This paper examines the use of contemplative practices, defined as activities that help focus the mind for insight, in light of these three questions: In what ways can we help students address the stressful challenges of young adulthood? How can we involve students in new ways of knowing and learning that engage the issues of our time? How can we develop a more compassionate understanding of the behavior and values of others, especially those who are unlike us? I examine the use of contemplative practices in foreign language education from three perspectives: as ways to calm and focus the mind for learning, as modes of inquiry, and as paths to transformation and intercultural understanding. The paper is both theoretical as well as practical. I explore evidence from various wisdom traditions as well as neuroscience, theories of human development, and intercultural studies. In the realm of the practical, I suggest an array of classroom activities that I feel support better learning, self-awareness, and the development of compassion.
|Keywords:||Contemplative Studies, Foreign Language Education, Intercultural Studies|
Senior Lecturer, Hispanic Studies, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA
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