Monday, June 14, 2010

Language – The root of all misunderstanding?! – Session 2.2 11.45-12.45

Presenters: Rudolf Camerer & Judith Mader
The talk was a critique of various cultural models and how far language learning is mentioned in cultural research. The European CEFR for intercultural competence was the framework of this talk. Intercultural competence is defined as the ability to have effectively and appropriately in intercultural situation. The presenters warned against falling into the trap of the stereotypical data from previous models, e.g. Hofstede. For example, it is said that “the French are unpunctual” when the French don’t perceive themselves as such. The presenters made reference to what type of English is taught in intercultural contexts. Is it the Anglo-American Mid-Atlantic English or English as a lingua franca? Criteria such as comprehensibility, appropriateness and politeness were seen crucial.  Teaching communicative competence would require focus on language use, communication skills and communication exercises that contribute to better cultural awareness.

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