Communicative language teaching and socio-cultural competence: An ongoing process

Pavan, Elisabetta (2011) Communicative language teaching and socio-cultural competence: An ongoing process. In: 1st International Conference on Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics (FLTAL’11), 5-7 May 2011, Sarajevo.

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Communicative language teaching is undoubtfully the most widely adopted teaching approach, however sometimes the learners turn out to be ‘fluent fools‘, especially when the balance between language forms (accuracy/usage) and language functions (fluency/use) are not linked to culture. Culture should not be considered a fifth skill, neither something to be taught deductively, reduced to a list of features to be learned. Culture is always in the background, challenging our ability to make sense of the world around us, so the teacher must raise students‘ awareness and develop a broad communicative competence encompassing linguistic, sociolinguistic, discourse and strategic competences, especially when he/she teaches a lingua franca such as English. In this paper I will try to formulate a practical model offering some principles that may prove useful for the development of skills and methods appropriate to a lingua franca speaker, or rather, an intercultural speaker. Thus becoming an intercultural speaker implies developing a solid basis of intercultural awareness, and this implies a shift from description (usually linked to cross-cultural studies), to modelling, in order to design a process of competence building. Descriptions cannot be taught, they can be memorized and are useful only when the right situation appears, while models can be taught and competences, based on models, can be developed and adapted to many different situations.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: intercultural education, pragmatics, language teaching methodology
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Depositing User: Users 3 not found.
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2012 10:58
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2012 12:41

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