Intercultural Competence In English Curriculum

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According to Lund’s study (2011) on English textbooks in Norwegian school system from 1889 to 1974, English textbook’s cultural dimension seems to aim to contributing to student’s knowledge about English-speaking countries. However, what kind of knowledge was regarded as significant to teach changed through the times. In the early textbooks, the UK texts put emphasis on the British history. When it comes to the USA related texts, well-known names come into picture, while texts about “The New World” describe the colonists’ courage and endurance. It is obvious that teaching the UK’s and the USA’s superiority, both historical and cultural, was an important goal (Lund 2011:260).
In this paper, I would like to investigate a present situation. I am particularly interested in intercultural competence. For this purpose, I will have a look on Norwegian English curriculum for L-06 and will make a mini-study of the latest version of a textbook developed for vocational English within upper secondary school, Tracks (2013).

What does intercultural competence mean?
According to Guilherme (2000), “Intercultural competence is the ability to interact effectively with people from cultures which we recognize as being different from our own” (p.297). The question is what it means to interact effectively. The framework for intercultural competence that UNESCO developed, defines intercultural competence as
“adequate relevant knowledge about particular cultures, as well as general knowledge

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