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Culture and Intercultural Communication

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Tony Young, Dr Sara GanassinORCiD, Dr Alina SchartnerORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a book chapter that has been published in its final definitive form by Routledge, 2022.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Culture is one of the most important but most contested concepts in the social sciences. This chapter explores how culture can be acquired through language learning, and summarizes different perspectives on the complex interrelationships between language and culture. It discusses how perspectives may be integrated into the pedagogical practice of language through notions of intercultural communication and competence. Ideas of culture and intercultural communication are central to our way of framing processes of second language acquisition by individuals. The link between language and culture is generally accepted as inextricable, with language being central to cultural identity. Intercultural communication scholars draw on a rich diversity of approaches to conceptualize “culture” and to understand the relationship between culture and language in the context of language learning and teaching. Employing an intercultural approach implies moving beyond fixed understandings of language and culture to focus on how they are constructed by individuals in social interaction as they engage in “intercultural encounters.”

Publication metadata

Author(s): Young TJ, Ganassin S, Schartner A

Editor(s): Tammy Gregersen, Sarah Mercer

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: The Routledge Handbook of the Psychology of Language Learning and Teaching

Year: 2022

Pages: 300-312

Print publication date: 11/11/2021

Online publication date: 11/11/2021

Acceptance date: 31/10/2021

Edition: 1

Series Title: Routledge Handbooks in Applied Linguistics

Publisher: Routledge

Place Published: London


Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9780367337230