The Assessment of Teachers’ Attitude towards Expanding Intercultural Competence in English Learners in Iran
Keywords:Communicative competence, Intercultural competence, Culture teaching, Foreign culture, Teachers’ attitude
This study concerns Iranian teachers of foreign languages in general, and EFL teachers in particular who face the challenge of fostering intercultural competence in language learners. More specifically, the attitudinal aspect of teaching culture is considered as a vital element, seemingly less manipulated in Iranian EFL teachers. The study, therefore, aims to understand whether EFL teachers in Iran believe that language teaching is necessarily culture-bound, and how teachers’ knowledge about culture and strategies for teaching culture affect their attitudes in developing intercultural competence in learners. To these purposes, the current research comprised a mixed-methods design. So as to collect the required data, a questionnaire was carried out on 50 Iranian EFL teachers who were selected randomly. Among them, 10 teachers were further interviewed to discuss their experiences of teaching language intertwined with culture. Having gathered and analyzed the data, it was found that the participants believed that language teaching is, in effect, culture teaching. The results also exposed that there was a significant relationship between the teachers’ knowledge of nature of cultural elements and developing intercultural competence in learners.