Across the Disciplines A Journal of Language, Learning and Academic Writing Collaborating for Content and Language Integrated Learning Collaborating for Content and Language Integrated Learning: The Situated Character of Faculty Collaboration and Student Learning

Magnus Gustafsson, Charlotte Stenberg
Globalisation, internationalization, and widening participation are trends in higher education that require efforts to foster a culture of cooperation, reflexivity and learning among lecturers as well as among students. These central forces in education call for curriculum change to respond not only to workforce and student mobility but also to indirect effects like changing requirements for teamwork in the professional world and by extension also in education. These requirements might involve
more » ... ents might involve an emphasis on transdisciplinary teams, an increasing amount of information distribution, and greater cultural and disciplinary variety in student or co-worker profiles. One curricular approach exploring and problematizing this 'culture of cooperation' is Integrating Content and Language (ICL), where a disciplinary focus (content) is combined with a concurrent emphasis on the corresponding communication dimensions (language). [1] This special issue of ATD investigates understandings of Integrating Content and Language (ICL) through the exchange of knowledge and experience regarding collaboration between content (discipline-based) and language (communication / academic literacies) lecturers in higher education contexts. To date, it seems that this type of collaboration can be challenging to students and faculty alike for infrastructural, institutional, epistemological, disciplinary, rhetorical, and other reasons. The papers in this issue help us address some of these challenges and improve our understanding of ICL-collaboration. Not surprisingly, the ways of addressing the role of and need for language and communication education as ICL are many and varied. In this issue, we offer a closer look at places where specific communicationoriented interventions are integrated with disciplinary courses and taught collaboratively. This approach, however, calls for decisions on what is required of teachers of these courses and interventions and the manner in which they collaborate. What is the division of labor and how does the team make the most of the expertise in it? Findings from previous research conducted by the authors, a collaborative team of Swedish and South African researchers, suggest that the creation of productive institutional discursive spaces transgressing disciplinary boundaries has the potential to bridge the distance between communication specialists and disciplinary specialists (e.g. Jacobs, 2008; Wright, 2006; Räisänen, 2007) . Along with related academic Gustafsson, Eriksson, Räisänen, Stenberg, Jacobs, Wright, Wyrley-Birch, and Winberg 2 literacies research, we support a shift away from a 'prerequisites model', where 'communication skills' are conceptualized as prerequisites and somebody else's responsibility, as indicative of an uncritical academic and disciplinary socialization model. Instead, our research promotes a model of critical understanding of the teaching and learning of discipline-specific academic literacies (Gustafsson, 2011; Jacobs 2007; Wyrley-Birch, 2006 ). Such a model proposes that disciplinary specialists also need a critical, outside overview of their intrinsically situated 'insider' role. This overview can be accomplished through engaging with communication (language) lecturers who are disciplinary 'outsiders'. In this type of collaboration, the communication lecturers clearly also enjoy the same shift of perspective. Such a shift of location from a situated insider perspective, to an insider perspective from the outside, changes the perspectives of both categories of lecturers and promotes insight into the need for collaboration and effective partnerships between the disciplines and faculty involved.