A pragmatic approach to teaching intercultural competence to trainee teachers and translators

Paula Josefina Liendo

Abstract


Byram (1997)’s definition of intercultural communicative competence clearly moves beyond communicative competence, adding to Hymes’ central idea Van Ek’s (1986) six competences of communicative ability, Argyle's (1983) eight dimensions of non-verbal communication and Gudykunst's (1994) characteristics of a competent communicator. University undergraduates whose aim is to become English teachers and translators cannot overlook the importance of intercultural communicative competence in their future professional performance. As language professionals in a rapidly-changing, globalized world, they must be fully aware that the difference between native and non-native speakers has become blurred and obsolete, and that learning is now more about skills than about knowledge per se. Building human capacity has become a process, and flexibility and creativity (rather than content) are more desirable to cope with constant change (Graddol, 2006).

However, a diagnosis of trainees’ performance in their last year of studies at Universidad del Comahue shows that their command of intercultural competences does not match their linguistic proficiency. This gives rise to questions regarding the effectiveness of the materials chosen and the role of the participants in the teaching-learning process. This article explores the possibilities of introducing intercultural competence training to an advanced English course for future translators and teachers. It looks into the concept of pragmatic ability, understood as “being able to go beyond the literal meaning of what is said or written, in order to interpret the intended meanings, assumptions, purposes or goals, and the kinds of actions that are being performed” (Ishihara & Cohen, 2010) and it analyses how students’ intercultural competence can be contextually constructed, through both content and context.

Full Text:

PDF

References


Alptekin, C (2002). Towards Intercultural and Communicative Competence in ELT. ELT Journal 56/1, pp. 57-64.

Byram, M. & Grundy, P. (2003) (eds.). Context and Culture in Language Teaching and Learning. Clevedon U.K.: Multilingual Matters.

Byram, M. (1997). Teaching and assessing intercultural communicative competence. Clevedon, U.K: Multilingual Matters Ltd.

Canale, M. & Swain, M. (1980). Theoretical bases of communicative approaches to second language teaching and testing. Applied Linguistics 1 (1), pp. 1-47.

Capel, A. & Sharp, W. (2002). Objective Proficiency. Cambridge: C.U.P.

Crawford, J. (2002). Chapter 8: The Role of Material in the Language Classroom: Finding the Balance. In Richards, J. C. & Renandya, W. A. (eds.), Methodology in English Teaching. An Anthology of Current Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 80-89.

Dalton-Puffer, C. (2007). Discourse in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) Classrooms. UK: John Benjamin’s Publishing Company.

Graddol, D. (2006). English next. London, England: British Council. Available at

http://www.britishcouncil.org/learning-research-english-next.pdf.

Ishihara, N. and Cohen, A. (2010). Teaching and Learning Pragmatics. Where Language and Culture Meet. U.K.: Pearson.

Jolly, D. & Bolitho, R. (1998). Chapter 4: A framework for materials writing. In Tomlinson, B. (ed.) Materials Development in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Littlejohn, A. (2010). Chapter 8: The analysis of language teaching materials: Inside the Trojan horse. In Tomlinson, B. (ed.) Materials Development in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Masuhara, H. and Tomlinson, B. (2008). Chapter 2: Materials for General English. In Tomlinson, B. (ed.) English Language Teaching Materials. London: Continuum

Richards, J. (2001). Curriculum Development in Language Teaching. Cambridge: C.U.P.

Richards, J. (2008). Moving Beyond the Plateau – From Intermediate to Advanced Levels in Language Learning. U.K.: C.U.P.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5294/laclil.2012.5.2.8

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.






This journal and its papers are published with the Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). You are free to share copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format if you: give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made; don’t use our material for commercial purposes; don’t remix, transform, or build upon the material.

Indexed in: DOAJLinguistics Abstracts Online,Google ScholarsMLA Bibliography - Language, Linguistics and LiteratureOpen J-Gate,Directory of Research Journals Indexing, EBSCOProQueste-Revist@sPublindexERICEmerging Sources Citation IndexORE (Open-Access Research in English Language Teaching)Cabell's International (The White List)Red Iberoamericana de Innovación y Conocimiento Científico (Redib)

Email: laclil@unisabana.edu.co