Reflections on Hornby Summer School Brazil 2006

Intercultural Competence 

English as global language raises issues of understanding other people beyond surface level. In a globalized world, geographical frontiers are knocked down. The role of language teachers is, above all, to develop intercultural competence in his/her students. Intercultural compentence is necessary in order to knock down barriers to communication. Developing intercultural competence as speakers of a foreign language involves being able to accept other people as they are. However, to accept other people involves first knowing and accepting we are. As people we are a product of our culture and our personal history. Intercultural competence is not tested in our relationship with a foreign culture or language. It starts in our very backyards, in how we accept our neighbors or our fellow citizens. Intolerance most often, unfortunately, is bred in our classrooms and our homes. Accepting and living with differences is the key element in building intercultural competence



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