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ERIC Number: ED532947
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 56
Social Obstacles to Intercultural Competence in America's Language Classrooms
Fonseca-Greber, Bonnie
Center for Educational Resources in Culture, Language and Literacy (CERCLL) (NJ3)
In contrast with debates over language pedagogy or aptitude, this paper examines seven societal obstacles which impact the success of classroom language learning and the development of intercultural competence in American language classrooms. These include expectations for teacher preparation, language proficiency and target language use; curricular legitimacy; and school and home language climate. It is argued that these first six obstacles ultimately stem from the seventh: The challenge of sensitizing Americans to the value of seeing the world through the language-culture of another. The paper then discusses implications of this situation and offers potential, preliminary solutions for creating a more effective climate for developing language proficiency and intercultural competence in America's language classrooms, although it is unlikely that substantive progress can be made without acknowledgment of the role of national linguistic identity. (Contains 2 footnotes.)
Center for Educational Resources in Culture, Language and Literacy (CERCCL). P.O. Box 210073, CCIT Room 337, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85722. Tel: 520-626-8071; Fax: 520-626-3313; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A