Volume 20, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


With the continuing demand for Australians to develop second language skills to ensure, in part, the development of cross-cultural understanding, there is a need to examine critically the claim that language learning and cultural understandings are causally related. This paper examines the question of whether cross-cultural competence can exist independently of language expertise, and whether language learning of itself results in cultural tolerance and access to other world views. An examination of existing research, together with an analysis of the popular press in three Australian states, indicates that: (i) the wider community believes that learning a language will result in an understanding of and facility in the target culture; and (ii) languages learned in formal class settings do not necessarily lead to cross-cultural understandings and a lessening of insular cultural attitudes.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Ager, D.E. , G. Muskens and S. Wright
    (eds) (1993) Language Education for Intercultural Communication. Clevedon, Multilingual Matters Ltd.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Allen, J.
    (1991) Review ofIsshoni: an introductory course in Japaneseby Margaret Lee . Babel. 26,3:33–5.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Australian Education Council
    Australian Education Council (1994a) Languages Other Than English: a curriculum profile for schools. Carlton, Curriculum Corporation.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Australian Education Council
    Australian Education Council (1994b) A statement on Languages Other Than English. Carlton, Curriculum Corporation.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. B.S.S.S.S.
    B.S.S.S.S. (1995) Japanese senior syllabus. Brisbane, Qld, Board of Senior Secondary School Studies.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Beal, C.
    (1991) zDid you have a good weekend? or why there is no such thing as a simple question in cross-cultural encounters. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics. 15,1:23–52.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Byram, M.
    (1988) Cultural studies in foreign language education. Clevedon, Multilingual Matters Ltd.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Byram, M. and V. Esarte-Sarries
    (1990) Investigating cultural studies in foreign language teaching: a book for teachers. Clevedon, Multilingual Matters Ltd.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Byram, M. , V. Esarte-Sarries and S. Taylor
    (1990) Cultural studies and language learning: a research report. Clevedon, Multilingual Matters Ltd.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Campbell, J. and M. McMeniman
    (1985) The English as a Second Language (ESL) factors and index study. Canberra, Commonwealth Schools Commission.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Campbell, J. , M. McMeniman and N. Baikaloff
    (1992) Towards an educational curriculum for 2000 and beyond. Queensland, Ministerial Consultative Council on Curriculum.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Casanave, C.P.
    (1994) Cultural diversity and socialization: a case study of a Hispanic women in a doctoral program in Sociology. In D. Murray Diversity as a resource: redefining cultural literacy. Alexandria, VA., TESOL.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Chisholm, I.M.
    (1994) Preparing teachers for multicultural classrooms. The Journal of Educational Issues of Language Minority Students. 14, Winter: 43–67.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Crozet, C.
    (1996) Teaching verbal interaction and culture in the language classroom. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics. 19,2:37–57. doi: 10.1075/aral.19.2.03cro
    https://doi.org/10.1075/aral.19.2.03cro [Google Scholar]
  15. Cullen, R.
    (1993) Review ofAvantage Iby Rosie McNab & Fabienne Barrabe . Babel. 27,1:34–5.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Docker, J.
    (1994) Review ofItalianissimo 1 – teacher’s editionby Denise de Rome . Babel. 29,3:34–5 &8.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Fantini, A. E.
    (1991) Bilingualism: Exploring language and culture. In L. Malave and G. Duquette (eds) Language, culture and cognition: a collection of studies in first and second language acquisition. Clevedon, Multilingual Matters Ltd.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Gertsen, M.C.
    (1990) Intercultural competence and expatriates. International Journal of Human Resource Management. 1,3:341–62. doi: 10.1080/09585199000000054
    https://doi.org/10.1080/09585199000000054 [Google Scholar]
  19. Hall, J.K. and A. Ramirez
    (1993) How a group of High School learners of Spanish perceives the cultural identities of Spanish speakers, English speakers, and themselves. Hispania. 76,3:613–20. doi: 10.2307/343839
    https://doi.org/10.2307/343839 [Google Scholar]
  20. Hammer, M.R.
    (1989) Intercultural communication competence.In Molefi, K. Asante, W. , B. Gudykunst and E. Newmari (eds) Handbook of international and intercultural competence. Newbury Park, Sage Publications.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Heath, S.B.
    (1986) Taking a cross-cultural look at narrativesTopics in Language Disorders. 7,1:84–94 doi: 10.1097/00011363‑198612000‑00010
    https://doi.org/10.1097/00011363-198612000-00010 [Google Scholar]
  22. Hickling-Hudson, A. and M. McMeniman
    (1996) Pluralism and Australian teacher education. In M. Craft Plural societies: An international reviewLondon, Falmer Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. (1993) Curricular responses to multiculturalism: an overview of teacher education courses in Australia. Teaching and Teacher Education. 9,3:243–52. doi: 10.1016/0742‑051X(93)90041‑E
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0742-051X(93)90041-E [Google Scholar]
  24. Jayasuriya, L.
    (1990) Language and culture in Australian public policy: some critical reflections. International Migration Review, xxiv, 1:124–48. doi: 10.2307/2546675
    https://doi.org/10.2307/2546675 [Google Scholar]
  25. Kramsch, C.
    (1993) Context and culture in language teaching. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Lauver, P.C.
    (1986) Extending counseling cross-culturally: Invisible barriers. Paper presented atThe Annual Convention of the California Association for Counseling and Development, San Francisco.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Liddicoat, A.J.
    (1996) Australia’s changing language policy. Babel. 31, 1:4–7 & 33.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Lo Bianco, J.
    (1987) National policy on languages. Canberra, Australian Government Publishing Service.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Locke, D.C. and L.D. Parker
    (1991) A multicultural focus on career education. Columbus, Eric Clearinghouse on Adult, Career and Vocational Education.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. McMeniman, M.
    (1994) Putting thinking back into language learning. Paper presented atPublic Research Lecture, Brisbane.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Murphy, E.
    (1988) The cultural dimension in foreign language Teaching: Four Models. Language, Culture and Curriculum. 1,2:147–63. doi: 10.1080/07908318809525033
    https://doi.org/10.1080/07908318809525033 [Google Scholar]
  32. Ozolins, U.
    (1993) The politics of language in Australia. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Passmore, J.
    (1985) Educating for the twenty-first century. Quadrant. August11–9.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Risager, K.
    (1991) Cultural references in European textbooks: an evaluation of recent tendencies. In D. Buttjes and M. Byram (eds) Mediating languages and cultures: towards an intercultural theory of foreign language education. Clevedon, Multilingual Matters Ltd.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Roberts, C E. Davies and T. Jupp
    (1992) Language and discrimination: A study of communication in multi-ethnic workplaces. London, Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Ronowicz, E.A.
    (1992) Intercultural problems in teaching forms of address to Polish learners of ESL.Australian Review of Applied Linguistics. 15,1:85–94.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Schiavoni, F.
    (1990) The case for linguistic pluralism. In D. Goodman (ed.) Multicultural Australia: the challenges for change. Victoria, Scribe.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Stanley, J. , D. Ingram and G. Chittick
    (1990) The relationship between international trade and linguistic competence: report to the Australian Advisory Council on Languages and Multicultural Education. Canberra, AGPS.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Yoshida, K.
    (1990) Knowing vs. behaving vs. feeling: studies on Japanese Bilinguals. In L.A. Arena (ed.) Language Proficiency: defining, teaching and testing. New York, Plenum Press. doi: 10.1007/978‑1‑4899‑0870‑4_3
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4899-0870-4_3 [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
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