English, Literature, and Modern Languages Faculty Publications


Teaching History and Culture Here and Abroad

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Journal Title

Unlock the Gateway to Communication: 2014 Report of the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Language

First Page


Last Page



Intercultural competence is recognized as a necessary goal of foreign language classes, particularly at the college level. Considered on par with grammatical and lexical proficiency, intercultural competency allows non-native speakers of a language to function and participate in a society where the target language is spoken. Teaching for intercultural competence requires that the language teacher first bring students to an awareness of the various aspects of culture that play a role in the way they themselves function in daily life. It is only then that students are ready to learn and understand the hows and whys of life within the new culture, with the ultimate goal being empathy towards speakers of the target language. This paper reports on the practice of teaching language and culture through an intercultural lens in college-level French and German history and culture classes. Specifically addressed are intercultural strategies used in the US classroom and the modifications made to those strategies when the course is taught in the target culture.


Foreign language, history, culture, education


Published in the 2014 Report of the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Language entitled "Unlock the Gateway to Communication"