Cultural competence and language learning II

Intercultural language learning

Intercultural language learning

“Culture shapes what we say, when we say it, and how we say it from the simplest language we use to the most complex. It is fundamental to the way we speak, write, listen and read.” Liddicoat (2002:5)

We discussed in the previous post about the importance of cultural competence in learning a new language. Related to the same topic, I’m presenting you here with an article about Intercultural Language Learning (ILL).

Language has a central role in the transmission of cultural codes: language forms and the messages conveyed by them provide cultural knowledge; hence the impossibility of separating language and culture.

Intercultural Language Learning identifies culture as the lived experience of individuals. Interactions between people are context-sensitive, negotiated, mediated and variable. In terms of learning, students engage in developing cultural competence from the beginning of their language learning.

ILL is developed through five general principles, which guide curriculum design and inform classroom pedagogy.

These principles are:

  • active construction
  • making connections
  • social interaction
  • reflection
  • responsibility.

Full article: Emerging developments in languages education – Intercultural Language Learning (Omusubi, The Japan Foundation, Sydney)


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