The Australian Curriculum identifies intercultural understanding as a general capability that all students should develop. It aims to enhance skills in three areas:
Students develop intercultural understanding through the study of the English language and the ways it has been influenced by different cultural groups, languages, speakers and writers. In interpreting and analysing authors’ ideas and positions in a range of texts in English and in translation to English, they learn to question stated and unstated cultural beliefs and assumptions, and issues of intercultural meaning.
Students use Intercultural understanding to comprehend and create a range of texts, that present diverse cultural perspectives and to empathise with a variety of people and characters in various cultural settings.
From the Australian Curriculum: English: General capabilities
Content which can assist with intercultural understanding is identified – and therefore searchable – in the Australian Curriculum: English
The Intercultural understanding learning continuum shows how students are expected to progress with respect to the organising elements. There are six levels corresponding to Foundation, Year 2, Year 4, Year 6, Year 8 and Year 10.
The following table expands on aspects of intercultural understanding and identifies examples (at Years 7–8 and 9–10) of how this capability can be developed within the English curriculum.
Understanding how culture influences what people do or do not say to express cultural values, such as politeness, as in Diverted to Delhi (Screen Asia), or as in Indonesian Poetry and Translation learning sequence
Watch the video of Jane McGennisken, English and History teacher at St Mary's College, Hobart, talking about teaching the Asia priority through the novel Chinese Cinderella.
The Intercultural understanding toolkit supports how to improve capacity for intercultural understanding, how it is addressed across all learning areas and examples of activities that can be used in schools.
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