European Journal of Language Policy

A third space for Europe: Intercultural communication in European language policy

European Journal of Language Policy (2009), 1, (1), 1–20.

Abstract

Intercultural communication has become a key area of development in European language policy. The main reasons lie in the expansion of the European Union, the globalisation of international economic activity and the rapid growth of mobility and migration. This article suggests that the intercultural response is an indispensable step in addressing these challenges, and argues that a European approach must continue to incorporate a strong linguistic dimension. It examines the role of academic research in this area and advances the concept of an intercultural 'third space', in which relations of identity and power can be reframed and choices of language negotiated. It considers how far such an approach can be articulated with the requirements of national and international policy development, and how it can be incorporated in language education.

La communication interculturelle est devenue un point de développement majeur dans la politique linguistique en Europe. On peut attribuer cela à l'expansion de l'Union européenne, à la globalisation de l'activité économique, à la mobilité et aux migrations. Il en résulte une croissance rapide de la diversité linguistique, ce qui lance un défi pour les objectifs politiques importants. Cet article suggère que la réponse interculturelle est indispensable en permettant de mieux faire face aux défis, et insiste qu'une approche européenne doit continuer d'incorporer une forte dimension linguistique. Il examine le rôle des recherches universitaires dans ce domaine et soutient le concept de « tiers-espace » interculturel dans le cadre duquel on tentera de reformuler les rapports d'identité et de pouvoir ainsi que de négocier les choix linguistiques. Il demande combien cette approche peut s'articuler avec les nécessités des politiques nationales et internationales, et comment elle peut être incorporée dans l'enseignement des langues.

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Kelly, Michael