CGHE Webinar 324

Language and intercultural student interactions: Insights from a cosmopolitan agency perspective

Date: Thursday, 15 December 2022 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Location: Zoom webinar, registration required
Speaker(s):
  • Kazuhiro Kudo, Dokkyo University

Event Materials

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Recent studies have identified ‘cosmopolitan agency’ as a hallmark of meaningful intercultural interactions between international and domestic students, which have been found difficult to achieve in many countries. However, with the continued expansion of internationalised programmes and courses offered in English in non-Anglophone countries, this agency may favour students with high English proficiency and disfavour those who prefer to use other, especially local, languages for intercultural interactions. This seminar provides insights into the role of language in students’ engagement in intercultural interactions in non-Anglophone countries by using an ecological and person-in-context conceptual framework of cosmopolitan agency. Qualitative interview data collected at three universities in Japan and Finland are employed to address two overlooked issues. First, the emergence of three kinds of interculturality (i.e. translocal, semi-local and hybrid) through cosmopolitan agency, which reflects the dynamic interplay between students’ cosmopolitan capital and affordances in interactional environments, imbued with the geopolitical and institutionalised power relations between English and other languages. Second, the role of critical cosmopolitan agency in enabling inclusive and creative intercultural interactions through moral and ethical reflexivity while intervening in linguistic and cultural inequalities. These issues suggest the need for institutional interventions aimed at fostering students’ critical cosmopolitan agency through various formal and informal curriculum activities.

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