Virtual Exchanges and Gender-Inclusive Toponymy
An Intercultural Citizenship Project to Foster Equality
This paper focuses on a virtual exchange project between the University of Virginia, United States, and an upper-secondary school in Pavia, Italy. Centred on the question of gender equality, the project has been designed to take place over three years (2018-21), and with direct reference to the transnational model of virtual exchange for global citizenship education proposed in 2019 by Robert O’Dowd. As an integrated part of the language learning curriculum, the project creates a virtual space which parallels the space-time of traditional class tuition, and which students can inhabit with a significant degree of autonomy. The project aims to foster gender equality and help students to reflect on the sociocultural evolution of the language and how it can be used to address issues of identity, diversity and inclusion.
Keywords: Virtual exchange • Intercultural competence • Gender equality • Active citizenship • Global citizenship • Intercultural citizenship