Profesionales de la Educación Bilingüe

Lyndsay R. Buckingham


Dr. Lyndsay R. Buckingham is an Associate Professor in the Modern Languages Institute of the Universidad Pontificia Comillas, where she teaches English, EFL pedagogy and CLIL in the teacher training degrees. Her research interests include bilingual education, foreign language assistants, CLIL and teacher education. Her PhD dissertation studied the role of language assistants in bilingual schools in Madrid, and she has published articles and made conference presentations on the same topic.

Helping our students become global citizens

The European Council suggests that plurilingual education is built on two pillars: intercultural competence and linguistic competence. After all, language is implicitly cultural, and there is more to intercultural communication than making use of a lingua franca. While language assistants are present in our bilingual schools to support both the foreign language and culture, often the cultural aspect is ignored or reduced to descriptions of festivities and foods. While cultural knowledge is important, intercultural competence also involves the interpretation of cultural artifacts, the development of attitudes of curiosity and respect, the ability to find out more about cultural practices, and eventually, the capacity to critically evaluate other cultures as well as our own. In the future, our students will likely need to demonstrate linguistic skills as well as collaborative and adaptive skills and promote mutual understanding. In this talk I will discuss the knowledge, skills and attitudes that go into intercultural competence and suggest practical ways that language assistants can support our students as they become global citizens.

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