The Climate Crisis in Foreign Language/Environmental Literacy Education: A Binational Virtual Exchange

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Conference Proceeding

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International Conference on Higher Education Advances


This contribution provides a best-practice example or case study of a transatlantic online course focused on the integrative acquisition of environmental literacy, intercultural skills, and foreign language proficiency. Through binational and transdisciplinary group and class interactions, students from universities in Germany and the United States learned to identify and negotiate culturally and discipline-mediated perspectives on the morethan-human world. Discussing novels, films, media and cultural artifacts that centrally engage ecological themes, students learned to think of the relationship between nature and culture as deeply imbricated. If human culture is acknowledged as part of nature, and culture as a concept extends beyond the human sphere, intercultural competence as a skill or outcome acquires a new, added meaning. Intercultural competence then includes both the ability to negotiate differences between divergent human cultural viewpoints and practices (Byram 1997), as well as the ability to establish an egalitarian relationship with the nonhuman world that goes beyond anthropocentric extractivism.


World Languages and Cultures

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