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Theoretical bases of a conceptual framework with reference to intercultural communicative competence

Issue: Vol 4 No. 3 (2007) JAL Vol 4, No 3 (2007)

Journal: Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice

Subject Areas: Writing and Composition Linguistics

DOI: 10.1558/japl.v4i3.309


With the rapid expansion of communication, the mobility of people and the expansion of immigration, it is generally agreed, in language education, that ‘intercultural communicative competence’ (ICC) should be an essential component of ‘language competence’ or vice versa. It also implies that there could not be intercultural communication without the integration of intercultural competence in language teaching. But, there is a need to study this issue logically and coherently. Accordingly, this article reviews existing theories and models. It also proposes a conceptual framework for the development of ICC which involves cognitive, affective and psychological factors. The three essential domains of ICC are: intercultural knowledge, intercultural skills and intercultural being. They capture the interrelations that are embedded in language, thought and culture. The paper argues that language competence needs to address not only the linguistic, sociolinguistic and pragmatic/discourse elements of langue but should integrate (inter)cultural interactions and transactions between individuals in the learning process.

Author: Denise Lussier

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