Hatice Asvaroglu: Intercultural communicative competence: are language teachers ready?
1. Eaquals International Conference, 16 – 18 April 2015
Intercultural Communicative Competence;
are English as a foreign language teachers
Foundation English School
Girne American University
3. THE «INNER
USA UK Canada
THE «OUTER CIRCLE»
Bangladesh Ghana Pakistan
Singapore Philippiness Sri
Malaysia Nigeria Zambia
THE «EXPANDING CIRCLE»
China Korea Egypt Nepal
Indonesia Saudi Arabia Israel
Japan USSR Zimbabwe
The spread of English
Language as an international
(Kachru, 1992, p.356)
4. Why to teach intercultural
As a result of globalization great changes have been
taking place all over the world. For example:
More population mobility
More cross-cultural contact among diverse linguistic
and culture groups
All the sectors, including health, politics, and business,
and particularly education are influenced by this great
For example, more interculturally competent
employees are required
6. ELT and Teaching
«Foreign language education is, by
definition, intercultural. Bringing a
foreign language to the classroom
means connecting learners to a
world that is culturally different
from their own»
(Sercu, 2005, p.1).
7. Intercultural Communicative
According to Byram (1997), ICC should be the main aim of the foreign
language instruction and he proposed an ICC model to foreign language
Byram (1997) conceptualized an ICC in relation to linguistic competence,
In addition, knowledge (savoir), skills of interpreting and relating (savoir
comprendre), skills of discovery, and interaction (savoir
apprendre/faire), critical intercultural awareness (savoir s’engager) were
integrated into intercultural competence as five savoirs .
9. Intercultural Competence
Byram (1997) Model
Dimensions of the intercultural
1. Knowledge of self and other; of
individual and societal (savoir être)
10. Intercultural Competence
2. interpret and relate (savoir comprendre)
«Ability to interpret a document or event from another culture, to
explain it and relate it to documents of ones’ own» (Byram, 1997,
3. Education, political education, critical cultural awareness
4. discover and/or interact (savoir apprendre/faire)
Ability to acquire new knowledge of a culture or cultural practices
and the ability to operate knowledge, attitudes and skills under the
constraints of real time communication and interaction (p.59)
11. Intercultural Communicative
Relativizing, valuing other (savoir être)
Attitudes, such as prejudices and stereotypes
suspend mutual understanding.
Attitudes of openness and curiosity;
Willingness and readiness to abandon belief in one own’s
meanings, beliefs and behaviour, and to abandon disbelief
with respect to other’s meanings, beliefs and behaviour.
(Byram, 1997, p.34)
12. EFL Teacher and Intercultural
The teacher standards have recently
integrated ICC as one of the teacher
qualities (Sercu, 2006).
For example, European Profiling Grid
(2013), EAQUALS Teacher Development
13. Foreign Language Teacher
1.European Profiling Grid
was developed as part of a European
Project by 11 institutions, supported by
provided an international benchmark to
foreign language teacher training.
Intercultural Competence has been added
as part of the enabling competences.
14. European Profiling GRID (EPG)
Intercultural Competence is included
as one component of Enabling
Competences in EPG.
Teachers can be at any of the three
developmental intercultural levels as
Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3.
Each level is further divided into two
different sub- levels of intercultural
15. Phase 1
• understands that the relationship
between language and culture is an
important factor in language teaching
• is learning about the relevance of
cultural issues in teaching.
• can introduce learners to relevant
differences in cultural behaviour and
• can create an atmosphere of tolerance
and understanding in classes where there
is social and cultural diversity.
16. Phase 2
• understands and is able to take
account of stereotypical views.
• can use own awareness to expand
learners’ knowledge of cultural
behaviour, e.g. politeness, body language
• can recognize the importance of
avoiding intercultural problems in the
classroom and promotes inclusivity and
17. Phase 2
• can help learners to analyze
stereotypical views and prejudices.
• can integrate into lessons key areas of
difference in intercultural behaviour (e.g.,
politeness, body language, etc.).
• can select materials that are well
matched to the cultural horizon of
learners and yet extends this further
using activities appropriate to the group
18. Phase 3
• can use web searches, projects and
presentations to expand own and
learners understanding and appreciation
of intercultural issues.
• can develop learners’ ability to
analyze and discuss social and cultural
similarities and differences.
• can anticipate and manage effectively
areas of intercultural sensitivity
19. Phase 3
• can use her/his extensive knowledge of
intercultural issues when this is appropriate to
assist less experienced colleagues
• can develop colleagues’ ability to deal with
cultural issues, suggesting techniques to
defuse disagreements and critical incidents if
• can create activities, tasks and materials for
own and colleagues’ use and can seek
feedback on these
20. Research questions
• How did EFL teachers
conceptualize the main aim of
English language teaching?
• To what extent are EFL teachers
21. Context and Participants
• Foundation English School (FES) Girne
American University (GAU) is an English
medium private university in Cyprus.
• FES is a unit within Girne American
• FES provides intensive General English
and English for Academic Purposes
courses to international students.
• 8 international English language
teachers participated in this study.
Participants Country of
Code 1 1P:
2 P.26-30 1P:English
Code 2 Turkish
Participants Country of
Who does s/he
with in English
Code 3 Australia
26-30 English and
3 years - Family
Code 4 American
41-45 French 3 years England
Code 5 Jordan
31-35 English 7 years Saudi
Participants Country of
Code 6 Turkish
31-35 English 10 years England
Code 7 Romania
7 years Cyprus
Code 8 England
21-25 - 1 year Cyprus
A qualitative research method was utilized.
2. Data collection instrument
Research data was collected by means of semi-structured EFL
i. The interview consisted of 9 extended questions.
ii. All interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed.
3. Data analysis (category analysis)
Data obtained from the teacher interviews were categorized against
the EPG as a benchmark for the degree of teachers’ intercultural
26. Teacher Interview
1. What’s the ultimate aim of the English language teaching?
2. How do you define culture and what’s the role of culture in English language teaching?
3. What’s the role of the culture in the communicative language teaching methodology?
4. Do you sometimes include intercultural objectives in your teaching? If yes, what type of
5. What do you think about stereotypical views about other cultures? Do you think they are useful in
teaching languages and target language culture?
6. Do you sometimes have problems which arise due to intercultural misunderstandings in your
classes? How do you cope with them?
7. What type of intercultural tasks, activities and projects do you use in your teaching?
8. What kind of materials do you use to help your students to develop intercultural competence?
9. Do you sometimes help your friends prepare intercultural tasks as well as materials for their
teaching? How frequently?
27. Results and Discussions
2 participants: 1.2 ICC level
6 participants: 2.1 ICC level
All participants could define culture briefly but none of them
referred to developing intercultural communicative competence in
EFL teaching as an objective.
All participants believed that the main aim of English as a foreign
language teaching is helping students to develop communicative
competence. However, none of the participants could extend it
beyond communicative competence as intercultural communicative
Six participants stated the role of culture in foreign language
teaching as contextualizing language teaching as well as
The research findings revealed that
FES EFL teachers’ do not possess
adequate intercultural awareness in
order to be able to adopt appropriate
pedagogy, materials and tasks to
develop intercultural communicative
competence in their EFL learners.
As intercultural competence is not an
automatically acquired competence, initial
teacher training and inservice teacher
training programs should be revised to
include teaching communicative competence
to prospective foreign language teachers.
There is a call for more research regarding,
teachers’ beliefs, perceptions as well as
practices regarding teaching intercultural
What type of intercultural
knowledge, skills, and attitudes
impede the communication
between Joshua and Madelen?
13Eaquals International Conference, 16 – 18 April 2015
Baker, W. (2012). From cultural awareness to intercultural awareness: Culture in ELT. ELT
Journal, 66(1), 62-71.
Byram, M., Gribkova, B., & Satrkey, H.C. (2001). Developing the Intercultural Dimensions in
Language Teaching; A Practical Introduction for Teachers. The Council of Europe.
Barrettt, M., Byram, M., Lazar, I., Mompoint-Gaillard, P., & Philippou, S. (2013). Developing
Intercultural Competence through Education. Council of Europe
Council of Europe. (2001). Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning,
Teaching, Assessment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
EAQUALS. (2013). A Framework for Language Teacher Training and Development. London:
Eelderink, M. ( Madelon Eelderink). (2014, 04, 05). Intercultural communication exercise. Retrieved
from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMh5qim5Iqc .
Kachru, B. (1992). Teaching world Englishes. In B. B. Kachru (Ed.), The Other Tongue; En(pp. 1-18).
English Across Cultures (pp.355-387). Champaign: University of Illinois Press.
Sercu, L. (2005). Teaching foreign languages in an intercultural World. In M. Byram, & A. Phipps
(Eds), Foreign Language Teachers and Intercultural Competence Clevedon: Multilingual
Sercu, L. (2006). The foreign language and intercultural competence teacher: the acquisition of a
new professional identity. Intercultural Education, 17(1). 55-72.
Savignon, S. J. (2002). Interpreting Communicative Language Teaching;
Contexts and Concerning in Teacher Education. USA: Yale University
Sneidr, G., & Lenz, P. (2001). European Language Portfolio: Guide for
Developers. Strasbourg: Council of Europe.
Xianohui, H.,& Li, S. (2011). Teacher cognition of intercultural
communicative competence in the Chinese ELT context. Intercultural
Communication Studies, xx(1), 175-192.