By John Corbett

Intercultural language schooling has redefined the fashionable languages time table in Europe and North the US. Now intercultural studying is usually commencing to effect on English Language instructing. This available booklet introduces lecturers of EFL to intercultural language schooling by way of describing its background and theoretical ideas, and through giving examples of school room projects.

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Byram (1997b) has produced what is to date the most fully worked-out specification of intercultural competence, which involves five so-called savoirs, that is, five formulations of the kinds of knowledge and skills needed to mediate between cultures. Together these savoirs indicate the student’s ability to reach Kramsch’s ‘third place’, that is, a vantage point from which the learner can understand and mediate between the home culture and the target culture (Kramsch, 1993). vp 13 August 2003 16:39:00 Intercultural Approaches to ELT Implementing an Intercultural Approach Color profile: Generic CMYK printer profile Composite Default screen 32 Intercultural Approaches to ELT (1) Knowledge of self and other; of how interaction occurs; of the relationship of the individual to society.

Whatever the outcome of this particular debate will be, L2 teaching should not blindly follow the extreme utilitarianism of the Zeitgeist and reduce communicative competence to the mere acquisition of skills. Perhaps this is all that is needed for English as an international medium, but I doubt it, because the cultural background of the L2 speakers of English will still be present in their communicative activity if this consists of more than booking into a hotel or answering business letters or writing scientific reports, and even these will involve specific cultural presuppositions.

2) Knowing how to interpret and relate information. (3) Knowing how to engage with the political consequences of education; being critically aware of cultural behaviours. (4) Knowing how to discover cultural information. (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.

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