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Cultural Linguistics Applied

Trends, Directions and Implications

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Edited By Arne Peters and Neele Mundt

This book offers a range of empirically-based case studies in the field of cultural linguistics and neighbouring disciplines such as intercultural pragmatics and language pedagogy. The first section explores intercultural communication and cross-linguistic/cross-cultural investigations in settings such as Brazil, Nigeria, Cameroon, Tanzania, Morocco, France and Canada. The second section focuses on applications of cultural linguistics in the field of foreign language teaching. By drawing on English as a Foreign Language and English as a Second Language contexts, the case studies presented further examine the ramification of cultural linguistics in the language classroom, enabling a better understanding of culture-specific conceptual differences between learners’ first and target language(s).

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A preliminary evaluation of students’ intercultural communicative competence through reflective writing (Chiuhui Wu)

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Chiuhui Wu

A preliminary evaluation of students’ intercultural communicative competence through reflective writing

1.Introduction

Foreign language education has shifted during the past thirty years from merely learning a new language to having students develop some level of intercultural and communicative competency (Gu 2016). Considered the fifth skill in language acquisition, Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC) is gaining importance in foreign language curricula (e.g. Byram 2014) and in institutions of higher education (Binder 2017). Foreign language students cannot be considered culturally proficient in a language until they understand and explore the cultural context in which the language they are learning is spoken. Ideally, foreign language students would be considered competent if they could critically perceive their own cultures and the cultures of the individuals in which the target languages were being spoken. But the ways in which teachers of foreign languages assess students’ intercultural competence remain unclear. In reality, assessing ICC is challenging due to the complex nature of its constructs (Sercu 2010). Byram (1997), using a holistic measure, listed five dimensions to capture the capricious nature of assessing ICC: (1) knowledge, (2) intercultural attitudes, (3) skills of interpreting and relating, (4) skills of discovery and interaction and (5) critical cultural awareness. Yet, students’ performances of these dimensions remain arbitrary to many language teachers, making intercultural assessment difficult.

Conversely, Lázár et al. (2007) explained that ICC is largely limited to the teaching and assessment of cultural knowledge. With regard to skill, linguistic...

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