Critical Intercultural Communication Education: Cultural Analysis and Pedagogical Applications
With continuous advances in communication, technology, and increased mobility, intercultural communication competence has become an essential element to address in foreign and second language education (Kramsch, 2013, Liddicoat & Scarino, 2013). This paper proposes a pedagogical approach to intercultural language education that utilizes the students’ L1 (i.e., Persian) to facilitate cultural awareness and successful intercultural communication. A cultural analysis model is used to show how L1 cultural values contribute to politeness and speech act realization patterns and how that knowledge can be used when making sense of the pragmatics of other languages. Specifically, we place emphasis on learners’ critical awareness and appreciation of their own cultural values and language in order to be able to develop heightened sensitivity to the potential influence of cultural assumptions on communication. Our approach aligns well with the current shift towards critical pedagogy which encourages learners to be critically reflective (Kumaravadivelu, 2008) with awareness and appreciation of their own local cultural values and critical awareness of other cultures. After discussing how cultural conceptualisations of face and politeness influence the use of pragmatics and speech act realization patterns in Persian, we suggest a number of pedagogical activities to raise students’ meta-pragmatic awareness and capacity for reflecting on relationships between language use and culture.
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