Intercultural Education in North Macedonia: Challenges and Perspectives

Jankova Alagjozovska, Natka (2020) Intercultural Education in North Macedonia: Challenges and Perspectives. Knowledge – International Journal, 38.2. ISSN 2545-4439

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This paper aims to analyze the curricula of teaching English as a foreign language with emphasis on the
intercultural content. The analysis will confirm that, the foreign language methodology in the Republic of North
Macedonia is still traditional and very often oriented towards the teacher-centered, book-centered, grammartranslation method and puts emphasis only on language knowledge and not towards the trend of intercultural communication competence. One of the aims of any methodology in foreign language teaching is to improve the foreign language ability of the student and this can be achieved by the intercultural communication competence. This means that the aim of the modern way of teaching and learning a foreign language is the ability to communicate with people from the foreign countries in order to get the opportunity to perceive the world from
another point of view i.e. to learn and discover new cultures and their ways of life. Intercultural
communication is becoming an essential part of the education system nowadays because of globalization,
immigration and the multicultural work environments. The need for training, knowledge and research in this field is increasing because of the recent trends in education. Thus, teachers need support and professional development
related to intercultural communication especially training connected to ethnocentrism and ethnorelativism. When people have mutual experiences this leads to deeper understandings of the group. It is not surprising that the idioms, proverbs and non-verbal gestures are very often misunderstood by people who are outside the group i.e. from a different culture. In order to communicate, if people are from a different culture, they do not just need a mutual language, but they should also make an effort to understand the culture. No matter the fact that English language has become a global language, its use as a means of communication cannot remove the need for cultural understanding between people from different cultures. Communication, as an element of culture is a symbolic process by which people pass the information to each other and create shared meanings. Intercultural competence is essential when learning a foreign language and it cannot be denied that by learning a language one can only become interculturally competent. Moreover, learning a foreign language is the most effective way to understand and learn more about how the language shapes the worldview of the other and this comes to be the central aim of intercultural competence.
Finally, it can be concluded that teaching a foreign language is much more than improving the knowledge without learning the culture explicitly.
Keywords: Education, intercultural competence, communication, English language.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Humanities > Languages and literature
Divisions: Faculty of Philology
Depositing User: Natka Alagozovska
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2020 07:21
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2020 07:21

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