Teaching Asian Languages from an intercultural perspective: building bridges for and with students of Indonesian

Anthony Liddicoat, Michelle Kohler

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Introduction The teaching and learning of Indonesian in the Australian context represent both a unique opportunity and challenge for developing Australians’ capabilities to engage with Asia and Australia's place in the region. The place of Indonesian in Australian education has usually been justified in terms of the importance of developing a better understanding of the culture and religion of our nearest neighbour (Kohler & Mahnken 2010). This justification is based on a belief that the learning of a language forms a fundamental part of the development of intercultural understanding. However, language teaching approaches have not traditionally made intercultural understanding a central part of programs and have instead focused primarily on the acquisition of the language system. Where cultural understanding has been included in such programs it has typically been separated from the learning of language (Byram 1988). This means that there has often been a disconnection between a stated aim of language learning and the language learning experience offered to students. More recently, however, much attention has been given to pedagogical responses that integrate language learning with intercultural understanding (for example, Byram 1991; Byram and Morgan 1994; Crozet and Liddicoat 1999; Kohler 2010; Kramsch 1993a; Liddicoat 2002, 2005b, 2008; Liddicoat et al. 2003; Papademetre and Scarino 2000). In this chapter, we will extend these initiatives, and examine some of the issues that emerge for understanding language education as an endeavour focused on the development of intercultural understanding using the teaching and learning of Indonesian as a starting point.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationBridging Transcultural Divides
    Subtitle of host publicationAsian Languages and Cultures in Global Higher Education
    PublisherUniversity of Adelaide Press
    Number of pages28
    ISBN (Electronic)9781922064318
    ISBN (Print)9781922064301
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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