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Language in Research and Teaching

Proceedings from the CALS Conference 2016

Edited By Marija Brala Vukanović and Anita Memišević

This book aims at bridging language research and language teaching and contains four sections. It opens with two papers which relate language to literature: one exploring childlike language, the second investigating the distinction between literary and non-literary text categorization principles. Next are the papers on multicultural and sociolinguistic topics, including a paper on English as an international language, and two papers on the perception of bilingualism in education. The third thematic section explores semantics, with two papers on prefixes and one on metaphor. The final thematic section is dedicated to syntax, with one paper on complex predicates, one on syntactic complexity in spontaneous spoken language and one of Croatian null and overt subject pronouns.

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Intercultural communication and the English language classroom: global needs vs. local realities (Irena Vodopija-Krstanović / Valerija Smrekar)

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Irena Vodopija-Krstanović

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Rijeka ivodopija@ffri.hr

Valerija Smrekar

Bedekovčina Secondary School valerija.smrekar@gmail.com

Intercultural communication and the English language classroom: global needs vs. local realities

Abstract: English has become an international language (EIL) primarily used by non-native English speakers for communication in multicultural societies. Departing from the position that English language education should follow suit and make a contribution in the development of intercultural skills, in this paper, we examine the perceptions of 193 secondary school students on their intercultural communicative competence (ICC), and the role of culture and intercultural communication (IC) in the EFL classroom. Findings in this study show that although students feel competent in all four dimensions of ICC, i.e. knowledge, skills, attitude and awareness, they primarily conceptualise IC as knowledge about culture and language of Anglophone countries. Overall, students maintain that English improves and fosters intercultural communication in Europe, but are unaware of the broader implications of EIL. It will be argued that IC should be better integrated in the EFL curriculum, as knowledge about language (and culture) alone does not ensure ICC.

Keywords: culture; intercultural communication; intercultural communicative competence; English as a foreign language; English as an international language; four dimensions of intercultural competence

1 Introduction

The English as a foreign language (EFL) classroom has traditionally aimed to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of the target language and culture....

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