Exploring opportunities for developing intercultural competence through intercultural communicative language teaching (ICLT): A case study in a Chinese as a foreign language classroom in a New Zealand high school

Author: Kennedy, Juliet Vicary

Date: 2016

Publisher: Victoria University of Wellington

Type: Scholarly text, Master's

Link to this item using this URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10063/5040

Victoria University of Wellington

Abstract

This qualitative case study explores naturally arising opportunities for developing intercultural competence through intercultural communicative language teaching (ICLT) in a New Zealand high school Chinese as a foreign language (CFL) classroom. Although developing intercultural competence is a goal of many school curriculums, teacher awareness and implementation of effective intercultural pedagogies is not yet wellestablished. Exploring the naturally arising occurrences of intercultural teaching practices and behaviours in one classroom with no formal knowledge of ICLT provides evidence of how culture may be currently understood and approached in comparative settings. Existing views on culture provide a starting point for further developing ICLT. Data collection methods included classroom observations, stimulated recall, unstructured and semi-structured interviews, and written reflections. One teacher and three students from an intermediate level CFL class participated in the study from June to September 2015. The findings show that while some intercultural pedagogies and behaviours occurred naturally, without an explicit focus on developing intercultural competence students are unlikely to develop the skills, attitudes, and traits which make up intercultural competence in the language classroom. This study suggests that the current cultural activities in class could be transformed into opportunities for developing intercultural competence by adding a regular comparative, connective, and reflective dimension, incorporating the students’ linguistic and cultural experiences. The results of this study illustrate the necessity of expanding teacher awareness and skills in practising ICLT to promote the development of intercultural competence and to increase students’ interest in learning languages in New Zealand.

Subjects: Intercultural competence, ICLT, Intercultural communicative language teaching