Competency 1: Language and Culture

Teachers are interested in language and culture.

In this first in an occasional series of 5 posts, teacher learning as practiced at SIT is outlined regarding language and culture. The optimally effective teacher understands their own awareness, attitudes, knowledge, and skills. Here is how that is expressed in the MA in Teaching (ESOL, Spanish, French).

Teachers have awareness of

  • the relationship between language and culture
  • their own use of language in culture contexts
  • their own cultural and linguistic worldview/s and identities
  • themselves as learners of language and culture
  • the role that culture and language play in learning

Teachers have attitudes of

  • respect for cultural and linguistic diversity
  • engagement in understanding language, culture, and interculutral communication
  • desire to learn about and from people of other cultures
  • openness to being changed by other cultures

Teachers have knowledge of

  • the nature and components of language, culture, and intercultural communication
  • culture and language as subject matter in language teaching
  • the culture/s of the language they teach
  • their own culture/s

Teachers have skills of

  • exploring and analyzing linguistic and cultural phenomena and applying these analyses to their teaching context/s
  • using the language they teach; able to conduct their classes in this language with ease and confidence at all instructional levels with high levels of accuracy, fluency, and appropriateness
  • incorporating their own knowledge of the target language and culture into one’s classes
  • entering new cultures effectively and appropriately

These teaching competencies are excerpted from the MA in Teaching student handbook (2007 -08) and are common to all of SIT’s MA in Teaching programs.


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