Teaching intercultural communicative competence through virtual exchange

MONIKA HŘEBAČKOVÁ

Due to the current changes in the globalised world and its markets, traditional ways of teaching and learn- ing need to be reconsidered to better equip students with employability skills for their future careers. This paper reflects some of the processes for enhancing multiple literacy practices and transferable skills framed by foreign language courses. In this respect, virtual exchanges create an excellent opportunity to foster these skills. They open space for increasing intercultural awareness, developing communication and collaborative skills, and enhancing information communication technologies. The paper not only gives a selection of motivational practices in teaching intercultural awareness and a foreign language through virtual exchanges but also brings insights into key concepts of intercultural communicative competence and a brief overview of the history of virtual exchange in education. It considers different variables in virtual exchange practice and points out the inevitable changes in the traditional role of a teacher.

KEYWORDS: intercultural communicative competence, task category, transferable skills, virtual exchange

MONIKA HŘEBAČKOVÁ. Head of Language Studies and an Associate Professor at MIAS School of Business, Czech Technical University in Prague. Teaches courses on Business English, English for Specific and Academic Purposes, Intercultural Communication and Social Competences. Supervises foreign language teacher training and lifelong learning programmes. Introduced virtual exchange into CTU’s language curriculum. Was awarded the best HE Erasmus project in 2018 for developing Intercultural Communicative Competence. Coordinates national and international projects, currently the project on interdisciplinary collaborative approaches to learning and teaching (INCOLLAB). Publishes in academic journals and presents at international conferences.

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