Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

Teaching intercultural communicative competence through the four skills

Esther Usó Juan, Alicia Martínez Flor



Nowadays, the most accepted instructional framework in second or foreign language (L2) programs is Communicative Language Teaching, whose main goal is to increase learners’ communicative competence. This theoretical term means being able to use the linguistic system effectively and appropriately in the target language and culture. However, the implementation of a communicative methodology is not an easy task since it requires an understanding of the integrated nature of the theoretical concept of communicative competence (Celce-Murcia and Olshtain, 2005). Therefore, it is the main goal of this paper to help language teachers better understand such a theoretical concept for improving their classroom practices. In so doing, we first provide an explanation of the theoretical concept of communicative competence. Then, a current framework of communicative competence, which aims at highlighting the function of the four macro-skills to build discourse competence for communicative purposes and reflects our conceptualization of language teaching is briefly discussed (Usó-Juan and Martínez-Flor, 2006a). Finally, on the basis of this framework, and taking the intercultural component as the point of departure, a variety of activities in the four language skills are presented for teaching learners intercultural communicative competence.


Enseñanza de la lengua; Segunda lengua; Comunicación intercultural; Competencia comunicativa; Habilidades lingüísticas


Copyright (c) 2008 Esther Usó Juan, Alicia Martínez Flor

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