You just want to be like that: teacher modelling and intercultural competence in young language learners

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    Language teachers are called upon to understand both the nature of students intercultural-competence and their own role in its development. Limited research attention has been paid to the relationship between the types of behaviour that language teachers model and the intercultural competence their students acquire. This article reports on a case study in an Australian primary school that used qualitative research methods to investigate types of language teacher behaviour that facilitate the development of intercultural competence in students. Four teachers and 49 Year 6 students took part in interviews and focus group discussions and were observed in the classroom. Coding themes were developed to analyse the data. Teachers' understanding of interculturality in themselves and their students, their modelling of spoken interaction, their metalinguistic knowledge, and their priorities in task design all appear to actively facilitate particular aspects of students' intercultural competence. The findings of this study extend the understanding of the role of teacher behaviour in intercultural language learning. The article suggests that a diverse experession of teacher interculturality needs to be acknowledged and respected for its effectiveness in facilitating intercultural competence in students.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)10-19
    Number of pages10
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    • intercultural competence
    • teacher education
    • primary language learning
    • modelling
    • teacher interculturality


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