Intercultural Communicative Competence in English Language Teaching: Towards Validation of Student Identity
Brazilian English Language Teaching Journal
While the use of appropriate linguistic items is essential for successful communication in any language, sociocultural factors also play an important role. Intercultural communicative competence is one dimension of sociocultural awareness that has been recognized as integral for communicative competence, but its practical application remains a challenge, possibly due to the fact that language educators tend to have more knowledge about the target language than its related cultural aspects
... tural aspects (Celce-Murcia, 2007) . While cultural references are, even if implicitly, prevalent in textbooks, teacher discourse, and the media, they are often reduced to "American" or "British" while the culture of speakers of English from many other countries, including Brazil, are often ignored. Another important dimension that positively affects language and cultural learning is the representation of one's identity (Norton, 2013) . In this sense, implementing intercultural communicative competence (ICC) in English Language Teaching (ELT) allows learners to express their identities while engaging in meaningful discussions about cultural views. This article provides a brief overview of communicative competence and draws on Byram's (1997) model of ICC to suggest pedagogical applications aimed at validating student identity in English language classes, particularly but not exclusively, in Brazil.