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Including the local culture in the EFL classroom in a rural context: a reflection from an intercultural perspective

Blanca Lucia Cely Betancourt



Lida Yasmín Vargas Hernández



Education today must tackle significant challenges in order to adapt to a rapidly globalizing society infused with technological advancements. Therefore, the education system must prioritize innovation, active learning, and the well-being of communities. Human, physical, and financial resources are necessary for these demands. The teaching-learning process needs qualified teachers, technological resources, and infrastructure investment to effectively meet the demands of today’s society.

In today’s world, citizens need intercultural and foreign language communication skills, along with proficiency in new technologies, among other abilities.  The teaching of intercultural skills in English class traditionally emphasizes foreign language knowledge, neglecting the importance of recognizing one’s own culture in these culturally diverse communities.

This article shows the results obtained in an action research where local culture was included as a starting point to develop intercultural competences in children from a rural area in Colombia. This article reflects on the importance of incorporating intercultural competences in the language classroom from the knowledge of the native culture, inviting also foreign language teachers to reflect on the importance of rescuing customs and traditions of the local context and incorporate it the EFL class to enhance student’s motivations in the developments of communicative competencies in English as well as intercultural competencies based on a critical perspective.

Palabras clave: English as a foreign language, rural education, tradition and culture, local culture, communicative intercultural competences, interculturality

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