TEACHING CULTURE AND DEVELOPING INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE IN HIGH SCHOOLS IN THE MEKONG DELTA: FROM PERCEPTIONS TO PRACTICE

  • Van Long Nguyen
Keywords: Intercultural Communicative Competence, High school EFL, perceptions

Abstract

English language teaching (ELT) in the era of globalization does not simply equip learners with linguistic competence. English language learners need to develop intercultural communicative competence (ICC) - one of the indispensable skills in the 21st century. To develop ICC for learners, teachers should incorporate intercultural attitudes, knowledge, and skills into the language classroom. For this purpose, the current study was conducted to explore EFL high school teachers’ perceptions of ICC in language teaching and investigate their practices of ICC integration in EFL classes. The study was designed as qualitative research. The data from both classroom observations (n=8) and semi-structured interviews (n=4) were examined to have insights into the teachers’ perceptions and practices. The findings showed that despite their positive attitudes towards ICC teaching, their practices of ICC integration in EFL classes were at an average level and they tended to prioritize linguistic proficiency over cultural competence. Furthermore, the results indicated that they were in favor of and integrated ICC knowledge in their teaching rather than ICC attitudes and skills. Notably, the preferred activities that most of the participants consider the most effective way to include ICC are role-play and video watching. It is implied from the research findings that EFL high school teachers should master not only instructional goals to know how to adapt teaching materials in compensation for lack of cultural content but also intercultural teaching stages to know the way of creating strategies appropriate for each stage and integrating ICC into their classroom practices.

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Published
2023-11-06