Developing a Languaculture Agenda in Australian Higher Education Language Programs
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The last few decades have witnessed profound changes in population mobility, instant international communication and the ever-increasing frequency of intercultural encounters. In response, languages education, as an inherently intercultural activity, has been called upon to equip learners to deal with this new reality, heralding significant changes to the field of language teaching. The most fundamental change is reflected in the underlying goal of language learning, no longer defined primarily in terms of the acquisition of communicative competence (CC) (1972) in a foreign language, but rather, the development of intercultural communicative competence (ICC) (Byram, 1997). The latter encompasses the skills, knowledge and attitudes that help learners to communicate effectively across languages and cultures and thus to become „interculturally competent speakers‟. Despite widespread agreement that languages education should lead to the development of interculturally competent speakers, there is lack of agreement about how to achieve such a goal. This discrepancy between expected goals, and teaching approaches and practices in place to achieve them, is reflected in the failure of both theorists (i.e., linguists and applied linguists) and practitioners (i.e., teachers, teacher trainers and curriculum designers) to traverse the theory/practice divide. This is particularly evident in the Australian higher education (HE) context, where curricular contents and objectives of even experienced university language teachers fail to reflect the broader educational mission in everyday practices. This discrepancy between „ends‟ and „means‟ requires further examination and, above all, the identification of possible avenues that may bridge the seemingly unbridgeable chasm between theory and practice in language and culture pedagogy.
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
School of Languages and Linguistics
Item Access Status
Intercultural communicative competence