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Foreign Language Education as a Means towards Cosmopolitanism

DeLisio, Kimberly J (2013) Foreign Language Education as a Means towards Cosmopolitanism. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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In this thesis, I propose foreign language education as one approach for fostering the development of a cosmopolitan spirit in students which, I believe, is a practical worldview in light of the complex realities brought about by an increasingly mobile and interconnected world. Once I provide rationale for the promotion of cosmopolitanism, I engage in a three-fold discussion on the relationship between the place and purpose of foreign language education, of attitude in language development, and cosmopolitanism. Specifically, I first explore the place and purpose of foreign language education in secondary schooling within the past 100 years in order to establish background necessary to understand the trajectory of language instruction. The following section will be an exploration of the purpose and importance of language attitudes as they relate to language learning. It is appropriate to analyze attitudes as they have repeatedly been shown to exist in direct relationship with classroom achievement, language acquisition and retention. Thirdly, I introduce cosmopolitan philosophy and provide rationale for promoting this worldview. Having established the linkage between cosmopolitanism and language proficiency, I argue that in order for individuals to have positive interactions with those from other cultures, to overcome negative attitudes towards those who are different from themselves, educators can utilize the space provided in a foreign language classroom to instill cosmopolitan values, imbed in students a sense of shared identity and common ground with those outside national borders, and promote the sense that we have a shared future together. By tying together all three pillars of discussion, I establish that the foreign language classroom is naturally a catalyst for a cosmopolitan conversation – it provides space in each educational day for students to speak, engage, and explore different languages and cultures.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
DeLisio, Kimberly
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBickel, Williambickel@pitt.eduBICKEL
Committee MemberGunzenhauser, Michaelmgunzen@pitt.eduMGUNZEN
Committee MemberTucker, G.
Date: 15 January 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 10 December 2012
Approval Date: 15 January 2013
Submission Date: 12 December 2012
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 84
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: BA - Bachelor of Arts
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Foreign Language Instruction, Cosmopolitanism, Language Acquisition, Worldview, Education Policy,
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2013 15:30
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:08


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