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Developing English Communication Skills in a Different Cultural Context: Matches and Mismatches

Nicoleta-Mariana Iftimie ()
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Nicoleta-Mariana Iftimie: Associate Professor of English, PhD., “Gheorghe Asachi” Technical University of Iaşi, Romania Department of Teacher Training.

Revista romaneasca pentru educatie multidimensionala - Journal for Multidimensional Education, 2015, vol. 7, issue 1, 169-180

Abstract: It is common knowledge that from among all the languages in the world, English has acquired the status of ‘lingua franca’, i.e., the language that is used in international communication across countries, the language that enables people of different ethnic, national and cultural backgrounds to share with others their ideas and cultures. The use of English as an international language has resulted in a growing number of people who learn and speak this language all over the world. This has important consequences for English language teaching practices, which need to aim at developing the learners’ social and professional communication skills, while catering for the dimension of intercultural communication, placed against the local cultural-educational context. This paper shares the author’s experience of developing the students’ communication skills by means of oral presentation projects in two parts of the world in which English is taught as a foreign language – Romania and Taiwan. After a brief literature review, the study compares and contrasts the two different contexts of learning. The last part of the paper presents the methodological choices made in order to reconcile the global requirement of developing the students’ communicative competence with the local issues connected to the host culture complex. While most of the studies concerned with the teaching of English as Foreign Language in the Asia Pacific region offer either the point of view of the source culture teacher or that of the target culture (native speaker of English) teacher, this paper presents the perspective of a non-native teacher of English who belongs to a third culture.

Keywords: communication skills; Communicative Language Teaching; culture of learning; culture sensitive methodology; oral presentations. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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