Integrating Culture & Intercultural Communication

Integrating Culture & Intercultural Communication

Students need to learn both culture and language in order to be effective communicators in a global context. Developing intercultural communicative competence involves curiosity, inquiry, discovery of self and other, interaction, reflection and relationship building. Fertile classroom environments for such a process to occur are learner-centered and collaborative. Teachers act as facilitators, guiding learners to set goals and design projects, providing authentic resources and opportunities to interact with native speakers, posing open-ended questions, and engaging learners in reflective activities.

However, teachers often struggle with the idea of taking time away from the language focus and question how to "teach" culture in the target language. This Virtual Learning Module (VLM) will clarify the connections between culture and language, clarify the research theories behind intercultural communication, and introduce the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements for Intercultural Communication.

By the end of the module, you will be able to:

  • Explain the basic theoretical underpinnings of intercultural communication.
  • Articulate what intercultural communication is and why it is necessary to stakeholders
  • Understand how culture can be embedded in language learning rather than taught explicitly
  • Identify 4 steps to integrating culture and intercultural communication into the classroom.
  • Design intercultural opportunities for learners to investigate and interact.
  • Implement the cyclical process of noticing, comparing, reflecting and interacting for developing intercultural communicative competence.
  • Use the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements for Intercultural Communication in a learned language for planning.
  • Describe why it is important to assess intercultural communication.
  • Explain why it is important for learners to understand components of the ICC proficiency levels and how you will build this knowledge.

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