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Title: Incorporating Intercultural Competence in English Language Teaching in a Lebanese University Intensive English Program Context: An Action Research Project : An Action Research Project
Authors: Salem, Laure R. 
Affiliations: Department of English Language and Literature 
Issue Date: 2012
Conference: IALIC International Conference on Intercultural Dialogue: Current challenges/future directions (11th : 29 Nov 2012 : Durham University, UK) 
There is a need to go beyond the goals, content and methods that have been followed in English Language teaching in Lebanon. Awareness of teaching language from an intercultural perspective is lacking. Intercultural communicative competence is needed to deal effectively and appropriately with cultural diversity, in particular in volatile situations on the local and on the global level. The aim of this study is to incorporate intercultural competence in the Intensive English Program (IEP) at an English-medium Lebanese university to develop the learners intercultural competencies and help them avoid stereotyping and otherization. I draw on Byrams (2006) model and Holliday et al.s (2004) non-essentialist view of culture along with a critical socio-cultural approach to teaching English, using an action research methodology which fits the purpose of this study. The methodology is tested in three cycles over three semesters. The intervention consists of a supplementary course that draws on theoretical input and practical exercises. To get evidence and evaluate the outcome of my action, I explore the IEP Reading Skills 003 course students attitudes towards the English language/culture, and the effect of intercultural teaching on those attitudes. I also examine the extent to which the stakeholders i.e. administrators, teachers and students are likely to approve or disapprove of intercultural teaching/learning. Following the interventions, I use focus group discussions, semi-structured interviews and a diary to find evidence of realization of objectives, using thematic analysis. The findings indicate that teaching English from an intercultural perspective can: develop intercultural competence, promote language proficiency, allow discussion of sensitive issues without triggering tension and conflicts in the classroom, and increase motivation and engagement. Although the results are specific to a particular setting, the findings might encourage other English language teach.
Type: Conference Paper
Appears in Collections:Department of English Language and Literature

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