Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC) of EFL Students at University Level
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Foreign language learning is comprised of grammatical competence, communicative competence, language proficiency and cultural competence. Cultural competence is the knowledge of the conventions, customs, beliefs, and systems of meaning of another country. Language and culture are inseparable. Culture is the foundation of communication. Language itself makes no sense and has no meaning outside the cultural setting in which it is spoken. In the EFL teaching, great attention should be paid to teaching culture of the target language as well as to teaching linguistic knowledge so that learners intercultural communicative competence (ICC) can be enhanced. Foreign language teachers should be culture teachers. As learners learn about language, they learn about culture and as they learn to use a new language, they learn to communicate with other individuals from a new culture. The problem is that the mastery of vocabulary and structures does not necessarily ensure a person’s communicative competence. The appearance of disharmony, misunderstandings and even conflicts in communication is largely due to a lack of ICC. The ability to communicate successfully with native speakers depends not only on language skills but also on comprehension of cultural habits and expectations. In the century of the global communication, the goal of EFL teaching has to be changed and a shift should be made to the cultivation of ICC. The main aim of the paper is to reveal whether EFL students at Mykolas Romeris University and Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences hold intercultural communicative competence.
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