Topic outline

  • General

  • Anotace

    This course introduces students to the basic approaches to the relationship between language and culture, the challenges of multilingualism and criteria raised by curricular documents in the selected area. It further includes the communicative and intercultural communicative abilities of the students, principles of developing the intercultural ability of students in the context of the multicultural environment in school, and the challenges of bilingualism.

  • Požadavky ke splnění předmětu

    Bude doplněno

  • Doporučená literatura

    BAKER, C., WRIGHT, W. E. Foundations of bilingual education and bilingualism. 6th edition. Bristol: Multilingual Matters, [2017]. Bilingual education & bilingualism. ISBN 978-1-78309-720-3.

    BEDNAREK, A. Interdisciplinary perspectives in cross-cultural communication. München: LINCOM Europa, 2012. LINCOM studies in pragmatics. ISBN 978-3-86288-276-2.

    BOUZEK, J. Jak se domluvit s jinými?: úvod do mezikulturní komunikace. Praha: Triton, 2008. ISBN 978-80-7387-043-0.

    CORBETT, J., THORNBURY, S. Intercultural language activities. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Cambridge handbooks for language teachers. ISBN 978-0-521-74188-0.

    COUNCIL OF EUROPE. Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment. Strasbourg, 2011.

    GARCÍA, O., WEI, L. Translanguaging: language, bilingualism and education. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. Palgrave pivot. ISBN 978-1-349-48138-5.

    KOSTKOVÁ, K. Rozvoj interkulturní komunikační kompetence. Brno: Masarykova univerzita, 2012. ISBN 978-80-210-6035-7.

    LACHOUT, M. Bilingvismus a bilingvní výchova na příkladu bilingvismu česko-německého. Praha: Togga, 2017. ISBN 978-80-87956-66-3.

    LUSTIG, M. W., KOESTER, J. Intercultural competence: interpersonal communication across cultures. Sixth edition. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2010. ISBN 978-0-205-59575-4.

    NEUNER, G., BYRAM, M. Intercultural competence. Strasbourg: Council of Europe, c2003. Language policies. ISBN 92-871-5170-9.

    MORGENSTERNOVÁ, M., ŠULOVÁ, L., SCHOLL, L. Bilingvismus a interkulturní komunikace. Praha: Wolters Kluwer ČR, 2011. ISBN 978-80-7357-678-3.

    RADA EVROPY. Společný evropský referenční rámec pro jazyky. Olomouc: Univerzita Palackého, 2002. ISBN 80-244-0404-4.

    Zerzová, J. Interkulturní komunikační kompetence a její rozvíjení v hodinách anglického jazyka na 2. stupni ZŠ. 1. vyd. Brno: Masarykova univerzita, 2012. ISBN 978-80-210-5725-8. Dostupné také z:

  • 1.The relationship between language and culture

    Keywords: language, culture, cultural context, society, individuality

    References: Bednarek 2012, Bouzek 2008, Lustig – Koester 2010

    The relationship between language and culture is closely linked.  We always talk about the unity of language and the society in which it originates, develops, and functions. Read the following quotation of Russian linguist N. I. Tolstoy and try to demonstrate his words on examples of your mother tongue or a language you are familiar with. List concrete examples of the influence language has on culture and vice versa. 

    "A nation interprets itself in its language in more than anything else. А whole spectrum of its way of life, concepts and notions, every single flash of memory a nation strives to preserve is somehow expressed and preserved by language. In its vital and historically important application, language becomes the instrument and vehicle of all the needs of educated people." (N. I. Tolstoj. I. I. Sreznevskij – dialektolog. Tartu : Ucen. zan. Tartus. gos. universiteta, № 573, p. 27)

    Explain why, in philosophical and linguistic theories, language is understood as a social phenomenon. What role does an individual have in this phenomenon? Think of particular examples of when language reflects the national culture and, vice versa, an example of language being used by an individual to express his or her individuality.

    Explain why identical social phenomena or phrases can be perceived differently in different cultures. Is it necessary to react differently? "For instance, juxtapose the function of phrases "How are you?" or "Pay me a visit." in various languages. What is the role of a smile in communication across various cultures?

  • 2. The importance of knowledge of cultural context in studying foreign languages

    Keywords: language, cultural context, studying language, the role of a teacher, aim of teaching languages

    References: Bednarek 2012, Bouzek 2008, Lustig – Koester 2010, Corbett – Thornbury 2010

    How does the following quotation demonstrate that studying a foreign language and studying a foreign culture are closely linked?

     "It is often assumed that learning a second language means learning a second culture and that patterns of thinking and feeling have to be re-directed. Learners are to be schooled into new values and moulded into new behavioural patterns. … Learning a foreign language does not mean losing one´s identity and assuming new cultural roles. Rather, it entails having a clearly defined identity, a strong sense of self, a ´healthy ego´." (Porto, M. Integrating the Teaching of Language and Culture. In MOUNTFORD, A., WADHAM-SMITH, N. British Studies : Intercultural Perspectives. Essex : Longman, 2000, p. 91).

    Provide an example of a cultural behaviour pattern of your own culture and a culture of a language you are familiar with.

    Which cultural values are the most important in your culture? Which cultural values are the most important in the culture of the language you are familiar with? Make a list of the five most important social values.

    What role does an educator play according to the following quotation? What should educators provide, and how should they provide it?

    "Would it not then be vitally important for educators, especially for those in the field of foreign languages and literatures, to instill in their students a sense of cross-cultural awareness by providing them with the tools for identifying their own cultural value orientations as well as those of others?" (Ortuño, M. M. Cross-cultural Awareness in the Foreign Language Class: The Kluckholm Model. The Modern Language Journal. [online]. № 4, 1991. URL: www:

    What is the aim of studying a foreign language? What is a student supposed to learn, and what is he or she supposed to understand?

    How would you explain the following requirement set by Russian lingua-cultural specialist V. M. Shaklein that "while studying a foreign language, a student should be able to learn to comprehend the language through the eyes of a native speaker?"

  • 3. Culture and history and language norms while studying foreign languages

    Keywords: studying language, culture and history, language norms, big-C Culture, small-c culture

    References: Bednarek 2012, Bouzek 2008, Lustig – Koester 2010, Corbett – Thornbury 2010, Kostková 2012

    Explain the terms big-C Culture and small-c culture. Provide examples of cultural phenomena. Which phenomena are discussed the most in the field of teaching foreign languages, in your opinion?

    Explain the term culture and history and langauge norms in the context of studying foreign languages. Provide examples.

    Think of a language you are familiar with and make a list of culture and history and langauge norms a student studying a foreign language should know if:

    1)      They intend to travel abroad as a tourist using level B1.

    2)      They intend to study abroad at a university or work abroad using level B2 or above.

  • 4. Plurilingualism and multicultural environment in school

    Keywords: plurilingualism, multilingualism, multiculturality, school, class

    References: CERF 2011, Garcia – Wei 2014


    Explain the terms plurilingualism and multilingualism according to the CEFR documentation.

    Explain why the Czech school environment can be labeled both plurilingual and multilingual.

    What are the ways students can be led to plurilingvism?

    Why can we consider the environment in Czech schools multicultural? Which foriegn culture do you encounter the most at school?

    What are the positive aspects of a multicultural environment in school? On the contrary, what are the negative aspects of it? Could a multicultural environment be used as a base for the development of plurilingualism? If yes, how?
    What difficulties do foreign students or students from different cultural background face? In what ways do schools help such students?

    Make a one-year individual study plan for teaching a subject to a fictional student from abroad, who does not possess much ability in the Czech language.

  • 5. Intercultural communicative competence

    Keywords: communicative competence, intercultural communicative competence, ICC patterns, ICC components

    References: Bednarek 2012, Bouzek 2008, Lustig – Koester 2010, Corbett – Thornbury 2010, Kostková 2012, Zerzová 2012, Neuner – Byram 2003

    Define the term communicative competence. Which components does it include?

    Define the term intercultural competence.

    Define the term intercultural communicative competence. Which components does it include?

    What are the differences between individual ICC patterns?

    On which components do we focus the most while teaching a foreign language?

    Which components of teaching a foreign language can be modified and to what extent?

    What roles do the mother tongue and culture play in the forming of ICC?

    What role do cultural stereotypes have in the forming of ICC?

  • 6. Ways of developing intercultural communicative competence

    Keywords: developing ICC in class, evaluation of ICC, foreign language student‘s book

    References: Bednarek 2012, Bouzek 2008, Lustig – Koester 2010, Corbett – Thornbury 2010, Kostková 2012, Zerzová 2012, Neuner – Byram 2003

    Choose any student’s book of your preference. Analyze the way cultural context is presented in the book. Focus on texts, exercises, and visual elements.

    Does the student’s book help the students create ICC? Which components does it cultivate? Will a student become interculturally competent by following the structure of the chosen student’s book?

    What are the ways of forming students‘ ICC?

    Can the level of student’s ICC be measured?

  • 7. Development of intercultural competence of students in culturally heterogeneous classes

    Keywords: developing ICC in class, heterogeneous class, cultural environment

    References: Bednarek 2012, Bouzek 2008, Lustig – Koester 2010, Corbett – Thornbury 2010, Kostková 2012, Zerzová 2012, Neuner – Byram 2003


    Explain the term heterogeneous class and culturally heterogeneous class.

    How often do you encounter such concepts in practice?

    How can students from different cultural background help to develop the intercultural competence and intercultural communicative competence of other students?

    Prepare a plan for a school project day focusing on the topic of multiculturality and the development of intercultural competence. Give each individual student his or her own task.

  • 8. Bilingualism

    Keywords: bilingualism, mixed families, language of bilingual children

    References: Baker – Wright 2017, Garcia – Wei 2014, Lachout 2017, Morgensternová – Šulová – Scholl 2011


    Define the term bilingualism.

    Provide the basic types of bilingualism.

    What mental and social obstacles do bilingual children have to overcome?

    What is the relationship between bilingualism and cultural identification?

    What are the linguistic specialities of bilingual children? What do code-switching and code-mixing mean?