An Intercultural Approach to English Language Teaching by John Corbett

By John Corbett

Intercultural language schooling has redefined the fashionable languages schedule in Europe and North the US. Now intercultural studying is additionally commencing to impression on English Language educating. This obtainable ebook introduces lecturers of EFL to intercultural language schooling by way of describing its historical past and theoretical rules, and through giving examples of school room projects.

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5) Knowing how to be: how to relativise oneself and value the attitudes and beliefs of the other. This set of savoirs incorporates and transforms the goals of communicative curricula, even those in which culture found some kind of place. In an intercultural curriculum, the learner is still expected to accumulate facts about the target culture, and know something of how people from the target culture might be expected to behave. To these stipulations are added an ethnographic perspective (in so far as students are expected to demonstrate ‘discovery’ skills), a critical stance (knowledge of the behaviours of the target culture should prompt comparison and reflection rather than automatic imitation), and a liberal morality (learners should demonstrate the skills of decentring and valuing, or at least tolerating, other cultures).

In order to design and implement such a course the ELT professional needs certain types of information and knowledge of certain strategies – for example, the way that language genres serve cultural needs, how language can negotiate cultural identity, and how written, spoken and visual texts can be ‘read’ as messages about cultural affiliation. This chapter shows how established means of task design for communicative teaching can be adapted to serve intercultural ends. Succeeding chapters seek to impart key knowledge about topics relevant to intercultural teaching across a range of subjects, as well as practical suggestions about how this knowledge can be transformed into classroom practice.

G. ranking exercises, where learners must discuss their preferred holiday destination, their favourite artwork, and so on). These activities lend themselves not only to the promotion of fluency, but also, potentially, to increased awareness of culture. A common criticism of some ‘general’ ELT courses in the past is that the content is frequently banal: the emphasis on skills trivialises the content. In the later 1980s there was a movement towards teaching foreign languages through a variety of topics, and, at its most radical, through instruction in some other discipline – in a some schools a subject such as Geography was taught through a modern language, such as French.

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