ILTE designgfx Europe - UK
Intercomprehension in Language Teacher Education

United Kingdom - University of North London
School of Education

© The University of North London

The University of North London
166-220 Holloway Road
London N7 8DB

Telephone:(+44 / 020) 7607 2789

E-mail: (multiple)

Map UK

The UK team:

Suzanne Burley    
Cathy Pomphrey   coordinator

The aim of the UK project is to investigate new approaches to language teacher education (particularly Initial Teacher Training) which emphasize and make use of linguistic and cultural diversity as a basis for understanding the teaching and learning of language.

Our interest as the UK partners in this project is to achieve some of the goals of Intercomprehension by training Modern Languages and English ITT students to collaborate with each other in discussing issues related to language or language learning and teaching. There have been many previous calls in this country to provide a more integrated, multicultural and cross-curricular approach to planning language education (for example Hawkins (1984)¹, Brumfitt (1988)², Stubbs (1991)³. We now have a number of national policy initiatives which provide a basis for integration such as the NLS, the NC 2000 and the recent Language and Literacy across the curriculum documentation (2001). Our project aims to act on these intentions by promoting a dialogue and a more holistic approach to language teaching in two key curriculum areas, English and Modern Languages. However at present the national documentation provides little specific acknowledgment of the links to be made between the two curriculum areas or indeed between different languages and language varieties. The National Curriculum for MFL is still focused on the learning of a single foreign language and the English curriculum does not exploit the potential for use of language diversity in looking at language. To address this, our project uses the principles of intercomprehension.

These principles are outlined in the following definition:

Intercomprehension informs an approach to training future language teachers. It focuses on their coming to know and understand how language works, through an examination of individual knowledge and understanding of languages and language varieties, the texts of both written and spoken forms.

¹ Hawkins, E. (1984), Awareness of Language. An introduction Cambridge Cambridge University Press

² Brumfitt, C.J. (1988) (ed) Language in Teacher Education. Brighton National Congress on Languages in Education

³ Stubbs, M. (1991) Educational Language Planning in England and Wales: Multicultural Rhetoric and Assimilationist Assumptionsin Garcia, O. and Baker.C. (eds) 1995 Policy and Practice in Bilingual Education: A reader Extending the Foundations Cleveland Multilingual Matters



Banner UK
To the top of the page
  designgfx 2002 © ILTE, All rights reserved - Sitemap designgfx