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Language and Culture: A Study about the Relationship between Postcolonial Literature and Intercultural Competence in the EFL Classroom
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]


The purpose of this study was to ascertain to what extent English teachers at the upper secondary level in Sweden use postcolonial literature in their teaching and in that case if it is used in order to teach intercultural competence. The reason for this was the claim that there is a strong connection between postcolonial literature and intercultural competence as well as between postcolonial literature and the curriculum for the upper secondary school, and specifically the English courses. The primary material used was gathered through interviews involving teachers working at an upper secondary school in the southern part of Kronobergs Län. Three out of five interviewees did use postcolonial literature and the main reason was that it provides a platform for students to learn about different cultures and societies in areas in the world where English is used. It also turned out that certain authors were used more frequently than others, namely J.M. Coetzee, Chinua Achebe and Doris Lessing.

The theoretical basis for this essay has been the notion of intercultural competence, especially linked with language teaching. Developing intercultural competence provides students with the possibility of gaining increased understanding of different cultures, something that seems to be immensely important in a Swedish school system where the classrooms are becoming more and more multicultural. It is argued here that postcolonial literature lends itself particularly well when it comes to the combination of language- and culture didactics and teachers’ responses in the interviews have given reason to believe that this is in fact so. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 39 p.
Keyword [en]
Postcolonial literature, intercultural competence, the EFL Classroom
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-44147OAI: diva2:820772
Subject / course
Educational program
Supplementary educational programme, 90 credits
Available from: 2015-06-15 Created: 2015-06-12 Last updated: 2015-06-15Bibliographically approved

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