Volume 42, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



Languages curricula are an important, yet underutilized, site for students’ development of intercultural knowledge, awareness and skills in higher education, though there has been little related empirical research. Given the key role teachers play in student learning, in the context of two Australian universities, this study explores language teaching academics’ perspectives on language, culture and intercultural communication, and how these are reflected in their teaching approaches. As part of a larger needs analysis project into the teaching of languages and intercultural communication, this article reports on semi-structured interviews with ten academic staff engaged in teaching and/or researching languages, and one study abroad coordinator with a language teaching background. Interpretations of the key concepts varied, as did participants’ reported approaches to teaching, from critical to instrumental. Teachers’ interpretations and approaches were influenced by their teaching and learning histories, and while there were a range of approaches to the incorporation of the (inter)cultural in the teaching of languages, this was approached more critically than reported in previous studies. Contextual features which may limit such integration of language and culture are discussed, as is the contribution of languages teachers to students’ development of intercultural competence.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Baker, W.
    (2012) From cultural awareness to intercultural awareness in ELT. ELT Journal, 66(1), 62–70. doi:  10.1093/elt/ccr017
    https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/ccr017 [Google Scholar]
  2. (2015) Culture and identity through English as a lingua franca: Rethinking concepts and goals in intercultural communication. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter Mouton. 10.1515/9781501502149
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9781501502149 [Google Scholar]
  3. Basturkmen, H.
    (2012) Review of research into the correspondence between language teachers’ stated beliefs and practices. System, 40(2), 282–295. doi:  10.1016/j.system.2012.05.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2012.05.001 [Google Scholar]
  4. Bazeley, P.
    (2013) Qualitative data analysis: Practical strategies. London: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Bazeley, P. , & Jackson, K.
    (2013) Qualitative data analysis with NVivo2nd ed.London: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Biggs, J. , & Tang, C.
    (2011) Teaching for quality learning at university4th ed.New York, NY: McGraw-Hill International.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Borg, S.
    (2006) Teacher cognition and language education: Research and practice. London: Continuum.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. (2012) Current approaches to language teacher cognition research: A methodological analysis. In R. Barnard & A. Burns (Eds.), Researching language teacher cognition and practice: International case studies (pp.11–29). Bristol: Multilingual Matters. 10.21832/9781847697912‑003
    https://doi.org/10.21832/9781847697912-003 [Google Scholar]
  9. Burns, A. , Freeman, D. , & Edwards, E.
    (2015) Theorizing and studying the language-teaching mind: Mapping research on language teacher cognition. Modern Language Journal99(3), 585–601. doi:  10.1111/modl.12245
    https://doi.org/10.1111/modl.12245 [Google Scholar]
  10. Byram, M.
    (1997) Teaching and assessing intercultural communicative competence. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. (2008) From foreign language education to education for intercultural citizenship. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. 10.21832/9781847690807
    https://doi.org/10.21832/9781847690807 [Google Scholar]
  12. Canale, G.
    (2016) (Re)Searching culture in foreign language textbooks, or the politics of hide and seek. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 29(2), 225–243. doi:  10.1080/07908318.2016.1144764
    https://doi.org/10.1080/07908318.2016.1144764 [Google Scholar]
  13. Corbin, J. , & Strauss, A.
    (2015) Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory4th ed.London: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Crookes, G.
    (2015) Redrawing the boundaries on theory, research, and practice concerning Language teachers’ philosophies and language teacher cognition: Toward a critical perspective. Modern Language Journal, 99(3): 485–499. doi:  10.1111/modl.12237
    https://doi.org/10.1111/modl.12237 [Google Scholar]
  15. Díaz, A. R.
    (2013) Developing critical languaculture pedagogies in higher education: Theory and practice. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. 10.21832/9781783090365
    https://doi.org/10.21832/9781783090365 [Google Scholar]
  16. Díaz, A. R. , & Moore, P. J.
    (2018) (Re)imagining a course in intercultural communication for the 21st century. Intercultural Communication Education, 1(3), 1–18. 10.29140/ice.v1n3.87
    https://doi.org/10.29140/ice.v1n3.87 [Google Scholar]
  17. Dlaska, A.
    (2013) The role of foreign language programmes in internationalising learning and teaching in higher education. Teaching in Higher Education, 19(3), 260–271. doi:  10.1080/13562517.2012.696538
    https://doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2012.696538 [Google Scholar]
  18. Dörnyei, Z. , & Taguchi, T.
    (2010) Questionnaires in second language research (2nd ed.). London and New York, NY: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Flick, U.
    (2007) Managing quality in qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 10.4135/9781849209441
    https://doi.org/10.4135/9781849209441 [Google Scholar]
  20. (2009) An introduction to qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Gee, J. P.
    (2008) Social linguistics and literacies: Ideology in discourses. Abingdon: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Glaser, B. , & Strauss, A.
    (1967) The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. New York, NY: Aldine de Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Hofstede, G. , Hofstede, G. J. , & Minkov, M.
    (2010) Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind3rd ed.New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Holliday, A.
    (1999) Small Cultures. Applied Linguistics, 20(2), 237–264. doi:  10.1093/applin/20.2.237
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/20.2.237 [Google Scholar]
  25. (2013) Understanding intercultural communication: Negotiating a grammar of culture. London & New York, NY: Routledge. 10.4324/9780203492635
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203492635 [Google Scholar]
  26. King, N. , & Horrocks, C.
    (2010) Interviewing in qualitative research. London: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Kramsch, C.
    (2014) Language and culture. AILA Review, 27(1), 30–55. doi:  10.1075/aila.27.02kra
    https://doi.org/10.1075/aila.27.02kra [Google Scholar]
  28. Kubanyiova, M. , & Feryok, A.
    (2015) Language teacher cognition in applied linguistics research: Revisiting the territory, redrawing the boundaries, reclaiming the relevance. Modern Language Journal, 99(3), 435–449. doi:  10.1111/modl.12239
    https://doi.org/10.1111/modl.12239 [Google Scholar]
  29. Leask, B.
    (2009) Using formal and informal curricula to improve interactions between home and international students. Journal of Studies in International Education, 13(2), 205–221. doi:  10.1177/1028315308329786
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1028315308329786 [Google Scholar]
  30. Li, L. & Walsh, S.
    (2011) ‘Seeing is believing’: looking at EFL teachers’ beliefs through classroom interaction. Classroom Discourse, 2(1), 39–57. 10.1080/19463014.2011.562657
    https://doi.org/10.1080/19463014.2011.562657 [Google Scholar]
  31. Liddicoat, A. J. , Papademetre, L. , Scarino, A. , & Kohler, M.
    (2003) Report on intercultural language learning. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Liddicoat, A. J. , & Scarino, A.
    (2013) Intercultural language teaching and learning. New York, NY: Wiley and Sons. 10.1002/9781118482070
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118482070 [Google Scholar]
  33. Lo Bianco, J.
    (2009) Second languages and Australian schooling. Victoria: ACER Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Mason, J.
    (2002) Qualitative researching2nd ed.London: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Martin, J. N. , Nakayama, T. K. N. , & Carbaugh, D.
    (2012) The history and development of the study of intercultural communication and applied linguistics. In J. Jackson (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of language and intercultural communication (pp.17–36). New York, NY: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Miles, M. B. , & Huberman, A. M.
    (1994) Qualitative data analysis2nd ed.Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Moloney, R. , & Xu, H. L.
    (2015) Intercultural competence in tertiary learners of Chinese as a foreign language: Analysis of an innovative learning task. In R. Moloney & H. L. Xu (Eds.), Exploring innovative pedagogy in the teaching and learning of Chinese as a foreign language (pp.97–114). Singapore: Springer.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Moore, P. J. , & Hampton, G.
    (2015) ‘It’s a bit of a generalization, but …’: Participant perspectives on intercultural group assessment in higher education. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 40(3), 390–406. doi:  10.1080/02602938.2014.919437
    https://doi.org/10.1080/02602938.2014.919437 [Google Scholar]
  39. (2016) Teacher cognition and action in the design and implementation of intercultural group assessment in higher education. In D. Jindal-Snape & B. Rienties (Eds.), Multi-dimensional transitions of international students to higher education (pp.181–99). London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Piller, I.
    (2011) Intercultural communication: A critical introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Prosser, K. , & Trigwell, M.
    (2014) Qualitative variation in approaches to university teaching and learning in large first-year classes. Higher Education, 67(6), 783–795. doi:  10.1007/s10734‑013‑9690‑0
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-013-9690-0 [Google Scholar]
  42. Richards, K.
    (2009) Interviews. In J. Heigham & R. A. Croker (Eds.), Qualitative research in applied linguistics (pp.182–199). New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. 10.1057/9780230239517_9
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230239517_9 [Google Scholar]
  43. Risager, K.
    (2006) Culture in language: A transnational view. In H. L. Andersen , K. Lund , & K. Risager (Eds.), Culture in language learning (pp.27–44). Aarhus; Oakville, CT: Aarhus University Press. 10.2307/j.ctv62hgw3.5
    https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv62hgw3.5 [Google Scholar]
  44. (2007) Language and culture pedagogy: From a national to a transnational paradigm. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. 10.21832/9781853599613
    https://doi.org/10.21832/9781853599613 [Google Scholar]
  45. Scollon, R. , Scollon, S. W. , & Jones, R. H.
    (2012) Intercultural communication: A discourse approach3rd ed.Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Sercu, L. , & Bandura, E.
    (2005) Foreign language teachers and intercultural competence: An international investigation. Clevedon; Buffalo, NY: Multilingual Matters. 10.21832/9781853598456
    https://doi.org/10.21832/9781853598456 [Google Scholar]
  47. Sercu, L. , & St. John, O.
    (2007) Teacher beliefs and their impact on teaching practice: A literature review. In M. Jiménez & L. Sercu (Eds.), Challenges in teacher development: Learner autonomy and intercultural competence (pp.41–64). Frankfurt: Peter Lang.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Stake, R.
    (2005) Qualitative case studies. In N. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research3rd ed. (pp.443–466). London: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Young, T. J. , & Sachdev, I.
    (2011) Intercultural communicative competence: Exploring English language teachers’ beliefs and practices. Language Awareness, 20(2), 81–98. doi:  10.1080/09658416.2010.540328
    https://doi.org/10.1080/09658416.2010.540328 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): higher education; intercultural communication; language; languages programs
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error