Towards critical cultural and linguistic awareness in language classrooms in Norway: Developing intercultural citizenship through identity texts
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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This article reports the results of a school-based curriculum development project that aimed to support language teachers working with culturally and linguistically diverse student populations in Norway to develop teaching strategies that foster intercultural citizenship and multilingual competence. Three university researchers collaborated with two schools to increase mutual respect and tolerance for cultural and linguistic diversity in language classrooms, to increase awareness of the positive impact of home language maintenance on academic performance, and to improve the engagement of multilingual literacy and student identity in the classroom. Data were collected during teacher workshops and while following the delivery of the project, and consist of lesson planning materials, texts produced by students, and a follow-up teacher survey. The article presents examples of activities and materials the teachers at the cooperating schools designed and implemented, samples of student work, as well as teacher reflections on the extent to which the project promoted multiliteracy and intercultural citizenship. The findings suggest that while the project helped strengthen awareness of cultural and linguistic diversity at the schools, understanding of the relevance of the home language to literacy development and academic success and multiliteracy were not adequately supported. Implications for future work to promote language classrooms that foster linguistic and cultural diversity and multiliteracy are discussed.