<UNIVERSITY OF MALTA A Short Course for Teachers on Intercultural Competence at the University of Malta

Within Europe and around the world, societies and individuals are increasingly meeting and living with people coming from diverse backgrounds, countries, cultures and identities. Naturally, adapting and adjusting to different lifestyles and cultures does not come without effort, irrespective of whether we are welcoming communities and cultures into our society or whether we are trying to insert ourselves in a new community or culture.  Undoubtedly, improving our understanding of what other cultures and communities are about facilitates the process of adjustment.

For quite a number of years, across parts of Europe, teachers have been increasingly faced with the reality of working with children from diverse backgrounds. For example, in certain parts of Sweden, 33% of the population is made up of immigrants who are now fully recognised as forming part of the Swedish society.  In the local context, we are still far from such proportions but irrespective of whether there are a few or many individuals who are coming from other countries to settle in Malta, teachers, amongst others, need to be informed about ways in which young children from different nationalities and backgrounds, who do not necessarily share our official languages, can be welcomed to the school context.

For this purpose, a 14 hour course is being organised and held at the University of Malta.  The course is aimed at teachers, particularly those who are currently working with very young learners (4 to 8 year olds) or who have been working with children from diverse cultures.  The aims of the course are for participants to become aware of the concept of Žintercultural competenceŪ; reflect about their own culture (behaviour, attitudes, etc.); develop their intercultural competence and participate/learn about suitable activities for the development of intercultural competence with young learners.

The course will be starting on Thursday 14th April. There will be seven, two-hour sessions in all. Sessions will be held between 16.00 until 18.00. The course is being co-ordinated by Valerie Sollars & Antoinette Camilleri Grima, both senior lecturers in the Faculty of Education.  Attendance is free but registration is compulsory. The deadline for registration is 21st March 2005. A certificate of attendance will be given to all participants. A limited number of applicants will be admitted to the course. If the course is over-subscribed, participants will be chosen on a first come, first served basis.

Further information can be obtained by sending an email to the following email address: valerie.sollars@um.edu.mt.