Intercultural Learning within Content and Language Integrated Learning

Term Paper (Advanced seminar), 2008

12 Pages, Grade: 2,0



1. Introduction

2. Intercultural Learning – some general facts
2.1.The iceberg model- a concept of culture
2.2. Goals of Intercultural Learning
2.3. Levels of Intercultural Learning

3. Intercultural Learning and Bilingual Teaching
3.1. Intercultural Learning within Content and Language Integrated Learning
3.2. Conclusion
3.3.Teaching Sequence of a bilingual ethics lesson
3.4. Lesson plan of year

4. Bibliography

5. Appendix
1. Handout: Holidays in England

1. Introduction

Intercultural learning is an essential part in learning as well as in teaching. Furthermore it does not depend on a specific subject, because intercultural aspects are involved in many diverse issues in our daily life. Teaching intercultural is also one of the most important aspects of modern education. In my further comments I am going to tell what we have to understand by “Intercultural Learning” and what we have to keep in mind, when we deal with this specific issue of society as well as of modern foreign language teaching. Therefore, I would like to say something about the iceberg model as a concept of culture, the goals and levels of intercultural learning, as well as presenting a teaching sequence of an ethics lesson.

2. Intercultural Learning – some general facts

2.1. The iceberg model- a concept of culture

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Obviously, culture can bee seen as an iceberg: Only a small part above the waterline is visible. The tip of the iceberg, the larger part underneath the waterline, is invisible.

This part is considered to be the foundation. The same happens with culture. On the one hand, there are some visible parts like architecture, music, language or cooking. On the other hand, invisible parts like social norms or values. Concerning the concept of culture, the visible parts are just expressions of its invisible parts.[1] It also highlights the difficulty of understanding people from different social backgrounds. Although, we are able to see the visible parts of their “iceberg” we cannot immediately realise what the foundations are.[2]

To set an example, when you see a black person on the street you obviously see that the person is black because this becomes visible for you. What you cannot see on the first look is the social background, the religion the person belongs to, the country where he or she comes from, the history the person has, if the ancestors had suffered from slavery or not. Unfortunately, all those things are invisible for you.

With the help of intercultural learning one can acquire knowledge, attitudes or behaviour that is connected with the interaction of different cultures.[3] It can also denote a concept of how people with different cultural backgrounds can live together peacefully.

2.2. Goals of Intercultural Learning

The success of intercultural learning depends on three major goals which are to be dealt with now. Even though, they seem to be autonomous in their aims, they share one main principle, the intercultural competence.[4] It helps to support forming ones awareness towards other people, countries, religions, etc and this is the basis for developing any intercultural behaviour.

I would like to begin with the aspect of “cultural awareness” as the first goal and it seems to be achieved easier than the two other goals, which are intercultural understanding and “Völkerverständigung”.[5] Although cultural awareness can only be completely achieved, if the learner stays abroad for a certain time or period, it still helps to see the world and its processes through an altered point of view. One the one hand this awareness depends on the cultural surrounding one grew up with, but on the other hand it enables the learner to stress his or her traditions and to reflect on his or her cultural background from diverse point of views.[6] It is the reflection of one’s socio-cultural background that makes cultural awareness an essential part of learning, because it simultaneously has an effect on attitudes, prejudices as well as on ones empathy, tolerance and understanding.[7] Therefore, cultural awareness needs to be developed, before any other goal can be achieved.


[1] Amorim, Luis. Intercultural Learning. A few awareness tips for US and European Fellows & Host Community p.2 (23.2.2008)

[2] Ders.

[3] Ders.

[4] Baron, Rachel. MAFF- Münchner Arbeiten zur Fremdsprachenforschung- Interculturally Speaking. Friederike Kippel (Hrsg.). München. 2002 .p.70

[5] Ders. p.70

[6] Ders. p. 66

[7] Ders. p 67

Excerpt out of 12 pages


Intercultural Learning within Content and Language Integrated Learning
Dresden Technical University  (Anglistik/Amerikanistik)
Content and Language Integrated Learning
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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507 KB
Arbeit enthält ein Unterrichtsbeispiel für eine bilinguale Unterrichtsstunde im Fach Ethik einer 5. Klasse zum Thema: Feiertage in England und Deutschland (Gemeinsamkeiten, Unterschiede)
Intercultural, Content, Language, Integrated, Learning
Quote paper
Julia Kühn (Author), 2008, Intercultural Learning within Content and Language Integrated Learning, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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