Teachers’ Perceptions towards Promoting Intercultural Communicative Competence in the EFL Classroom
In language teaching, linguistic competence has typically been the main curricular focus. However, in this era of globalization, in which people from all over the world are interconnected, simply equipping learners with linguistic competence may not be sufficient. In addition, the effectiveness and appropriateness of communication play important roles in language learning. As a result, promoting intercultural communicative competence in the language classroom has become of interest to many scholars. This study was conducted to investigate the perceptions of EFL teachers towards promoting intercultural communicative competence (ICC) in EFL classes, and the strategies they use to promote ICC. The participants of the study included seven Thai teachers from an English for Workplace Communication course at KMUTT. The qualitative data from the semi-structured interviews was analyzed using Deardorff’s ICC framework (2006). The findings revealed that most of the teachers perceived ICC as the ability to communicate effectively and appropriately with people from different cultures, and the ability to be aware of cultural diversity. Desired external outcome, skills, knowledge and requisite attitude towards cultural differences are the aspects of ICC
that teachers have typically focused upon. Nonetheless, teachers have different perceptions towards culture, and as such their respective understandings of ICC vary slightly. The preferred strategies that most of the teachers used to promote ICC are anecdotes from the teachers’ direct experience, asking students to read and discuss, and student role-play. Role-play is the most effective way to promote ICC, in the teachers’ opinion.
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