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Culture and language in intercultural communication, English as a lingua franca and English language teaching: points of convergence and conflict

Culture and language in intercultural communication, English as a lingua franca and English language teaching: points of convergence and conflict
Culture and language in intercultural communication, English as a lingua franca and English language teaching: points of convergence and conflict
English as a lingua franca (ELF) studies, intercultural communication research and English language teaching (ELT) have all been concerned with ideas of ‘successful’ communication and the competencies needed to achieve this. While all three fields have recognised the importance of language and culture in understanding communication, little agreement has been reached on how to characterise the relationship between language and culture or how this relates to ‘competent’ communication. This chapter will therefore investigate the convergences and conflicts among the fields of ELF studies, applied linguistics research in intercultural communication and ELT in their perspectives on language and culture. These issues are explored, firstly, through a discussion of how culture has been conceived of in ELT and a critique of the often essentialist manner in which this has been done. This is followed by an examination of intercultural communication studies as related to language teaching. A distinction is drawn between essentialist approaches and more recent dynamic characterisation of intercultural communication. How culture and intercultural communication have been conceptualised in ELF is then presented, highlighting features of the intercultural communication literature which have been drawn on, but also a number of points of difference. It is argued here that ELF studies add to the growing body of post-modernist thinking and research in applied linguistics that can inform intercultural communication research through underscoring the dynamic and fluid manner in which form, function and context are constructed in intercultural communication through English as a lingua franca. At the same time intercultural communication research can be of use to ELF studies through the extensive body of work exploring conceptions of intercultural communicative competence (ICC). Crucially, it is this focus on ICC and communicative competence that ELT, intercultural communication studies and ELF share. However, ELF research emphasises the importance of a conceptualisation of ICC in which language and culture are seen as emergent resources in intercultural communication which need to be approached critically. To this end the notion of intercultural awareness is proposed as a dynamic framework for intercultural competence. Such critical perspectives in understanding intercultural communication through ELF and associated notions of competencies have fundamental implications for ELT which have yet to be adequately taken up in theory or practice.
9781783095094
70-92
Multilingual Matters
Baker, Will
9f1b758c-e6e0-43ca-b7bf-a0d5e1387d10
Holmes, Prue
Dervin, Fred
Baker, Will
9f1b758c-e6e0-43ca-b7bf-a0d5e1387d10
Holmes, Prue
Dervin, Fred

Baker, Will (2016) Culture and language in intercultural communication, English as a lingua franca and English language teaching: points of convergence and conflict. In, Holmes, Prue and Dervin, Fred (eds.) The Cultural and Intercultural Dimensions of English as a Lingua Franca. (Languages for Intercultural Communication and Education) Bristol, GB. Multilingual Matters, pp. 70-92.

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

English as a lingua franca (ELF) studies, intercultural communication research and English language teaching (ELT) have all been concerned with ideas of ‘successful’ communication and the competencies needed to achieve this. While all three fields have recognised the importance of language and culture in understanding communication, little agreement has been reached on how to characterise the relationship between language and culture or how this relates to ‘competent’ communication. This chapter will therefore investigate the convergences and conflicts among the fields of ELF studies, applied linguistics research in intercultural communication and ELT in their perspectives on language and culture. These issues are explored, firstly, through a discussion of how culture has been conceived of in ELT and a critique of the often essentialist manner in which this has been done. This is followed by an examination of intercultural communication studies as related to language teaching. A distinction is drawn between essentialist approaches and more recent dynamic characterisation of intercultural communication. How culture and intercultural communication have been conceptualised in ELF is then presented, highlighting features of the intercultural communication literature which have been drawn on, but also a number of points of difference. It is argued here that ELF studies add to the growing body of post-modernist thinking and research in applied linguistics that can inform intercultural communication research through underscoring the dynamic and fluid manner in which form, function and context are constructed in intercultural communication through English as a lingua franca. At the same time intercultural communication research can be of use to ELF studies through the extensive body of work exploring conceptions of intercultural communicative competence (ICC). Crucially, it is this focus on ICC and communicative competence that ELT, intercultural communication studies and ELF share. However, ELF research emphasises the importance of a conceptualisation of ICC in which language and culture are seen as emergent resources in intercultural communication which need to be approached critically. To this end the notion of intercultural awareness is proposed as a dynamic framework for intercultural competence. Such critical perspectives in understanding intercultural communication through ELF and associated notions of competencies have fundamental implications for ELT which have yet to be adequately taken up in theory or practice.

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Published date: 15 March 2016
Organisations: Modern Languages

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 387047
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/387047
ISBN: 9781783095094
PURE UUID: db2f73f1-f5b2-4a2e-a64d-29a034750f69

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Date deposited: 09 Feb 2016 15:38
Last modified: 14 Aug 2019 18:28

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Contributors

Author: Will Baker
Editor: Prue Holmes
Editor: Fred Dervin

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