Teaching Intercultural Competency

While we are teaching students to communicate in another language we are also teaching them intercultural competency, so that students can learn to interact in other cultures. As I am currently planning lessons I feel fortunate that there has been a lot written on teaching culture and some of the guidance is available for free on the Internet. In this blog post, I will show you free materials that I borrowed from to build my toolbox to teach intercultural connections.

My favorite three activities from: Intercultural Learning Toolbox of Classroom Activities

  • 2 visions for 1 reality
  • 60 seconds = 1 minute, or does it?
  • Drawing with 2 hands

Build rapport between the members of your class by having them divide into groups to prepare to teach the whole class playground games from around the world. Or, ask students to read about food from different cultures and comment on what they would like to try, as a means to develop cultural curiosity.

Lesson plans for Lessons that address cultural competency

I truly benefitted from some language to explain different cultural concepts. While I find that I am able to describe these concepts to adults, the simpler versions written for students were a true help.

Along the way, students reflect by writing in their in-class journals. In addition, when we look at specific cultures, they write their thoughts. For some ideas of prompts, here is an ACTFL document.

Though all of these resources are in English, many of them are straight-forward enough for students to navigate in the language they are learning. I wish you great luck with the teaching of culture to your students. A deep understanding of culture promotes tolerance and justice. This is truly important work.

What are the resources you have found to teach Intercultural Competence? Please add to this post with a comment so that we can start a conversation.

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