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Cosmopolitan speakers and their cultural cartographies

Ros i Solé, C; (2013) Cosmopolitan speakers and their cultural cartographies. The Language Learning Journal , 41 (3) 326 - 339. 10.1080/09571736.2013.836349. Green open access

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Abstract

Language learners' increased mobility and the ubiquity of virtual intercultural encounters has challenged traditional ideas of ‘cultures’. Moreover, representations of cultures as consumable life-choices has meant that learners are no longer locked into standard and static cultural identities. Language learners are better defined as cosmopolitan individuals with subjective and complex socio-political and historical identities. Such models push the boundaries of current concepts in language pedagogy to new understandings of who the language learner is and a refashioning of the cultural maps they inhabit. This article presents a model for cultural understanding that draws on the theoretical framework of Beck's Cosmopolitan Vision and its related concepts of ‘Banal Cosmopolitanism’ and ‘Cosmopolitan Empathy’. Narrative accounts are used to illustrate the experience of a group of students of Arabic and Serbian/Croatian and their use of the cultural resources at their disposal to construct their own subjective cosmopolitan life-worlds. Through the analysis of learners' everyday cultural practices inside and outside the educational environment, the scope of the intercultural experience is revisited and a new paradigm for the language learner is presented. The Cosmopolitan Speaker (CS) described in this article is a subject who adopts a flâneur-like disposition to reflect on and scrutinise the target culture. Armed with this highly personal interpretation of reality, CSs will be able to take part in their own cultural trajectories and imagine and ‘figure’ their own cartography of the world.

Type: Article
Title: Cosmopolitan speakers and their cultural cartographies
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/09571736.2013.836349
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09571736.2013.836349
Additional information: © 2013 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The moral rights of the named author(s) have been asserted. Permission is granted subject to the terms of the License under which the work was published. Please check the License conditions for the work which you wish to reuse. Full and appropriate attribution must be given. This permission does not cover any third party copyrighted material which may appear in the work requested.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1464364
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