¡Estás de buen ver! Teaching Topic Appropriateness

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Jingyi Guo
Enrique Rodríguez


The present teaching activity explores ways to improve the intercultural competence of Spanish learners in a foreign language (FL) classroom. It aims to develop learners’ knowledge, attitude, and discovery and interaction skills on topic appropriateness in Spanish-speaking cultures. We focused on teaching the appropriateness of talking about someone’s physical appearance in small talk. The activity consists of a survey and a discussion to raise pragmatic awareness, pragmatic input in the form of a joke and an intercultural conversation, a discussion and reflection on the input, and an introduction to relevant pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic resources. Both cross-cultural and intracultural variation are emphasized. Assessment activities are designed to evaluate learners’ development of intercultural competence. The activity was piloted with four sections of intermediate learners in a foreign language learning environment. It could be easily adapted to lower or higher levels of learners, as well as to study abroad learners.


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