DiCE.Lang – Digital Citizenship Education and Foreign Language Learning

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Keynote Speakers & Abstracts

Prof. Grit Alter, University College of Teacher Education Tyrol, Austria:

I just can’t get en-off line time. Cultural Experiences in a Digitalized World

In this talk, I will explore options for cultural experiences in a digital world by focussing on the inter- and transcultural dimension of digital citizenship education (Lütge/Merse 2023). Thereby, I will address cultural learning that has become de-localized, de-temporalized and disembodied, and critically reflect on effects on young people. Central to my argument is the development toward culture as participatory culture (Jenkins et al. 2009) in which digital means of expression have turned users into produsers (Bruns 2008). As a result, I will suggest a digital extension to Byram’s seminal model of intercultural communicative competence.

Bruns, Axel (2008). Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and Beyond: from Production to Produsage. New York: Peter Lang.
Jenkins, Henry; Clinton, Katie; Purushotma, Ravi; Robison, Alice J. & Weigel, Margaret (2009). Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. Chicago: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Lütge, Christiane and Merse, Thorsten (2023). “Digital Citizenship in Foreign Language Learning and Teaching: Educating the Global Citizens of the Future.” Lütge, Christiane/Merse, Thorsten and Rauschert, Petra (eds.). Global Citizenship in Foreign Language Education. Concepts, Practices, Connections. London: Routledge, 226-248.

Dr. Lavinia Bracchi & Dr. Fiora Biagi, Siena Italian Studies - Intercultural Study Abroad, Siena, Italy:

This contribution is aimed at sharing a concrete experience and a proposal of best practices in regard to the Digital Citizenship Education in the context of migrant and refugee education, thanks to the implementation of the Home 4 The World project. This project was created in Spring 2022 by Nuova Associazione Culturale Ulisse in collaboration with SIS Intercultural Study Abroad students with the main goal of assisting refugees and migrants from all around the world. Very soon it revealed its importance in the territory of Siena, where huge numbers of Pakistani refugees have arrived, and has activated some important services, among which the teaching of Italian language, with the goal of allowing them to integrate as soon as possible in the local community. Soon, though, SIS staff and volunteers realised that a real inclusion in the community could not be achieved only thanks to linguistic competences but it would be closely tied to a larger dimension of education that would lead to the development of democratic competences and digital citizenship. Aware of this, together with providing the target group with linguistic tools to facilitate communication both at the local (Italian language) and the global (English language) levels, classes were initiated to promote intercultural dialogue and understanding through storytelling, sharing of personal life experiences, cultural habits, views, beliefs and traditions. These actions are inspired by the RFCDC (Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture) of the Council of Europe and aim at developing the 20 competences included in the model in order to foster active, engaged, and responsible citizenship, both in the real and the digital environment, for young Pakistani refugees and asylum seekers. During these classes, some of the teaching units elaborated by the DiCE.Lang project were used and proved to be extremely useful and appropriate.

Presentation by Dr. Lavinia Bracchi & Dr. Fiora Biagi, Siena Italian Studies: Please see download below!


Prof. Dr. Thorsten Merse
Lena Hertzel

Workshop Diversifying 'Single Stories' through Digital Media

In her TED Talk The Danger of a Single Story, the author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2009) problematizes one-sided and stereotypical representations which are part of our social realities and which support systems of oppression. Adichie (2009) particularly emphasizes that “the single story creates stereotypes. And the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story” (00:13:02-00:13:16). Even though Adichie focuses on the single story about Africa and Africans, these one-sided and stereotypical modes of representation can also be found in dominant discourses about other marginalized groups, for example, in representations of queer or ethnic identities, or socioeconomic or religious backgrounds (cf., e.g., Alter, König & Merse 2021). English Language Teaching offers ample opportunities to diversify and challenge these single stories, for example, by engaging with different types of digital media. Against this background, this workshop focuses on how digital media can be used in ELT to give centre stage to voices and perspectives that remain unheard in single stories – with the goal to challenge and diversify one-sided and stereotypical representations.

Adichie, C. N. (July, 2009). The Danger of a Single Story. TED Talk. https://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_ngozi_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story
Alter, G., König, L., & Merse Thorsten (2021). All inclusive? Eine kritische Lehrwerksanalyse zur Repräsentation von Diversität in den Englischlehrwerken für verschiedene Schulformen. Inklusion. Zeitschrift Für Fremdsprachenforschung (ZFF), 32(1), 81–104.


Prof. Christian Ollivier

Digital citizenship education - A challenge for foreign language education

Digital citizenship has become a social and political priority promoted by European supranational institutions (European Commission and Council of Europe). In this context, every (school) subject is encouraged to integrate DCE. In the presentation we will address this challenge for foreign language education. First, we will define the concept of digital citizenship by introducing the profile of citizens as users of languages and digital technologies that has been drawn up by the e-lang citizen team (https://www.ecml.at/elangcitizen) on the basis of a meta-analysis of the literature. This study has identified a number of possible interconnections between DCE and foreign language education, which have led to the development of concrete solutions for the implementation of DCE in the foreign language classroom. Real world tasks are one of these promising avenues because, as authentic tasks carried out on participatory websites in the Digital Wilds, they allow learners (as citizens and users of languages and technologies) to activate and train at the same time language competences and digital citizenship. Concrete examples from two international projects (e-lang citizen and Lingu@num - https://www.linguanum.eu) will be presented for better understanding.

Jun.-Prof. Theresa Summer, University of Bamberg, Germany:

Advocating Social Justice in Digital Citizenship Education

Gender inequality, LGBTQIA+ discrimination, environmental injustice, the exclusion of individuals with mental health conditions, racism, and ableism – these are examples of social injustice themes that learners may encounter while navigating in digital spaces. As a fundamental means of communication and lingua franca, English can perpetuate or challenge social injustices. Teachers of (foreign) languages therefore play a key role in addressing social injustice themes by enabling their learners to develop the competences necessary to communicate effectively and act as advocators for social justice in our digital world. Against this backdrop, this presentation will discuss the importance of addressing social justice perspectives within the context of critical foreign language education (e.g., Pennycook 2021) by establishing a connection to digital citizenship education (Council of Europe 2022). Examples will provide impulses for teaching practice with a focus on empowering learners to participate responsibly in our digital world.

Council of Europe (2022). Digital citizenship education handbook. Council of Europe: Strasbourg. https://rm.coe.int/prems-003222-gbr-2511-handbook-for-schools-16x24-2022-

Pennycook, Alastair (2021). Critical applied linguistics: A critical re-introduction. 2nd edition. New York: Routledge.

Presentation by Dr. Lavinia Bracchi & Dr. Fiora Biagi, Siena Italian Studies