The Dependence of Receptive Sociopragmatic Competence and Discourse Competence on Learning Opportunities and Input
Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC) has become a key objective in foreign language education in Europe in general and Germany in particular (Kultusministerkonferenz, 2012). In recent years, policy makers have included intercultural objectives in curricula, leaving teachers faced with the challenge of promoting the acquisition of ICC through their teaching. This is true for teachers of a variety of subjects, but it is particularly true for teachers of English as a foreign language (EFL). All English language educators in Germany – from primary to upper secondary level – are now expected to foster the development of ICC among their learners, enabling them to use English as a means of communication with people from different cultural backgrounds. However, although ICC is a central objective, EFL curricula offer little in how language teachers can promote ICC through language instruction.
By investigating systematically the three language competences included in Byram’s (1997) Model of Intercultural Communicative Competence – linguistic, sociolinguistic, and discourse competence – this book responds to the challenge of how intercultural language competences can be accounted for more profoundly in English language teaching (ELT). Within the particular cross-cultural framework of German-U.S.-American English, this study investigated the development of these three language competences in relation to learning opportunities as experienced by 105 L1 German university-level learners of English (N = 105). To that end, the first part of this study dealt with the development of appropriate test instruments in order to (a) operationalize and measure sociolinguistic competence (i.e., American English Sociopragmatic Comprehension Test) and discourse competence (i.e...
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