The importance of being critical – Polish EFL teachers' beliefs and practices

Dublin Core


The importance of being critical – Polish EFL teachers' beliefs and practices


Cierpisz, Agata


Sooner or later, countries like Poland will have to welcome immigrants from the Middle East and successfully communicate with the immigrants from different cultural backgrounds. I would like to argue that critical cultural awareness proves to be a cornerstone of the model of Intercultural Communicative Competence (Byram, 1997) and should be considered a prerequisite for developing the rest of the components comprising the model. The main aim of the present research paper is to investigate, analyse and discuss Polish EFL teachers' beliefs on the idea of including critical cultural awareness, a crucial component of intercultural competence, in the EFL lessons, teachers' teaching practices with reference to developing particular elements of intercultural competence in the EFL lessons and the possible discrepancies between their beliefs and practices. A questionnaire administered to 125 Polish EFL teachers and a case study of three practitioners, who were observed, interviewed and confronted in a focus-group discussion, were used to collect the relevant data. The results of my research study suggest that a lot of Polish EFL teachers declare that they consider Byram's intercultural communicative competence model (Byram 1997) relevant to foreign language teaching and learning in the present-day and seem to be willing to implement it in their lessons, yet many of those teachers appear not to prioritize intercultural competence in their teaching practice. This apparent discrepancy between language teachers' beliefs and their practices may stem from teachers' lack of sufficient intercultural training during their professional education. A need for implementing critical cultural awareness into the pre-service teacher trainings was identified. Keywords: intercultural competence, critical cultural awareness, EFL teaching and learning




International Burch University





Document Viewer