APPLICATION OF INTER CULTURAL COMMUNICATION COMPETENCE IN THE TEACHING OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE
Background of the Study
The modern world is characterized by an ever growing number of contacts resulting in communication between people with different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. People make contacts in all sorts of life so much that all day everyday they are communicating-whether by talking to other people on the telephone or in person, interacting in classrooms, taking dictation and transcribing business correspondence,liaising with colleagues and staff, writing letters, faxes, reports and emails, participating in seminars, conferences, workshops, symposia and summits. Thus, it is essential to learn from our communication, successes and failures and to develop and enhance our communication skills (Taylor, 2005) for effective communication. More and more businesses are now operating on a global scale across national boundaries. Many people work for multinational companies and the workforce all over the world includes people from different ethnic backgrounds. Arasaratnam (2007) and Kim & Ebesu (2007) say that globalization has increased travel and tourism, the internet and emergence of global economies. In all these contacts, which
involve people of different cultural backgrounds, communication needs to be as constructive as possible and without misunderstandings, discomfort, breakdowns and resentments. This in essence necessitates the need for intercultural competence. In other words this signals the significance of effective intercultural language teaching and learning in the classrooms because if people are to communicate effectively in intercultural environments stated above, they must understand other people’s backgrounds, beliefs, assumptions and characters. Hence research on the nature of
foreign language teaching and cultural differences is vital (Arasaratnam 2007, Kim & Ebesu, 2007). Butts (2007) supports this point by suggesting that with an increasingly complex, diverse and mobile workforce, the need for intercultural communication and intercultural awareness is greater than ever.
Statement of the Problem
CFR is one of higher learning institutions in Nigeria it conducts training programs in subjects related to international relations and diplomacy, which include English Language communication skills. Other foreign languages taught at the Centre are French, Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese. Besides, the Centre for Foreign Relations is used as a venue for public lectures involving public and guest speakers from across countries (cultures) with embassies in Tanzania. The Centre is used as a venue for international meetings and conferences including diplomatic ones (for instance the
recent conflict resolution meeting between Nigeria and Malawi over Lake Nyasa).
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