Skip to main content


Building an Intercultural Pedagogy for Higher Education in Conditions of Conflict and Protracted Crises: Languages, Identity, Culture!

1-Meeting at Valencia

Roundtable Session Proposal

19th IALIC conference – Translating cultures.
Cultural translation for intercultural dialogue: Critical intercultural pedagogies for inclusion in higher education in contexts of conflicts and protracted crise

The culture of translating. (20-22 November 2019)
University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain

Prue Holmes (Durham University, Chair)

The aim of this roundtable is to showcase cultural translation across four case-study sites based in Turkey, Colombia, the UK, and Gaza. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Global Challenges Research Fund (AH/S003967/1), we illustrate how critical intercultural pedagogies (Freire, 1968; Levine & Phipps, 2012; van Lier, 2004)—focusing on languages, culture and cultural heritage, multiple identities and representation—can foster intercultural dialogue (Haydari & Holmes, 2015), youth engagement and responsibility (Wilson-Stryder & Walker, 2017) among students and their counterparts who are excluded from higher education due to conflicts and other forms of protracted crises. The case studies demonstrate a transnational research agenda for the co-construction of critical intercultural pedagogies across a network of multilingual and multidisciplinary researchers and educators that promotes youth participation and engagement across language/cultural/religious and other divides, and enhances intercultural understanding.

Case study 1 – Hearing the intercultural voices: Developing a critical intercultural pedagogy for youth of Syrian refugee background in Istanbul

Ayse Zisan Furat & Zeynep Ozde Atesok Istanbul University

Turkey has become the most refugee-populated country following the outbreak of the Syrian war in 2011. Yet young Syrian refugees struggle to gain access to higher education. This case study considers music as an intercultural pedagogy for exploring the role of religio-cultural elements in developing intercultural dialogue. Thus, it aims to use common musical heritage as a share point for local students, students who have a refugee background, and their peers who have no or limited access to Turkish higher education. The paper focuses on the preliminary findings of the main workshop—a music studio.

Case study 2 – Empowering scholarship pre-service language teachers as multilingual mediators through critical intercultural pedagogy in Bogotá

Beatriz Peña-Dix, University of Los Andes, Bogotá, & John Corbett, University of Sao Paulo

Top student recipients of the Colombian government’s scholarship programme “It’s worth being clever” (Ser Pilo Paga) explore critical intercultural pedagogies to design activities and create a “toolbox” of resources to foster intercultural dialogue and reflection on real or imaginary intercultural encounters. The students, coming from excluded communities and low income families, invited their former English language teachers (from their secondary school) to participate in “The mirror project” where together, they co-teach the students’ previously designed activities. The emergent intercultural pedagogies, initiated by the students, aim to inform language education and policy in Colombia.

Case study 3 – Intercultural dialogue and inclusion among students and excluded refugees in higher education in the UK

Prue Holmes, Marta Moskal, & Taha Rajab, Durham University

This case study is organised around the themes of inclusion and intercultural dialogue. Through three workshops we facilitate the meeting of students from Durham University and refugee youths of Syrian and Iraqi background (recently arrived in County Durham). The focus of the workshops is on building bridges, sharing life narratives and educational experiences—through sharing photo exposés, learning a song together, taking a walking tour of Durham University campus and co-constructing the “ideal” university. We present observations of and reflections on the process, and the multiple understandings of the experience collected from Durham students and youths.

Case study 4 – Language arts and creative writing for intercultural dialogue (Gaza and Brazil)

Nazmi Almasri & Rafeet Alareer, Islamic University of Gaza, Palestine; Bruno de Lima, Federal Institute of Education, Science & Technology, Rio Grande do Norte; Janaina Weissheimer, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Brazil

To explore how culturally-based literary works can reinforce intercultural awareness and understanding of contexts of protracted crises, 16 Palestinian university students were trained on developing their creative writing skills through reading and reflecting on literary works that address issues related to challenges and crises. They produced 20 culturally-based literary pieces for online exchange with Brazilian students in order to engage in intercultural dialogue. We discuss the process and impact of this intercultural dialogue, facilitated though shared discussion of the literary texts via Skype exchanges, Facebook posts, and an online questionnaire.

Case Study 5 – With the Other on campus: Learning, teaching, working together to understand others and ourselves better

Filiz Göktuna Yaylacı, Anadolu University; Ali Faruk Yaylacı, Kütahya Dumlupınar Univeristy; Kadriye Uzun, Sakarya University

This case study, conducted in Sakarya University, Turkey, aims to create a shared learning environment—via photography—for both domestic and foreign students living on the same campus. Participants (13 foreign students from Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Indonesia, Turkmenistan and 10 Turkish students) discussed experiences related to their lives on campus and reflected on these through photographs. The learning process, drawing on Freirean dialogue, involved five steps: an introductory meeting; basic photography instruction; discussion (what to photograph); photo shooting; post-discussion (experiences); final exhibition.

Discussion and conclusion – Prue Holmes (Chair)

The audience are invited to give their feedback and discuss the case studies with the panel members.

2- The Bogota workshop meeting

The Bogota workshop meeting took place on 29-30-31 May, 2019 at University of the Andes, Bogotá, Colombia