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Meeting of Cultures. Intercultural Competence in Education and Upbringing


In the article we can ind a hypothesis saying that the aims of education / learning of a native language or foreign languages change and that is why complements should be introduced. Consequently, present aims include: language, communication, social and cultural activities. In the article deinitions and ways of building of intercultural competence are discussed. The important elements of the competence are indicated, these elements are: the deinite range of knowledge and abilities concerning both native and foreign realities. They include: everyday life (dishes, beverages, meal hours, table manners), conditions of life – standards of life, interpersonal relations, system of values, opinions and attitudes (regional cultures, history and tradition, religion, stereotypes, cultural standards). Program propositions which are possible to introduce into language teaching are presented.
Verbal and non-verbal ability to act in native and foreign language contexts, which are everyday-life-culture-oriented, are shown, including the ability to use language strategies. Sociology and culture of everyday life in today education and upbringing complement didactics. I propose the metaphor of interpersonal space to introduce it. For didactics it is a meeting with Other, Stranger, Another. There are four types of characters which inhabit these areas: enemy, stranger, weirdo and neighbour. We can meet all of them during classes. Our activities should aim at tolerance, but it does not mean resigning of diversity and distinctness. Another element included in the program of contemporary culture are contexts of everyday life. They are commonly used in programs and course books. Therefore, we have texts about work, school, leisure, and about the most typical thing which is meeting other people and establishing various relations with them. Still, contexts of everyday life differ at the moment of meeting with other culture. We can enumerate six types of relations which constitute interpersonal space: contacts (meetings), interactions, social relations and ties, social identity and virtual references. Interpersonal space in action is the basis for building communicational competence and at the same time cultural and intercultural competences, which are part of it. Activity towards one’s own culture and the knowledge of activity, values and rules of the target culture were emphasized. The latter includes tolerance, empathy and the ability to solve problems referring to particular, intercultural situations of activity. Didactic propositions using techniques and trainings of creating of intercultural abilities are included in the article.


Meeting of Cultures; Intercultural Competence in Education; Upbringing


Urszula Żydek-Bednarczuk

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