The ‘intercultural turn’ in foreign language education has brought to the fore the need to foster intercultural competences. Yet in contexts where virtually all intercultural communication is mediated by English as a foreign language (hereafter EFL), proficiency in that language determines to a large extent access to intercultural experiences, including coveted opportunities for international work and study. Such high stakes mean that acquiring competence in the language can be an emotionally charged process, and using it an emotionally salient feature of intercultural encounters. This paper draws upon an interview-based study of South Koreans’ ideologies of the intercultural to explore the complex emotions associated with using EFL in intercultural experiences.
- intercultural competence
- English as a foreign language