A multilingual identity approach to intercultural stance in language learning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


An intercultural stance within languages education has been widely embraced within curriculum planning in Australia. Yet prior research has shown that in implementation the stance may not reach its full potential. A key element of an intercultural stance is a focus on reciprocal understanding and intracultural change. Students must reconsider their own identities in order to better understand others, conceptualising themselves as emerging multilinguals may further strengthen this aspect of intercultural stance. In such a stance identity development is a process, identities are constantly evolving and self-awareness is integral to understanding others. While reciprocity, decentring and consideration of ‘self’ have each been emphasised within intercultural stance, further emphasis upon multilingual identity could deepen the intercultural experience. This paper theorises a multilingual identity approach to intercultural stance in which multilingual identity intersects with intercultural languages education. This approach synthesises the existing literature on identity, multilingual identity and intercultural understanding. The key intersections are identified as: the inter-relationship of language and culture, imagined identities, self-concept, feelings of belonging and consideration of self and others (reflexivity).

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalLanguage Learning Journal
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • identity negotiation
  • intercultural language education
  • intercultural understanding
  • Multilingual identity

Cite this