Poster: Symbolic Competence Poster (PDF)
Dr. Claire Kramsch, Honorary Doctor of Letters of the University of California, Berkeley, held the informative and entertaining public lecture Symbolic Competence: New Goal for Global Times on October 20th 2012. In the talk, Claire Kramsch illustrated the concept of symbolic competence both in the theory and the practice of foreign language teaching and learning. Given the increasing importance of language in the global economy both as a mode of communication and as the power to make and impose meaning on others, foreign language learners need the ability not just to express conventional meanings and solve communicative tasks but to interpret what is meant by what is said, to understand how people use symbolic systems to construct new meanings, and to imagine how the other languages they know might influence the way they think, speak and write.
Claire Kramsch is Professor of German and Foreign Language Education at UC Berkeley. She researches applied linguistics, with emphasis on social, cultural and stylistic approaches to language study. Until 2006, she was founding Director of the Berkeley Language Center, a research and development unit for all foreign language teachers on UC Berkeley campus.
For further information about Claire Kramsch and her lecture, please read the article in our newsletter Wat's In-Sight issue 8 (PDF).