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The paper tackles the issue of forming a basis of intercultural competence for young learners. Considering the fact that we live in the globalized world and in the era of communication technologies this issue is becoming more and more acute. It is getting incredibly easy to explore other nations and cultures either by travelling or by using social media. This fact has greatly influenced foreign language teaching. The goals of this paper are to develop the theoretical construct of intercultural competence for young learners, to analyze the current English textbooks – both Russian and authentic ones – on the matter of knowledge, skills ,and abilities that are represented and formed in them, and to compare the theoretical and practical results of the research: What is lacking? What can be added? As a research method, a theoretical analysis of the academic literature is used. Analyzing the educational documents, the theory of socio-cultural competence developed by Doctor Victoria Safonova and M. Byram’s theory of intercultural communication, I found out that it needs to be specified for young learners. As a result, the construct of intercultural competence for young learners is developed. The construct includes a set of knowledge, skills, acquired practices, abilities and attitudes. Furthermore, this construct might be useful for creating a set of tasks for developing young learners’ intercultural competence. Second, the current English textbooks, both Russian and English ones, were analyzed according to the knowledge, skills, abilities and attitudes represented in them. Then the author of the paper compared the practical construct from the English textbooks with the theoretical one by searching for the areas where intercultural competence might be developed more fully. As one of the possibilities to teach intercultural communication to young learners the author suggests organizing cultural – exchange between Russian and English-speaking students trough project work. Such work will allow students to deepen their intercultural knowledge and practice their cultural observation by comparing different cultures.

About the authors

N. Kravchenko

Author for correspondence.
Email: 49c942@mail.ru
Natalya Kravchenko, Chusovoy, Perm Krai Russian Federation


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