Developing Students' Intercultural Communication Competence by Supplementing Local Culture Contents into English Lessons
The ultimate goal of language learning is to communicate effectively and sensibly in that language, yet during the history of language teaching and learning, a focus on linguistic competence has remained dominant, which has undoubtedly resulted in language learners’ lack of sociolinguistic competence or ―intercultural competence allowing them to be a successful speaker of the language. This study aims to increase students' intercultural awareness and strengthen their understanding of their home culture by integrating local culture contents into English lessons for 9th graders. The intervention lasted 10 weeks in the second semester of the academic year 2021-2022, and 40 students in 9th grade at a junior high school in Thai Nguyen city, Vietnam, were engaged in the study as participants. The study utilized tests and questionnaires as the fundamental research instruments to gather data on augmenting local culture contents into English teaching in order to increase students' intercultural awareness of their surroundings. SPSS version 26.0 was used to process and analyze the results of the pre and post-tests as well as the pre and post-questionnaires. The results showed that the supplementation of local culture contents into English lessons has a positive effect on the participants’ intercultural communication competence. It is therefore proposed that local culture contents should be more regularly integrated into English lessons to develop students’ knowledge of local culture.