In today’s world, English undoubtedly is the most widespread language that has been accepted globally. It is seen that starting from the time of colonization and continuing with the recent political and economic power of United States America, there have been various purposes globally like, education, tourism, science and commerce. It is a matter of fact that people from various regions of the world intends to learn English as a tool to reach up to their various aims of life. An important question in this case rises, that is whether teaching culture along with the language would be more beneficiary or not. In this report a thorough analysis on the teaching of English language focusing on the intercultural communication is done, specially highlighting the factors like what could possibly be the student’s reaction towards cultural communication and the strategies regarding intercultural communication and how the teachers displayed intercultural communication skills in the classroom. In this report it is shown how the teachers teach the learners about intercultural communication and how they promote the presence of cultural diversities inside the classrooms for the benefit of the students and as well as for the society. As lack of these skills would make the society suffer the most, and it is proven that increased intercultural skills actually benefits the society and boosts the economic condition of the society.
In this age of Globalization, intercultural communication is a very important aspect in today’s globalized world as there might be various kinds of prejudices, discriminations and misunderstanding between individuals due to lack of intercultural communication competences. Intercultural communication competences in English language education allows the learner to communicate with success with all the representatives of the specifically target language cultures. It is a matter of fact that to acquire intercultural communicative competence is a bit complex, as it includes a new approach that is generally not found in various language teaching lessons. Apart from that, many teachers find it hard to recognize themselves with this approach and pertain intercultural aspects of the targeted language. Though all the credentials emphasize the importance of the development of intercultural communicative competence for thee learners. The recommendations are in most cases general and they do not provide specified guidance for the teachers. That leads the teachers to be confused and various questions on the learning materials, techniques also rises. Apart from this Intercultural communicative competence next to vocabulary or grammar are less concrete and harder to comprehend. On the other hand, intercultural communicative competences are much needed in day-to-day life. The conventional classrooms provide methodical presentation and knowledge acquisition and various skills that the learner get under the guidance of the teachers, but the real problem in this case is that this method offers very less chance for the students to develop skills to interact in real life situation. The fundamental goal of acquiring intercultural communicative competence is to prepare the students to interact successfully in real life situation in a foreign language.
There are a variety of techniques for teaching the cultural aspects those are discussed in this report and some examples of these actions are also briefly discussed. It is seen that intercultural communicative competence can be achieved practically, just like the learner gain phonological accuracy, syntactic or morphology by practicing more. The daily conversational topics must be regarding daily tasks those sheds light on the identity, differences and similarities in comparable forms or patterns of various cultures. Vigorous researches show that in most cases, the teachers teach the socio-cultural aspects and pay lesser attention to pragmatic ad sociolinguistic competences and non-verbal communication which are very important in this case (Lin 2012). In most cases, only the decent aspects of target culture are presented in the classroom that creates somehow an unrealistic scenario inside the classroom that affects the learner’s perceptions. Thus it is a matter of fact that realistic, contemporary, accurate and factual information must be produced to the learners.
After a thorough research on the learner’s reactions in the classrooms where they are taught about intercultural communicative competencies it has been explored that, there are a strong connection between the intercultural communication and English language instruction. It is seen that the participants of such courses show desire and willingness to incorporate intercultural communication into their teaching (Lin 2012). These intercultural teachings promise to be a foil for pragmatic instructions, aiming to improve the learning and teaching of English language.
Results and analysis
In this section of this report various strategies for acquiring intercultural competence is discussed.
Comparison method is one of the most accepted methods used for teaching cultures. This strategy highlights discussing the basic differences between the native and target cultures (Penbek, Yurdakul ?ahin and Cerit, 2012). In this method not only the features of various cultures, but also those, within a single culture must be compared, as it is a matter of fact that cultures never remain static, they are ever changing and indifferent generations interpret things differently (Lin 2012). This strategy can be used for developing the socio-cultural knowledge, pragmatic and non-verbal and socio-lingual competences. The topic of school is very familiar as an example within primary and secondary level pupils, that includes, school routine, subjects, cloths to wear, school buildings, homework, way of behavior and many more. These pupils are shown a video on a typical British school day, which is also available on YouTube, and suitable subtitle is provided for better earning (Sharifian and Jamarani 2013). This video projects a traditional school day of an eleven years old child which offers socio-cultural knowledge and also socio-lingual and pragmatic phrases and non-verbal communication. In his method, pupils can with ease compare and discuss typical British and Slovak school days and decide the merits and demerits for each type of school’s system.
Along with the technique of cultural assimilation the students are presented with vital incidents, which can possibly be misunderstood (Penbek, Yurdakul ?ahin and Cerit, 2012). The learners are offered numerous possibilities from which they need to choose one that they think is correct. The non-verbal greetings are in all probability the most common examples of misunderstandings. For an example, kissing on the cheeks is a form of greeting universally, but kissing on the cheeks are of four different kinds as per various cultures. The learners are thus allowed to decide which kind of kiss is most suited according to their cultures. The teachers must explain that all types of kisses are actually valid and the learners should know that the types of the kises vary from one culture to another. As in UK people kiss one time and in countries like Spain, Croatia they kiss two times as casual greeting purpose (Penbek, Yurdakul ?ahin and Cerit, 2012).
This technique demonstrates that, a custom can be different in two different cultures. It can also be accompanied by some visual aids to show the differences and a questionnaire for the purpose of class discussion (Lin 2012). The following activity practices the knowledge regarding socio-cultural, socio-linguistics and pragmatic competences. For an example, it can be said that the issue of the mail meal of the day can be taken. It is seen that in Slovakia, the main meal of the day refers to the hot lunch that consists a soup, a main course and in Uk the evening dinner is a popular important meal and that consists a main course with a pudding. For further knowledge pictures of different meals can be provided to the students, so that the learners can discuss the merits and demerits of the both types of meals. The socio-linguistic and pragmatic phrases related to the eating habits must also be compared.
Cultural island can be a very effective technique and it is continuously in the subconscious level effects the learners. The contemporary pictures and posters of actors, vocalists, movies, authors and famous places must be put on the walls in the classrooms, aiming to attract the learner’s attention and evoke comments on them and maintaining a cultural ambience within the classroom (Penbek, Yurdakul ?ahin and Cerit, 2012). This technique primarily focuses on the socio-cultural knowledge of the students. I most of the classrooms grammar charts, pictures related to other languages and vocabulary posters should be present, which if not attract the students must be replaced by eye-catching popular posters and pictures related to socio-cultural knowledge (Lin 2012).
Reformulation can be said is a retelling of a story to a associate in own words. Noticing refers to paying attention to the specific feature. These both techniques can be applied to the previously discussed video regarding the British school days. Pupils can retell portions of the story through which they can master speaking and that would enhance their socio-cultural knowledge. Noticing is a very effective technique and by this technique the learners look for some specific features which are connected to the topic (Ihtiyar and Ahmad 2015). For an example, the differences between the Slovak and British schools, or the number of times the word please are used and many more. Thus, Reformulation and noticing can be used for practicing the socio-cultural knowledge, pragmatic non-verbal competence and socio-lingual competence.
Method of prediction employ the learners actively by predicting a half told story by guessing the content of the story or article based on the headlines or a few lines of information (Ihtiyar and Ahmad 2015). This may evoke a sense of curiosity among the learners and interest to talk emerges, and whether their predictions were right or wrong does not matter. In this case, for an example, it can be said that, there is a headline stating Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie adopts again, and the learners would have to predict what the article is about by just guessing by the headlines. The topic adoption might be discussed in a deeper way and various cultural views can be compared. This type of activity is further suitable for the advanced and matured earners and it can practice socio-cultural knowledge along with the system of values (Holmes and O’Neill 2012).
TPR technique was designed to respond to the oral commands to take action out cultural experiences. TPR is very popular among the mall children who love to act out stories, grammar structures and songs. TPR in cultural teaching is mostly suited for the non-verbal communications and it might also be used with various age groups (Hua 2013). The learners need to acknowledge by various gestures, practice and their meanings in various cultures. Apt examples, in this sector can be said that kissing on the cheek, a handshake or nodding head. These actions bear different meanings in various cultures. A student acts out different gestures and the other students categorize it to the cultures where that gesture would be appropriate or inappropriate.
Role play is a very important technique practicing socio-linguistic and pragmatic phrases, non-verbal communication and socio-cultural knowledge (Foncha and Sivasubramaniam 2014). For an example, it can be said that, students may practice situations in public places like restaurants, shops, or even in a bus stop and many more places. The role play technique offers the most possible opportunities to the learners to practice real life situations which are very essential for intercultural communication. Role play technique is suitable for all the levels of language proficiency and age groups.
Treasure hunt includes searching for some specified items in advance, for an example it can be said that, people, events, dates in a news or magazine article (Chen 2012). Research can be attributed as most dominant learning tool that combines learning and interests. Learners are told to research any aspects of the target culture that interests them, submit the projects and also create and show some posters. Drama is a technique where the students act out short scenes of various misinterpretation and also clarification of the something that may happen between two different cultures, and which is primarily caused by misunderstanding the target culture. An effective technique for the development of the intercultural perspective is the usage of personal diaries, portfolio and journals (Byram, Holmes and Savvides 2013). The students should make notes with their personal understanding of intercultural elements and describe encounters with someone in unfamiliar language, experiences from foreign nations and many more. The learners can look back at the development of their intercultural communicative competence, and the majority of the EFL activities like games, field trips and songs might be adapted for teaching of cultures.
Teachers expressing Intercultural skills
As administrators are responsible for encouraging and supporting the efforts made by the learners to make sure that all the students are getting equal opportunity to showcase their intercultural skills and practicing more they would acquire the necessary skills (Bou?Franch 2012). Due to globalization diversity increases and becomes a norm within the classrooms and the administrator must act as a support system for the students to acquire this necessary skill. A positive attitude to diversification sets the stage for the teachers to develop the perspective necessary to teach effectively in culturally diversified classrooms. The administrators can promote diversity as an asset and that would encourage the teacher to take advantage of the opportunities that diversity offers (Barrett, Huber and Reynolds 2014). The teachers get offered opportunities to integrate cultural perspective into the set of courses. The teachers who acknowledge the intercultural communication is crucial in the society, recognize the significant role teachers play in making sure the equality and equity both in the classroom an in the society. It is a matter of fact that culturally perceptive educators recognize the capability of culture to reduce marginalization. The teachers who look at the world through an intercultural point of view, they develop the skills to teach through the focus of his own perspective and that would improve the learner’s academic achievement and also create accepting and safe classrooms where cultural diversity is present and it is seen as an asset (Asante 2013).
Thus to conclude, it can be said that maintaining an intercultural diversity is an essential thing in today’s world and the teachers should contribute extra efforts to teach thee learners about intercultural communicative competence for the benefit of the learners and as well as the society. It is a matter of fact that due to lack of intercultural communicating skills various problems rises such as misunderstanding or many grave issues, but those can be dealt with proper teaching about intercultural communicative competence. Thus, it can be said that intercultural communication is very important in today’s world.
Asante, M.K., 2013. The global intercultural communication reader. Routledge.
Barrett, M.D., Huber, J. and Reynolds, C., 2014. Developing intercultural competence through education. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing.
Bennett, M., 2013. Basic concepts of intercultural communication: Paradigms, principles, and practices. Hachette UK.
Bou?Franch, P., 2012. Pragmatic transfer. The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics.
Byram, M., Holmes, P. and Savvides, N., 2013. Intercultural communicative competence in foreign language education: Questions of theory, practice and research. The Language Learning Journal, 41(3), pp.251-253.
Chen, G.M., 2012. The impact of new media on intercultural communication in global context.
Chen, L. ed., 2017. Intercultural communication (Vol. 9). Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG.
Foncha, J.W. and Sivasubramaniam, S., 2014. The links between intercultural communication competence and identity construction in the University of Western Cape (UWC) community. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 5(10), p.376.
Foncha, J.W., 2012. A selective investigation of the University of the Western Cape‘s students and teachers attempts at intercultural communication: exploring the connections between intercultural communication competence and identity construction.
Han, Y., 2013. Research on fostering intercultural communication competence of foreign language learners. Cross-Cultural Communication, 9(1), p.5.
Holmes, P. and O’Neill, G., 2012. Developing and evaluating intercultural competence: Ethnographies of intercultural encounters. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 36(5), pp.707-718.
Hua, Z., 2013. Exploring intercultural communication: Language in action. Routledge.
Ihtiyar, A. and Ahmad, F.S., 2015. The role of intercultural communication competence on service reliability and customer satisfaction. Journal of Economic and Social Studies, 5(1), p.145.
Kramsch, C., 2013. Teaching culture and intercultural competence. Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Lin, Y., 2012. Chinese International Students' Intercultural Communication Competence and Intercultural Communication Apprehension in the USA(Doctoral dissertation, East Tennessee State University).
Penbek, ?., Yurdakul ?ahin, D. and Cerit, A.G., 2012. Intercultural communication competence: A study about the intercultural sensitivity of university students based on their education and international experiences. International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management, 11(2), pp.232-252.
Phipps, A., 2013. Intercultural ethics: Questions of methods in language and intercultural communication. Language and Intercultural Communication, 13(1), pp.10-26.
Popa, B.M., 2012. The relationship between leadership effectiveness and organizational performance. Journal of defense resources management, 3(1), p.123.
Sharifian, F. and Jamarani, M. eds., 2013. Language and intercultural communication in the new era. Routledge.
Soria, K.M. and Troisi, J., 2014. Internationalization at home alternatives to study abroad: Implications for students’ development of global, international, and intercultural competencies. Journal of Studies in International Education, 18(3), pp.261-280.