Crosbie, Veronica. "Capabilities for Intercultural Dialogue." Language and Intercultural Communication 14, 1 (2014). 91-107. Accessed February 20, 2014. doi: 10.1080/14708477.2013.866126
The capabilities approach offers a valuable analytical lens for exploring the challenge and complexity of intercultural dialogue in contemporary settings. The central tenets of the approach, developed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum, involve a set of humanistic goals including the recognition that development is a process whereby people’s freedoms are expanded, and in so doing, increasing the capabilities of individuals to lead valuable lives. How the construct of capabilities can be seen to work in practice is demonstrated here through a description and presentation of findings from an insider-practitioner case study concerning the teaching and learning of English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) in higher education and based on a critical cosmopolitan pedagogical approach. Evidence from the study indicates that cosmopolitan citizenship learning has a valued place in an ESOL multicultural classroom in which intercultural dialogue is fostered. A proposal is made to use the capabilities approach as a normative framework for social justice in the field of foreign language and intercultural education.