Freeside Europe Online Academic Journal

Freeside Europe Online Academic Journal

Modern cultural, literary and linguistic perspectives

Monika Hřebačková, Martin Štefl: A Useful Cliché? Towards a Pragmatic Interpretation of Intercultural Communicative Competence


DOI 10.51313/Freeside-2021-3

Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC), famously defined as “the ability to interact with people from another country and culture in a foreign language” (Byram 1997: 71) has now become a generally accepted fact in teaching ESP and BE (Hofstede 1991). The growing popularity of ICC models, such as Byram’s, at the same time, attracted a number of critics who accuse these models of perpetuating the ideas and ideologies connected with essentialism and the so-called national culture (Matsuo 2012), Cartesian rationalisation, as well as a more general lack of attention to the social and thus necessarily dynamic nature of language (Ferri 2014; Hoff 2014; Matsuo 2015). In an attempt to reconcile a theory with its practice, the paper seeks to find a middle ground between the practitioners, who tend to see ICC and its models through a more pragmatic lens, i.e., as a useful pedagogic tool, and its critics, who seem to be waiting for their chance to discard it as a collection of clichés.

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ISSN 1786-7967

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