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Teaching intercultural communication awareness and skills. A practitioner’s experience
Intercultural communication is often a peripheral part of language courses, if dealt with at all, and teachers may feel that they are not qualified to enter what appears to be a complex and overly academic area. However, this lack of attention to intercultural aspects may hinder students in being successful communicators in international contexts — for example not simply knowing when to use appropriate forms of address and salutation across cultures may create misunderstandings and face–threatening situations even at very low language levels. The aim of this article is to examine the setting up and running of an intercultural communication course on a short English language module at Ca’ Foscari University, Venice. I will describe the rationale behind the course, illustrate activities and materials used and point to the didactic issues arising during the course. The target population was first year university students but the ideas and approaches used could easily be adapted to secondary school students. The overall goal of the paper is to show how intercultural training could be incorporated alongside more traditional language learning activities such as grammar and vocabulary teaching and is indeed a potential source of enjoyable interaction between students, helping them to become aware of intercultural differences and providing practical tools to deal with these.

Keywords: intercultural training, awareness, skills, stereotyping, othering.
pagine: 171-186
DOI: 10.4399/97888255202628
data pubblicazione: Marzo 2019
editore: Aracne