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Intercultural Education: innovative approaches and practices in Higher Education

« L’interculturel » dans les formations de l’enseignement supérieur

Conceptions, pratiques, enjeux et perspectives

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Published on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 by Céline Guilleux


Ce colloque interroge la place des pratiques dites « de formation à l'interculturel » dans les filières de l'enseignement supérieur. Il appelle à une réflexion pluridisciplinaire (didactique, sociolinguistique, anthropologie, sciences de l'éducation) sur l'apport de ce type d'enseignement à la formation générale des étudiants. Il vise à interroger, à partir d'analyses portant sur des dispositifs de terrain, la nature même de « la formation à l'interculturel » et les contraintes locales et globales qui influencent sa mise en place institutionnelle.


Le Mans Université, France, November 22nd and 23rd 2018

International conference organized by CREN, Centre de Recherche en Education de Nantes et du Mans - With the collaboration of IMAGER, Université Paris Est Créteil

The context of intercultural studies

Inspired by the work of UNESCO (2013: 28) to consider the integration of Intercultural Education at “all levels of formal, informal and non-formal education systems", this conference will be dedicated to how this is achieved in higher education, which is the last step for many before entering the professional world. In fact, the White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue, published in 2008 by the Council of Europe, invites universities to train "intercultural intellectuals" who can play an active role in public life.

Though traditionally presented as “civilization courses” in language programs, the question of “cultures” also interest “non-specialist” programs and is now integrated in language courses for all disciplines (Conference Proceedings, APLIUT, 2009). More generally, because intercultural education is seen as concerning all disciplines of study (Beacco, 2011), it doesn’t seem relevant to confine the teaching of intercultural studies only to students enrolled in specific foreign language degrees.

Within the last few decades an ideological framework has been developed in Language Teaching around the concepts of intercultural, multicultural, identity, otherness and diversity (see Coste, Moore & Zarate, 1997; Byram, 2003; Beacco et al., 2010). Still other researchers (Demorgon, 2003; Giordano, 2008; Blanchet & Coste, 2010) take a critical approach to intercultural studies, putting the accent on how the conflicts, tensions and contradictions at work in inter/alter cultural social relations generate such relationships.

At the level of university pedagogy, we notice the development of biographical and reflective approaches (Molinié 2006), the implementation of collaborative online intercultural projects (Mangenot & Zourou, 2007; Springer 2008), and other programs dedicated to foreign exchange students (Anquetil, 2006). Some projects set up tandems, buddy or tutoring systems, intercultural encounters (for example in sports, artistic or sociocultural activities), sociological or ethnographic field studies, whether with international or national partners or in collaboration with clubs and associations. Putting these projects together inevitably implies taking into consideration local factors whether institutional or pedagogic, and a reflection about how this intercultural training fits into the overall scope of university education.

Conference themes

In intercultural studies, most educational questions are related to competences: how to "socialize to diversity, to otherness" (Alaoui, 2014), what are the dimensions of knowledge, of know-how and life skills associated with the intercultural competence and how to evaluate them? Can we teach students “intercultural competences” or educate them “via the intercultural” (Castellotti, 2006)? How can we enable the development of criteria to evaluate the didactical pertinence of teaching methods?

In the context of higher education, other questions seem particularly interesting: those of the target public (which students?), of the temporality of curricula (at what point in the program?), with what objectives? Is it simply a question of preparing students for international mobility, facilitating their social integration, their professional integration, or, more generally, supporting and promoting their integration in a multilingual and multicultural society?

What kind of projects do already exist in the intercultural education field and in which academic programs are they implemented ? In programs curriculum, how are theoretical contents about intercultural issues linked to reflective approaches and practices (critical reflection on the plurality and the otherness, introspection, decentring…) ?

Also, what relationship can be established between “communicational” or “interactional” and “intercultural” competences? What communicational strategies, for example face-work (Goffman, 1974) can be taught to facilitate access to an intercultural dialogue?

Finally, the question raised is the elaboration of criteria which can be used to evaluate the didactic pertinence of such programs. What are the concepts and theoretical or methodological tools which favor the construction of pedagogical practices, and the subsequent analysis of the results? Can these tools come from interactional (Kerbrat-Orecchioni, 2005) or conversation (Traverso, 1999) analytical models, or from other methods developed in sociolinguistics and in discourse studies? What are the ethical precautions that must apply to this kind of research? Is it possible to transfer the results of a local field study or experiment to a more national or transnational level?

Submission guidelines

Contributions from the humanities and social sciences, in particular language and cultural studies, sociolinguistics, anthropology and/or education.

 Conference themes:

  • The concept of “interculturality”as an object / approach to teaching;
  • Field studies and projects: presentation and analysis of field studies which question the main goals of intercultural education and the modalities of its implementation;
  • Interculturality and interdisciplinarity: multidisciplinary studies on “Intercultural education” which underline the epistemological and terminological complexity of the concept.

Papers will be presented within a 20-minute slot with an additional 5 minutes for discussion. Submissions in French or English (3000 characters including spaces) should include:

  • First / last name of the author(s) and institutional affiliation(s)
  • Title of the proposal and 3 to 5 keywords
  • Indication of which theme(s) the submission addresses
  • 5 max essential bibliographic references

You can find the submission form on our website: https://interculturel.sciencesconf.org

Important dates 

  • Deadline for submissions: April 30th, 2018

  • Author notifications: June 20th, 2018
  • Registration: September 1st– October 15th, 2018
  • Conference: November 22th et 23rd, 2018

Contact: interculturel@sciencesconf.org


Alaoui, D. (2014). « Socialiser au divers, à l’altérité, au dialogue interculturel et à la reconnaissance : la quadruple socialisation versus la socialisation néolibérale ». Dans D. Alaoui et A. Lenoir (dir.), L’interculturel et la construction d’une culture de la reconnaissance (p. 235-263), Québec : Groupéditions.

Anquetil, M. (2006). Mobilité Erasmus et communication interculturelle : une recherche-action pour un parcours de formation. Berne : Peter Lang.

Beacco, J.-C. (2011). Les dimensions culturelles et interculturelles des enseignements de langues : état des pratiques et perspectives, Texte présenté lors du Séminaire sur « Convergences curriculaires pour une éducation plurilingue et interculturelle », Strasbourg : 29-30 nov. 2011.

Beacco, J.-C., M. Byram, M. Cavalli, D. Coste, M. E. Cuenat, F. Goullier & J. Panthier. (2010). Guide pour le développement et la mise en œuvre de curriculums pour une éducation plurilingue et interculturelle. Strasbourg : Conseil de l’Europe.

Blanchet, Ph. & Coste, D. (2010) : Regards critiques sur la notion d’« interculturalité ». Pour une didactique de la pluralité linguistique et culturelle, Paris, L’Harmattan, Coll. « espaces discursifs ».

Byram, M. (sous la dir. de), (2003). La compétence interculturelle. Division des Politiques linguistiques, Conseil de l’Europe, Strasbourg.

Castellotti, V. (2006). Une conception plurielle et intégrée de l'enseignement des langues, principes, modalités, perspectives. In Macaire, D. (Coord.) Les cahiers de l'Acedle n° 2, Actes du colloque Acedle 2005 Recherches en didactique des langues, pp. 319 -331

Congrès de l’APLUT (2009). « Interculturel et enseignement des langues spécialisées » dans Les Cahiers de l’APLIUT, 28, 1 et 2 

Coste, D., Moore, D. & Zarate, G., (1997). Compétence plurilingue et pluriculturelle. Strasbourg : Conseil de l’Europe.

Demorgon, J. (2003). « L’interculturel entre réception et invention, contextes, médias, concepts », in Questions de Communication, 4 : 43-70.

Giordano, C. (2008). « L'insoutenable innocence de l'interculturel », in A. Gohard-Radenkovic et A. Jalil Akkari, Coopérations internationales : entre accommodements interculturels et utopies du changement, Paris, L'Harmattan : 161-170.

Goffman E. 1974 (1967). Les rites d’interaction, Paris, Minuit.

Gohard-Radenkovic, A.(2009). « Peut-on former à la différence ? Peut-on « penser la différence » dans la mobilité ? », Cahiers de l’APLIUT, Vol. XXVIII N° 2 : 10-23.

Kerbrat-Orecchioni, C. (2005). Le discours en interaction. Paris : Armand Colin.

Mangenot, F. et Zourou, K. (2007). « Susciter le dialogue interculturel en ligne », Lidil, 36 | 2007, 43-68.

Molinié M. (Dir.) (2006). Biographie langagière et apprentissage plurilingue, Revue Le Français dans le Monde, Recherche et Application, 39, Paris, CLE international.

Springer C. (2008). « Vers une pédagogie du dialogue interculturel : agir ensemble à travers les nouveaux environnements numériques sociaux », University studio press. Année européenne du dialogue interculturel : communiquer avec les langues-cultures.

Traverso, V. (1999). L’analyse des conversations. Paris : Nathan.

UNESCO (2013). Compétences interculturelles. Cadre conceptuel et opérationnel. Plate-forme intersectorielle pour une culture de la paix et de la non-violence.


  • Le Mans, France (72)


  • Monday, April 30, 2018


  • interculturel, enseignement supérieur, plurilingue, altérité, formation

Information source

  • Vera Delorme
    courriel : vera [dot] delorme [at] univ-lemans [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« Intercultural Education: innovative approaches and practices in Higher Education », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, March 21, 2018, https://calenda.org/436821

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