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Durham University

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Byram, M. (2014). Twenty-five years on – from cultural studies to intercultural citizenship. Language, Culture and Curriculum 27(3): 209-225.

Author(s) from Durham


At the editor's invitation this article was written as an analysis of the development of the intercultural dimension of foreign language teaching over the last 25 years. It is in part a personal reflection based on an article written for this journal 25 years ago, but it also draws on comments and insights from a network of researchers with whom the author has worked over much of the period in question.

Four areas are selected for comment: ‘the value of cultural studies’, ‘pedagogy and didactics’, ‘methodology’ and ‘assessment and evaluation’. It is argued that in the intervening period, the value of a cultural or intercultural dimension in language teaching has been widely recognised in policy documents and approaches to pedagogy developed. The picture with respect to methods of teaching for intercultural competence is mixed and the question of assessment remains insufficiently developed. Looking forward, the conclusion is that the most important area for development is in teacher education. There is still a lack of understanding among teachers with respect to the significance of intercultural competence and its relationship to linguistic competence.