JoLIE 8/2015


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Giacomo Ferrari

Università del Piemonte Orientale, Italy






The terms “intercultural education” and “language teaching” indicate two domains of research and pedagogical practice that appear difficult to reconcile, despite the known relation between language and culture and the increasing need of integration. A short review on the main ideas on these two domains, from the point of view of both pedagogical research and institutional politics, even if though far from being exhaustive, shows that both sides are aware of the need for integration. However the different positions tend to highlight single aspects of intercultural mediation through language learning. A hierarchy of goals of language intercultural learners is proposed moving from the humanitarian needs proposed by migration up to the challenges of globalization, that require different levels of intercultural competence. Also the role of English as a vehicular language is shortly discussed. Finally, some suggestions are attempted to integrate current pedagogical and educational techniques.


Keywords: Intercultural education; Language teaching; Interculture; Social integration; English as vehicular language.





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How to cite this article: Giacomo, F. (2015). Steps towards intercultural education and the role of language learning. Journal of Linguistic and Intercultural Education – JoLIE, 8, 87106. DOI:



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