Intercultural Communicative Competence: Going beyond communicative competence.

With increased globalization and international mobility, the world is now setting new objectives for foreign language teaching that go beyond mere successful communication in second/foreign language. As Aguilar (2002) indicates

“Educational authorities in different countries and at different levels have for some time now been concerned with the objectives that the teaching of a foreign language should achieve. For instance, the law which regulates the educational system in Spain establishes that students, apart from being able to understand and produce oral and written messages appropriately in their own language as well as in a foreign language, should also learn to relate with other persons and take part in group activities with tolerant attitudes, overcoming prejudices.” (p. 87)

The world today is talking of a new mission for foreign language classes which “seeks to develop, through the study of another language, cultural awareness, intercultural sensitivity, global perspectives, understanding of different modes of apprehending reality, and insight into the workings of language and systems of logic” (Aguilar, 2002: 88)

This new focus on tolerance, openness to other cultures and communication capabilities that reflect cultural relativism (as opposed to cultural ethnocentrism) has brought change to the goals and instructional frameworks of foreign language classes. The field went one step beyond focusing on socially appropriate communicative competence as was the case during the seventies and the eighties to focusing on intercultural communicative competence (ICC).

This workshop will help you discover what ICC means, its importance, its components, the pedagogical consequences of shifting class focus from communicative to intercultural communicative competence and means of enhancing it in AFL classes.

By the end of this workshop participants will be able to:

–       Trace the effect of successful/unsuccessful intercultural communication in multicultural contexts.

–       Reconsider their teaching practices to detect whether these practices could be used to develop ICC, how, and why or why not.

–       Develop instructional patterns that target enhancing their learners’ ability to communicate successfully in intercultural situations.


Coperías-Aguilar, María. (2002). Intercultural communicative competence: A step beyond communicative competence. Elia: Estudios de lingüística inglesa aplicada, ISSN 1576-5059, Nº. 3, 2002, pags. 85-102.


To register click here

Please note that seats are limited (maximum capacity 20 seats)! Slots will be available on the basis of first-come, first-serve.