Language, culture and internationalism

Skills to work in diverse communities

In high school studies, you will learn the skills to act linguistically and culturally in a diverse world. At the same time, the goal is to support your growth as an active world citizen with knowledge, skill and will to be involved in discussions and activities on global issues.

Your linguistic and cultural expertise is based on understanding your identity: What are the starting points, attitudes and values you approach when you encounter new and alien situations? What do you think and how do you act in a linguistically and culturally diverse world – what is your international self? Do you want and can become a citizen of the world, as outlined in the new high school curriculum? By creating a language profile, you can build your international skills.

Me and my identity

This section is intended to:

  • understand all of which is built on your linguistic and cultural identity
  • how the building of language and identity supports one's own well-being.

Your identity affects how you encounter different people, languages, and cultures. This section discusses language, culture and their relationship as it is me.

Me and my community

This section is intended to:

  • Understand how language can be encouraged or restricted to your own or others' ability to participate and influence society;
  • ways to interact even when there is no common language.

Communities (e.g. school, family, friends and hobby groups) are becoming more and more diverse, and no member of the community represents just one culture. Instead, your cultural identity is built on fragments of many different cultures, which are embraced in interaction with different people and communities. Understanding the meaning and value of diversity requires curiosity and open-mindedness towards a new or alien to one's own community, otherness. Understanding also requires the identification of cultural stereotypes and simplifications and the ability to detach themselves from them. 

Meditation or constructive interaction

Multilingual and multicultural skills support mediating skills. Meditation is the ability to communicate between different parties even when, for one reason or another, the parties are unable to transmit messages (thoughts, text, anything to tell) directly to each other. Meditation is therefore a means of constructive interaction that can be used to support the encounter and interaction of other parties, thereby facilitating the encounter of one another.

Meditation is needed when communication is interrupted for the following reasons, among other things:

  • the conversationaist uses a language, vocabulary or a register of a language that the other does not know
  • the conversationaries discuss issues, one of which has lesser information (informational meditation: the debate is chaosed by the other party's lack of information, which may be due, for example, to the lack of information of the other party. educational background, cognitive development, e.g. when talking about a small child, or a life experience)
  • there are cultural differences between the
  • there are other limitations in the conversation that may be related to, for example, hearing or vision.

You can read more about mediation needs in English in the Council of Europe article Linguistic and Cultural Mediation.

Mediation descriptors help you become aware and develop your own constructive interaction skills. Mediation areas have been opened in the infographic below.

The image is an infographic consisting of three list levels. List levels consist of the opening headings on the left and the content list on the right. The infographic says the following:

First list level:

How can I make understanding easier? Mediation means

- I can edit the language I use to a more understandable format.
 - I can take advantage of the images to support my explanation.
 - I can present complex information in stages and in smaller pieces.
 - I can tell you more and explain my point more broadly.
 - I can bind myself to explaining the new, "more foreign" thing to the already well-known knowledge. 

Second list level:

How can I promote a debate in which everyone is listened to and everyone is involved? Meditation interacts

- I can help resolve disagreements and sensitive situations.
 - I can guide the debate so that everyone has the opportunity to participate.
 - I can help the inter-discussion understanding by interpreting and explaining the speakers' speeches.
 - I can support the debate situation by anticipating, interpreting and explaining the linguistic and cultural features that each debated person brings into the situation.
 - I can create an atmosphere in a debate where everyone feels good to participate, encourage others to participate and promote an equal debate.

Third list level:

What is all about meditation? Meditation as a communication and development of knowledge

- When I explain to others what I read, what I hear, etc. 
	- translation (incl. between different languages and within one language, including: type of text)
	- understanding and processing of the text (e.g. summaries)
	- explaining the numerical material (e.g. interpretation and opening of statistics to others) 
	- transmission of detailed or specific information;
 
- When I create new information:
	- independent reflection and communication with others (e.g. essays, presentations)
	- co-reflection and development with others (e.g. group work and their demolition)
Areas of mediation. Adapted from table Takala, S., 2015: 52: publication.

Descriptions of multilingual and cultural competences

[lyhyt kuvaus]

The descriptors help to understand the skills to act linguistically and culturally in diverse communities.

The image is a table on a light blue background. The table reads as follows:

The ability to use cultural know-how in the production and interpretation of knowledge:
• I can identify and act on cultural and social customs and meanings.
• I can identify and interpret differences and similarities.
• I can reflect on phenomena/customs/etc. neutral and critical manner.

The ability to use multilingualism in the production and interpretation of information:
• I can be open and flexible about the use of different languages.
• I can take advantage of linguistic (e.g. language structure) tips and meanings.
• I know how to exploit language similarities, and I also recognize the so-called 'language similarities'. false friends.
• I can use translations made in different languages from parallel source materials.
• I can gather information about source materials written in different languages.

The ability to use multilingualism in interaction situations:
• I can adapt flexibly to different situations.
• I can predict when and to what extent the simultaneous use of multiple languages is useful and appropriate.
• I can adapt the language I use according to the listener/reader's language skills.
• I can combine and vary between different languages as needed.
• Know how to use different languages to explain and clarify things.
• I can encourage others to use several different languages.

Me and the world

The purpose of this section is to:

  • Identify and understand your own starting points for internationalism 
  • Identify and understand the different forms of internationalism 
  • find ways and opportunities to use your own language skills as a tool for cooperation and influence in global communities on the international scene; 
  • understand the importance of cooperation in building a sustainable future and promoting democracy and to find opportunities for such cooperation. 

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