Date of Issue:


April 20th,




IATEFL PL home page




Culture in English Language Teaching

No. 4



Special Interest Group







CELT Newsletter 







In this issue:


The Spirit of Place - summer school

Ethnography in ELT


Intercultural Learning - ELT conference report

Go  to:

Previous CELT Newsetter

British Studies
Web Pages




Dear SIG Members,

A course for you

It is time to make summer plans. I would like to encourage you to take part in a course organized by our Culture in ELT SIG. The course is sponsored by the American Embassy and IATEFL Poland and it is called The Spirit of Place. If you are interested in American culture, drama and literature the course is for you! We are looking for teachers and teacher trainers willing to get involved in drama based activities led by Anita Dębska, a British teacher trainer  based in Teacher Training College in Toruń,. Anita is a very creative trainer with varied and vast experience in using drama activities in the ELT context.


Active IATEFL members will be able to reimburse part of the course fee. Please read the information below and pass it on to your friends.


A summer course on intercultural communication through ethnography. drama, literature and art. We will examine the process of rooting into a place and being uprooted. We will look into effect of place on our relation to self and others. We will reflect on learning about culture through place. Our main aim is to equip teachers of English with techniques that help them and their students to reach out and make links across cultures.

Date : one week, 14 - 20 August 2005.

Place : Bedrichov, 15 km from Liberec in the Czech Republic, a charming ski resort on the ridge of the Jizera Mountains

Participants : In-service teachers and teacher trainers of English from Germany, Czech Republic and Poland willing to be involved in intercultural cooperation. Some experience in either drama or ethnography is an advantage.

The course is sponsored by American Embassy in Poland and IATEFL Poland.


Course facilitators:

Anita DĘBSKA, British teacher trainer with a vast experience in drama and international communication, based in Teacher Training College in Toruń, Poland.

DANUTA GOCLAWSKA, Polish teacher trainer and globetrotter specializing in British literature and ethnographic studies, based in Teacher Training College in Radom, Poland.

GLADICE HUGHES-SEFCOVIC, American teacher trainer living in the Czech Republic, experienced in using various forms of drama and theatre in intercultural context, based in the Technical University of Liberec, the Czech Republic.

HANNA WRZESIEŃ, an experienced teacher trainer in cultural studies from Teacher Training College in Jelenia Góra, Poland.


Applicant Profile: We are looking for  teachers or teacher trainers coming from Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland  with strong interest in American culture and ethnography willing to get involved in an interactive intercultural course involving drama based activities. It is also hoped that they will be willing to cooperate and get involved in networking on a long-term basis disseminating intercultural approach to ELT. Excellent English language skills  and ability to work in an international team are essential.


Course organisers :Małgorzata Zdybiewska, IATEFL Culture in ELT SIG Coordinator

Contact person :Małgorzata Zdybiewska  tel.(+48) 48 34 48682 ; e-mail: mzdybiewska@ poczta f.m.



The Spirit of Place

Bedrichov,14-20 August 2005


In order to apply for the course, please complete the application form below and send it to the course organizer, Małgorzata Zdybiewska either by e-mail to or by post to NKJO, Plac Stare Miasto 10, 26-600 Radom, Poland. Thanks to our project partners most seminar costs will be covered, but there is a participant charge of 400 zł. You will also have to cover your travel expenses.

The deadline for applications is May 15, 2005.







Street & house/flat no.

Postal code:                                              City:                                 Country

Tel. No.:                                                     Mobile:                              Fax no.:

E-mail address



Briefly describe your previous experience in drama and/or ethnography





If your application is successful you will be asked to pay the registration fee of 400 zł by June 1, 2005.


Payment must be made to:


Plac Stare Miasto 10

26-600 Radom, Poland

tel. 340-09-80, fax 340-0102

account no.: 39 1240 3259 1111 0000 31 76 98 82

Please write your name plus “The Spirit of Place” on the payment slip.

All payments must be free of charge to the receiver.


Ethnography in ELT

I would like to recommend a new set of materials on the role of ethnography in ELT that is available at British Studies Web Pages. It was prepared by Culture in ELT IATEFL SIG members from Teacher Training Colleges from Radom and Jelenia Góra who visited Wales last summer and produced intercultural web materials on this part of Britain. They reflect a new intercultural approach to ELT that uses tools of ethnography for field work . If you are interested in the SIG Welsh Project go to:


Intercultural Studies

It seems that the interest among ELT teachers in intercultural studies is growing steadily. The proof of that is the latest intercultural conference in Berlin that was held in February 2005. Please read the report to learn more.


Intercultural Learning – towards a shared understanding in Europe / ELT Conference, 18-19 February 2005 / Berlin Spandau

The Conference in Berlin Spandau was the third British Council Germany English language Teaching conference. It was an opportunity to meet people not only from Germany but also from fifteen other European countries, from Poland and Bulgaria to Latvia , the UK and Hungary.

As a forum for intercultural learning it offered lectures, panel discussions and workshops on such concepts as global intercultural competence, third places, intercultural communicative competence, ethnography and inter- and intra-cultural awareness.


In the opening panel discussion its participants, Alan Pulverness, Simon Grenall, Nick Wadham-Smith, Anke Fedrowitz and Małgorzata Zdybiewska tried to define intercultural learning, comment on the connection between intercultural learning and language learning and explored the issues connected with assessment of intercultural competence in the classroom.


The key issues that arose during the conference concerned both theoretical and practical aspects. For example, Simon Greenall, a well-known textbook writer, in his presentation addressed the concerns of teachers who think that intercultural training adds further demands to an already overcrowded syllabus. He proposed some practical techniques for designing classroom materials and activities such as integrating an intercultural aspect into an existing language course, including different types of culture which can contribute to an intercultural training programme: macro and microculture, surface and deep culture, sample and target culture and to consider the relationship between language, culture and communication in the classroom.


Many conference presenters reported on their projects that connect teachers and students across different countries. Among them John Corbett, the author of An Intercultural Approach to English Language Teaching (Multilingual Matters 2003), reported on his work using an open-source Virtual Learning called ‘Moodle’ (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment). His project brings together teachers and students coming from Argentina, Brazil, Scotland and Taiwan. Its aim is to develop an online dialogue on aspects of everyday language and culture. The project participants practise ‘virtual ethnography’ through reflection on such issues as globalisation of English, cultural tourism and critical pedagogy. In his session John Corbett not only talked about the principles and motivations involved in setting the project  but also presented samples of the participants’ work. 


Similarly, Dennis Newson  reported on an going ELTeCS-funded project – Critical Viewing of British films in a variety of cultural contexts. Dennis Newson (based in Germany) together with other members of the project: Simon Gill (Czech Republic), Amol Padwad (India) and Radislav Millwood (Russia) created a cross-cultural students’ audience and encouraged it to discuss British films containing some cultural clashes issues. The presentation of ‘this debating society online’ included the history of the project and its participants’ comments. 


British films were also discussed by Alan Pulverness in his lecture “Deprived of history: films and novels in third places’.  Starting with  Claire Kramsch’s metaphor for immigration as the journey into a foreign language, with learners occupying ‘third places’, Alan Pulverness  presented numerous British films and novels reflecting immigrant and second-generation experience and explored ways in which such intra-cultural texts can be used in the language class to promote inter-cultural awareness.


Furthermore, many workshops dealt with practical issues demonstrating how intercultural ideas can be integrated into the classroom. Many conference participants referred to their experience and research connected with intercultural studies on various educational levels like Anke Fedorowitz (Germany) who tried to answer the burning question: Is cultural learning merely a   school subject or is it of vital relevance in and outside the classroom? Also Anna Gonerko-Frej (Poland) talked about her experience of introducing intercultural elements into a junior secondary school and the importance of ‘culturally-loaded’ teaching.


Małgorzata Zdybiewska (Poland) presented the British Council Poland ‘Culture in ELT’ project showing the web pages materials and explored ways in which intercultural web materials can be used to develop cultural awareness in Teacher Training Colleges and secondary schools.


Finally in the closing panel discussion  Dave Allan, Maria del Carmen Mendez Garcia, Chris Rose and Bernard Voss examined the recurrent issue of assessment of intercultural competence in the classroom and tried to answer questions about the future developments in intercultural learning.


To sum up, the conference in Berlin Spandau was an excellent opportunity not only to exchange views on intercultural learning but also to meet and to talk to many teachers and researchers involved in this field of study. It was also a very enjoyable and excellently organized event.

Małgorzata Zdybiewska, CELT SIG Coordinator

April, 2005



Produced in Poland by IATEFL PL (c) 2005
Last Updated: April 20, 2005