This presentation will illustrate a multimodal project in the area of intercultural education. Following significant immigration flows to Malta (Mediterranean) there was a growing need in teacher training to give space to a focused reflection on identity and cultural mediation. In a very short time, teachers of Maltese were faced with a new reality they were not prepared for: how to teach Maltese as a foreign language with a strong intercultural element, an important tool for the integration of migrants in local society. Pedagogical innovation was at the heart of this transdisciplinary project. We worked on a digital production that brings together different art forms: dance, music, poetry and the environment, with the ultimate aim of raising awareness about issues of migration among professional educators. The conceptual framework for professional development activities was provided by the CEFR Companion Volume (2017) section on mediation, and in particular ‘expressing a personal response to creative texts’. A workshop with two different groups of teachers (pre-service and in-service) was conducted and their reflections about the effectiveness of the art forms to stimulate empathic reactions were recorded in writing. The response of the teachers was very positive and the depth of interpretation encouraging. Ultimately, teachers can only implement a positive intercultural pedagogy following a transformation in their own meaning-making and interpretive capabilities, which, as we will show, can be enhanced by an aesthetic experience.
Antoinette Camilleri Grima, University of Malta, Malta
Mattia Mantellato, University of Udine, Italy