Jeppe Bundsgaard

Aarhus University, Denmark

Plenary title: Communicative competences and language learning in an ecological perspective: The triple contexts of participation and language learning from childhood to adulthood


A fundamental question of language education is: How can language education (related to mother tongue, second languages, and foreign languages) contribute to friendly and fair cooperation within and across places, regions and nations, ethnicity, gender/sex, and age and to a fruitful childhood, creativeness and democracy?

This presentation takes up this question in a context of eco-linguistics (Bundsgaard, Lindø & Bang 2012). The focus is on communicative competences and language education in an era of globalization, climate crisis and migration, focusing on the need for communicative competences related to communication in intra-cultural, inter-cultural as well as trans-cultural contexts.

These three prototypical contexts embrace three different and dialectically interconnected life forms and language and education practices and policies, and they encourage different processes. They are:

  1. Intra-cultural contexts: the more traditional homogeneous family and tribe (firm roles, homogenization)
  2. Inter-cultural contexts: the local, national and global democracy, administration and formalized exchange of goods (negotiation and voting, legalization)
  3. Trans-cultural contexts: the heterogeneous meeting of people of diverse cultural backgrounds in the transcultural societies of the global and local village(s) (creativeness, heterogenization)

The agents and organizations of democratic language education relate to all three types of contexts and support children and adults in developing languages and literacies related to the dominant languages and communication practices of each context: mother tongue (the language of family and friends), 'neutral' hegemonic languages (languages of the powerful), and locally and globally developed highly context sensitive common languages.

Language is a multidimensional, multimodal phenomenon, which dialectically shapes and is shaped by the mind, nature and society. An ecological literacy education includes all modalities and relates to all three contexts.


About Professor Bundsgaard:

Jeppe Bundsgaard’s research centers on didactics of the Danish subject in the Danish Folkeskole (K-9). His focus has been on comparative curriculum studies, innovative teaching and learning, assessment, and educational use of computers. Bundsgaard developed a curriculum theory called Prototypical Situation Oriented Curriculum Logic, laying out principles for development of 21st Century teaching and learning standards. He has used this theory to study and describe information literacy and reading critically online, faceless collaboration and communication, media literacy, and other aspects of language arts curricula. He has participated in a number of projects that developed and tested innovative digital teaching designs in real life settings, and he has developed theories and instruments to study teaching and learning in context.

Published June 21, 2019 10:48 AM - Last modified July 18, 2019 2:50 PM