulated around assuming traditional notions of culture, diversity, and intercultural communication. This gap between critical research in interculturality and concrete implementation of intercultural education is what drove us to ask colleagues how they put critical approaches to interculturality into practice.

Indeed, inviting critical interculturality into classrooms is a holistic process that takes time since it asks teachers to familiarize themselves with that approach as well as to depart from the limitations of traditional pedagogical frameworks.

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Anssi Roiha Profile

Profiles

Anssi Roiha works as a university lecturer in foreign language didactics at the Department of Teacher Education at the University of Turku, Finland. He teaches subject-specific didactics to pre-service language teachers, including the topic of critical intercultural education in language teaching.

Anssi RoihaRoiha obtained his PhD (University of Jyväskylä, Finland) in 2020. His doctoral research examined the long-term effects of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) on former students’ lives. One of his PhD articles, co-written with Mélodine Sommier, was about the participants’ foreign language and intercultural attitudes and was published in Language and Intercultural Communication.

Intercultural education is among Roiha’s research interests; he has published articles and book chapters on the topic. Recently, he has co-edited a special issue in the Journal of Praxis in Higher Education and a book with Routledge on critical intercultural education with Mélodine Sommier and Malgorzata Lahti. Roiha’s other research interests include bilingual education and differentiation and he has also published widely on those topics.

Roiha is currently a member of the European Center For Modern Languages of the Council of Europe project CLIL LOTE and a co-coordinator of the portfolio group. The project sees CLIL as part of intercultural education and as a vehicle for promoting pluralistic approaches to language learning.

Selected publications:

Sommier, M., Roiha, A., & Lahti, M. (Eds.) (2023). Interculturality in higher education: Putting critical approaches into practice. London: Routledge.

Sommier, M., Lahti, M., & Roiha, A. (Eds.). (2021). From ‘intercultural-washing’ to meaningful intercultural education: Revisiting higher education practice (Special Issue). Journal of Praxis in Higher Education3(2).

Roiha, A., & Sommier, M. (2021). Exploring teachers’ perceptions and practices of intercultural education in an international school. Intercultural Education, 32(4), 446–463.

Roiha, A., & Sommier, M. (2018). Viewing CLIL through the eyes of former pupils: Insights into foreign language and intercultural attitudes. Language and Intercultural Communication, 18(6), 631–647.

Sommier, M., & Roiha, A. (2018). Dealing with culture in schools: A small-step approach towards anti-racism in Finland. In A. A. Alemanji (Ed.), Antiracism education in and out of schools (pp. 103–124). Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.


Work for CID:
Anssi Roiha is the co-author of a Guest Post on Implementing Critical Approaches to Interculturality in Higher Education .

CFP From ‘Intercultural-Washing’ to Meaningful Intercultural Education

“PublicationCall for Papers: From ‘intercultural-washing’ to meaningful intercultural education: Revisiting teaching practices in tertiary education. Deadline for abstracts: 30 June 2020.

Guest editors: Mélodine Sommier (Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands), Anssi Roiha (HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, the Netherlands) and Malgorzata Lahti (University of Jyväskylä, Finland).

This special issue in the Journal of Praxis in Higher Education intends to provide a forum in which to address the difficulties and opportunities that arise in tertiary education when revisiting intercultural teaching practices. It therefore calls for papers that provide theoretical as well as practical insights into the implementation of critical approaches to intercultural communication.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:
· Incorporating critical approaches to intercultural communication in teaching materials and/or ICT;
· Learners’ experiences of intercultural education and/or expectations of intercultural communication;
· Difficulties faced by teachers in developing new understandings of intercultural communication;
·  Critical approaches to intercultural communication in specific subjects;
·  Tertiary education policies and ‘intercultural-washing’ approaches; and
·  Intercultural education in supervision and mentoring.

Please note that the editors also welcome book reviews on the topic of critical intercultural education at tertiary level.

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