Title: Beyond 'food and festivals': How to teach critical interculturality in language teaching

Learning a language cannot be separated from learning something about the culture(s) of its users. As a result, many language courses include 'cultural' information, often along the lines of what Adrian Holliday calls a 'food and festivals' approach. However, there is an inherent paradox: characterizing a culture for teaching inevitably means essentializing its complexity, which may actually reduce learners' intercultural competence. As interculturality is a critical component of 21st century language education, this session asks: how can 'target cultures' best be handled in foreign language teaching?

This workshop aims to equip participants with the tools required to take 'culture' learning to a deeper level in class. This includes awareness of students' own cultures and awareness of intersectionality of (cultural) identity. Issues of cultural labelling, characterization, and essentialism will be discussed, and examples of 'culture' teaching will be critiqued. A more critical, nuanced way of handling culture will be introduced, and participants will engage with multimedia texts as sources of cultural data. We will then workshop ways of developing culture-teaching materials from our own students' texts and other sources so as to locate interculturality development firmly in local teaching contexts.

Dr Phiona Stanley is a Lecturer in Education at the University of New South Wales, Australia. Her recent Routledge book is entitled "A critical ethnography of 'Westerners' teaching English in China: Shanghaied in Shanghai" (2013). She is currently working on a study of Spanish language teaching in Latin America.