The importance of Introducing Intercultural Competence in Higher Education: Proposal of Practical Activities

María Martínez-Lirola


Teaching a foreign language like English involves teaching aspects, not only related to the target language content, but also the introduction of cultural aspects that help to learn the language embedded in a culture. This article is a contribution that shows how to include cultural aspects in the foreign language classroom in higher education. Different cooperative activities favoring the acquisition of intercultural competence were designed, and a cooperative methodology was chosen to make it easier for students to have an active role and acquire social competences. In addition, a survey was prepared to know the opinion of students on different aspects of intercultural competence. The students participating in the study were enrolled in the English Language V mandatory course, in the third year of the degree in English Studies. The results presented are significant, thanks to the importance students attach to this competence, and to how they appreciate working with it in the proposed activities. It is concluded that it is essential to introduce this competence in the twenty-first century, so that students grow as global citizens and teaching is linked to social demands.



Cooperative learning; higher education; intercultural competence; teaching-learning process.


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