LinguaFolio® Training Resources

Training modules to show how to implement LinguaFolio®

5.3 How are Culture and Interculturality Different?

Culture refers to the products, practices, and perspectives of a target group of people or target culture. Interculturality is the interaction of people from different cultures, and the understanding of another culture so that the language used is appropriate to the context and audience.

Similar to the shift from teaching skills in isolation to integrating modes of communication, the way of teaching culture has shifted to consistently incorporate perspectives into the teaching of products and practices.

Instead of simply teaching a list of products or practices, the focus now is on how the products and practices are linked to the perspectives of the culture of a given country. For example, it is important that language learners have the opportunity to identify the products and practices of cultures and then relate them to how people feel, think, and react.

Linking language and culture

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This graphic shows that language and culture are so closely linked together that they should not be taught separately. The language reflects the culture and the culture reflects the language. In order for the learner to get the full experience of the culture, it must be through the language.

Culture is not an academic exercise. Ideally students would interact with speakers of the target language. In addition, students may participate in simulated situations that place the learner in a setting that replicates how to interact successfully with people from other cultures, then it is more important for them to experience culture. This may occur in simulated situations that place the learner in a setting that replicates important elements of the culture and offers the opportunity to explore different feelings, new experiences, and additional solutions to familiar problems. One example of a simulated activity is the procedures to ride on a train, bus, or subway in a target country. Another could be a walking tour of a famous city.

Next: 5.4) Cultural knowledge and intercultural competence