07 SES 10 B, Intercultural Education: Competences of Teachers
The paper deals with the topic of intercultural education which should become a natural and well prepared and effective part of any educational setting (not only) in the current multicultural Europe. Although it is an issue included in various curricular documents (in the Czech as well as European context, e.g. General competences included in the Common Framework of Reference for Languages, 2001) and paid attention by many scholars (as well as teachers), it is by no means a topic with clear and generally accepted foundations. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to present the foundations we view as vital, i.e. its definition, aims, content, processes and conditions necessary for its practical implementation. Our initial perspective is that of interculturality, not multiculturality, i.e. accenting processes rather than a state, e.g. intercultural interaction vs. multicultural society. This intercultural perspective further affects the theoretical as well as practical grasp of intercultural communicative competence (ICC) development in practice. Therefore, focus of the first part of the paper lies on the key aim of intercultural education, mainly in the context of foreign language education, which is defined as the development of ICC.
The concept of ICC as a core component of intercultural educationwent through a significant development. Nonetheless, opinions on the desirability of paying attention to intercultural education differ as well as some theoretical agreement and conceptual clarity of the concept of ICC itself since it stands on a basis which has not been precisely defined yet. However, to be able to elaborate on didactic aspects of ICC, i.e. its development and assessment, it is vital to conceptualize the construct first.
Therefore, the first research aim is to uncover the most commonly occurring dimensions of ICC models. An outcome of an analysis of 17 models of ICC (and related constructs) will be presented with special attention to the dimensions of the investigated construct. The outcome is own (designed) model of ICC comprising of dimensions of awareness, attitudes, knowledge and skills within the context of foreign language communicative competence.
Consequently, attention will be paid to the context of teacher education since it is the teachers themselves who should possess and perform a high level of ICC as they are the agents who should be equipped to bring this concept into life in their everyday practice in the classroom. Thus, we focus on the development of ICC in future English language teachers. On the basis of the predefined concept of ICC (above), a syllabus of a particular study subject focused on its development will be briefly introduced. Main accent will be placed on quite a problematic part related to the development of ICC, the evaluation of its developmental processes and their outcomes. The research questions are: (1) Does students’ ICC develop during a study subject focused on ICC evolvement? (2) If so, then in which dimensions and to what extent?
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