Advancing Intercultural Learning in World Language Education: Recent Developments in Pre-Service Teacher Education in the U.S.

  • Paula Garrett-Rucks Georgia State University, USA
Keywords: world language education, foreign language education, global competence, global literacy, intercultural competence, teacher certification, culture instruction, edTPA


Intercultural understanding is increasingly prioritized in the teaching and learning of world languages. Empirical evidence reveals the ways in which an intercultural communicative approach to foreign language instruction can foster learners’ intercultural competence (Garrett-Rucks, 2016). Yet, in the U.S., there remains a disconnect in the distribution of federal funds for internationalization efforts to foster learners’ intercultural understanding and the support given for world languages study, in which enrollment continues to fall (MLA, 2018). This position paper is intended to raise awareness of the crucial role of foreign language (FL) learning in fostering learners’ intercultural understanding in order to put into question the underestimated role of FL learning in U.S. educational policies and internationalization efforts. Despite the lack of financial, political and educational policy support, current World Language teacher certification practices in the U.S. require candidates to provide evidence of their intercultural approach to language instruction. This paper describes the emphasis on cultural reflection in current U.S. World Languages teacher certification practices and provides a review of meaningful culture learning projects to encourage all language instructors to take an intercultural communicative approach to their instruction.

Author Biography

Paula Garrett-Rucks, Georgia State University, USA

Dr. Paula Garrett-Rucks (Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition, UW-Madison) is Associate Professor of Foreign Language Education at Georgia State University. She is an active researcher on the formation of learners’ cultural perceptions and stereotypes, the role of affect in second language learning, and digital L2 literacy. Dr. Garrett-Rucks has served on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) as an officer of the Cultures SIG and an invited member of the ACTFL Interculturality Task Force to design national rubrics for assessing the development of intercultural competence in language instruction.