In 2007, the members of the Department of Linguistics and Language Didactics and of the Language Didactics Laboratory of the Department of French Language and Literature, of the School of Philosophy, in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, responded to the invitation addressed by the European Commission, which declared 2008 the year of Intercultural Dialogue. Thus, they decided to organize an international conference from the 12th till 14th of December 2008, on the following topic:

“2008, European Year of Intercultural Dialogue: Discussing with languages cultures”

The Organizing Committee of the conference have specifically dedicated a lot of time and effort for the preparation of this scientific meeting, which – despite the unfavourable circumstances that marked those December 2008 days in Greece – took place with a great number of participants from many parts of the world, thanks to the kind hospitality offered by the French Institute of Thessaloniki, the support of the Rector’s Office of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and the dynamic students and many colleagues who were present.

One year later, all the participants reassemble in view of the publication of the Conference Proceedings. With their essays, they resume the intercultural dialogue on linguistic diversity, on its preservation as the main feature of the enlarged European Union, as well as on the substantial development of the multi- and plurilinguistic communication of the EU citizens.

The diversity of learning/teaching of languages-cultures, as well as its preservation and promotion, are the determining factors for the intercultural sensitization and mutual understanding. The ones who are in any way involved in the teaching process should facilitate the transition from the multicultural society to a truly intercultural society, though the learning of foreign languages-cultures.

Wishing to contribute to the activities planned for the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, the members of the Department of Linguistics and Language Didactics have attempted to link the learning/teaching process of languages-cultures with multi- and plurilingualism, linguistic diversity, inter- and multiculturalism, otherness.

There was a highly productive dialogue during the conference, which revolved around three thematic axes, as these had been defined by the Organizing Committee in the Call for Papers:

  • Inter/ Multiculturalism, multilingualism, otherness and language didactics
  • Linguistic diversity and learning/teaching of languages-cultures
  • Teaching practices with the contribution of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), with respect to the development/cultivation of an inter- and multicultural conscience.

With the kind contribution of all participants, this dialogue is reflected in this volume, opening up the prospect for the improvement of intercultural communication.


A. N. Simeonidou-Christidou

of the Organizing Committee