English people from different cultural backgrounds. It includes

English
as an International Language (EIL) discusses the current state of English as a
world language where English used as a means of communication between people
with different languages and cultures. EIL offers students to get a new
perspective on the English language and focuses on the importance of developing
intercultural awareness and intercultural communication competence. It is in
line with (Sharifian, 2009) defines that an EIL classroom exposes
students to the diversity of the English language in a variety of intra- and
international contexts which emphasize on language as international
intercultural communication for thinking, research and practice.  Moreover, the key notion for successful
communication in EIL settings is called meta-cultural competence.  This competence is about a variety of systems
of cultural conceptualizations.  The
essential component of this competence is the understanding that a language and
its components such as its lexicon can be used to communicate different systems
of cultural conceptualizations which enhance intercultural communication skills
(Sharifian, 2009). It means that language learning not only talk
about knowledge of grammar but also a certain features and characteristics of
the culture.

Intercultural communication
is the verbal and nonverbal interaction between people from different cultural
backgrounds. It includes information across social groups, different cultures
which have different religious, social, ethnic, and educational backgrounds. It
aims to understand the differences in how people from a variety of cultures
act, communicate, and perceive the world around them. Intercultural
communication becomes an important topic in English Language Teaching (ELT)
because the spread of English has facilitated its use for intercultural
communication (IC). It is in line with (Renandya, 2016) stated English is the international
medium for electronic intercultural communication among non-native users of
English and is much more widely used as a lingua franca in interaction between
people from different first language backgrounds and for interaction between
native speakers. Thus, as an agent of change, teachers play a key role in
successful changes in education.
The teachers are expected to be able bridge learners are ready to face world
that is culturally different from their own.

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EFL
teachers are expected to be able develop an opportunity for communication based
on the values, cultural norms, and needs of learners, rather than on the
text/textbook. Most importantly, an intercultural language learning program
should help the students to develop an “intercultural awareness” in order to
“translate” culture in their own context (Guilherme, 2002). In other words, bringing foreign language culture to the
classroom is increasingly important, as language and culture are
inseparable. On the other hand, integrating English as an EIL has directly and
indirectly shaped our ways of thinking which may ultimately shape our identity (Ha, 2008). So that, we are
expected to be able shape our identity because if we can’t, identity will shape
us.

Therefore, the writer will describe current
issue related with EIL in today’s classroom by highlighting two points:  how to integrate intercultural communication
in curriculum and how to reduce the negative impacts of English to our
students’ national identity through English lesson.

First,
considering as a lingua franca worldwide, English has developed as the language
for international communication in all subjects’ area.  As a result, mastering English become a major
goal for more people in the world and it becomes as a core subject that should
be taught in the school’s curricula. (Graddol, 1999) has pointed out that the balance between native and
non-native speakers of English will shift in the coming 50 years and the number
of people using English as their second language will grow from 235 million to
around 462 million means that in today’s world; most of the English
communications are carried out in non-native contexts by non-native speakers of
English. Although it will not be carried out by non-native speaker but still
the cultural content of the model for ELT should be from the cultures of native
English speakers. Here, the writer will describe how to
integrate Intercultural communication in language classroom by illustrating a
lesson plan that represent the international culture and different varieties of
English to help the students familiarize with English speakers from various backgrounds
and cultures. Thus, they can get awareness about the importance of
intercultural communication.

To
make a lesson plan in Indonesia context the 2013 Curriculum (K-13) is used as a
guidance of learning activities at schools. The main purpose of this curriculum
is to shape the individuals who are faithful in God, good in characters,
successful in learning and responsible citizens that are covered in KI 1 and KI
2 competence and for KI 3 and 4 competences covered about students’ productive
skill (speaking and writing). Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) emphasize
on the productive skill where the idea of language needed to be understood not
only as a code made up of words and grammatical structures but also as a social
practice where language users “express, create and interpret meanings and
establish and maintain social and interpersonal relationships” (Scarino,
2009).
It means that, the goal of learning English is able to use English to
communicate in the real context.

According to (Fuentes, 2015) mention the point of view of
intercultural communication in language learning, the objective for our
students should be to:

a)     
understand
the rich diversity existing within any cultural group including one’s own

b)     
respect
and value people with different preferences, behaviors and cultural backgrounds

c)     
 develop a curiosity for discovering diverse
cultural practices

d)    
tolerate
difference

e)     
challenge
stereotypes

The steps above are the simple way to integrate
intercultural learning in a common classroom. In illustration below, the
researcher shows in depth how intercultural communication is implemented in
teaching in the Indonesia context.

Stages

K-13

Teachers

Pre activity

 

·          
The teacher greets the student

·          
The teacher stimulate about
learning material

·          
The teacher explains the material

Whilst Activity

Observing

·          
The teacher introduce to a
variety of countries and cultures, including the USA, UK, Australia, India,
China,

Questioning

·          
Teacher encourages the student to
ask questions

Exploring

·           
The teacher provides 3 table with
pictures:
1.       Table I is about countries in which English
is a first language, such as the USA and UK.
The material is about
the importance of English as an international language by giving the
introduction of conversations between non-native speakers at a very early
stage.
2.      Table
II are countries in which English is a country where English is a first
language, Australia, but then focuses mainly on countries where English is an
official language, such as India.
3.      Table
III are countries in which English is used as a second or foreign language,
such as Indonesia, Malaysia.

Associating

·          
Teacher gives opportunities to
think about and talk about intercultural communication and the similarities
and differences between cultures.

Communicating

·          
Teacher asks to communicate their
result.

Creating

·          
Teachers ask student to make a
role-play about different cultures

Post Activity

 

·          
Teacher summarize the lesson
today

·          
Teacher give feedback to students

 

From
the lesson plan above, teaching material which is provided by the teacher can
be used to help students to acquire a broad knowledge of a variety of cultures,
and to develop the skills of being able to discuss and express their opinions
in English. It will help them to increase their motivation for language and
culture study. Thus, they will experience on the new way to be competent
intercultural communicators.

Second,
According to (Ha, 2008) stated that we
construct identity through language, as language is used about us, by us and
for us. Each of us has embedded within us cultural values, and through language
we communicate our culture. From this statement, we know that when we learn
language, we will learn about a large diversity of foreign culture too,
learning language especially English can shape our mind to think something. Moreover,
(Phillipson, 1992) also stated that the spread of EIL as
repressive since it not only substitutes and displaces other languages, but
also imposes new ‘mental structures’ on learners. These ‘mental structures’ are
possibly the ideologies that Westerners use to justify their own culture and
impose these ideas on others. He sees English learning and culture as
inseparable, given that he sees ‘modernization’ and ‘nation building’ as being
‘a logical process of ELT’. It means that westernization gives impacts toward
our cultural identity because sometimes
people change the values and the way they live, such as the food they eat and
the clothes they wear which can lose our identity.
Therefore, the writer will explore how to reduce the negative impacts of English to our students’
national identity through English lesson.

1.      Developing
cultural awareness and sensitivity toward different cultures.

Cultural
awareness is recognizing and understanding that we have different identity with
others. Increasing cultural awareness can prepare for effective intercultural learning. In ELT, the teacher
is expected to activate cultural awareness by guide them to be curious about
different culture. After knowing much cultural diversity, it will open students’
thought and experience to be honor with others. Thus, students may able to
be flexible and tolerant of doing
things which might be different to us and they will act appropriately in a
diversity of cross-cultural situations.

2.      Emphasize The Importance of  Our Own Tradition and History

In the context of ELT, the teacher should
emphasize the importance of our own tradition and culture to help them better
understand why we should not forget our past and culture. Here, the writer will
give an activity to help students to get better understanding and respect for
traditional culture and keeping culture alive in the present day world.

Stages

K-13

Teachers

Pre –
activity

The teacher Start
with something that is a part of teacher’s family tradition.
(ex: in new year eve, we make a barbeque party, etc)

Whilst Activity

Observing

·          
The teacher ask students to
observe their own family album

Questioning

·          
Teacher encourages the student to
ask questions

Exploring

·           
Teacher
ask the students to explain about the tradition in their family

Associating

·          
Teacher asks students
to think about some traditions that may be implemented right in class for the
remainder of the school year, and possibly years to follow.

Communicating

·          
Teacher asks to communicate their
result.

Creating

·          
Create a poster that
states the tradition your class chose.

Post Activity

 

·          
Teacher summarize the lesson
today
·          
Teacher give feedback to students

Evaluation

·           
Observation of
students’ contribution will identify that students understand traditions.

 

In conclusion, the spread of
English as International Language has facilitated its use for intercultural
communication (IC) in learning language. It is because a language is a part of a culture
and a culture is a part of a language; so they cannot separate each other.
Intercultural
communication aims to develop learners to have a deeper understanding of
other cultures. In language teaching, teachers are expected to integrate
intercultural communication in their teaching learning process to help the
students aware of a large diversity
of foreign culture. Teachers are also expected to reduce the negative impacts
of English of students’ national identity by developing
cultural awareness toward traditional and modern cultures. As a result, students will have
multiple identities by recognizing who they are and with whom they belong to
accept differences.

References

Fuentes, R. C. (2015). Developing Intercutural
Competence through Task Based Learning. Universitat Jaume I | Facultat de
Ciències Humanes i Socials.
Graddol, D. (1999). English
in a Changing World. AILA Review.
Guilherme, M. (2002).
Critical Citizens for an Intercultural World: Foreign Language Education
as Cultural Politics. Sydney: Multilingual Matters.
Ha, P. L. (2008). Teaching
English as An International Language. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Phillipson, R.
(1992). Linguistics Imperialism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Renandya, W. A.
(2016). English Language Teaching Today. Singapura: Springer.
Scarino, L. (2009). Language,
Culture and Learning. Melbourne: Curriculm Cooperation.
Sharifian, F. (2009).
English as an International Language. Great Britain: MPG Books Ltd.