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Synthecultural Communities: What, How, Why, and Who Cares?
- Dana E. Webber, State College Area School District, State College, Pennsylvania, USA
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Synthecultural Communicative Competence (SCC) means application of integrated knowledge for productive fusion among people. Developing it starts with education. In schools, it requires teachers to employ intercultural communicative competence (ICC) skills (Byram, 1997) to unite the languaculture being learned with cultures of technology, of students’ peers and families, and of the school and teaching. This notion relates to Risager’s (2000) and Byram’s (2009) works, considering a synthesis of people within a somewhat synthetic classroom culture, temporary and manufactured in nature; operating in conjunction with that are synergism of technology-facilitated global communication, discussed by Myers (2006), and teachers’ attempts to constructively blend with a professional environment (Mungo, 1983) while functioning through use of the languaculture being learned (LBL). Successful interplay among these cultural facets implies rapport among students, between teacher and students (Burke, 2005; PA Dept. of Ed., 2010; Savignon, 1983; Victoria 1970; and Yam, 1982, 1986), and with others inside and outside of school. The value of SCC is that relevant skills can be applied to virtually any occupation, transferred to venues outside of school for social and professional agility. Sample learning activities demonstrate that computers with Internet, plus not only the teacher but all persons present, may serve as resources for learning that can happen for every individual participating; and, curriculum design perpetuates learning outcomes that are persistently evolutionary rather than disposable in that they result in enduring relationships among interlocutors working across boundaries toward global well-being. Once SCC as it applies to education is introduced and defined, attendees can fill out blank SCC templates and discuss facets that they entered onto it with respect to their professional context and share their thoughts and ideas about what that means for them. Concluding remarks will be made and feedback will be invited.