How to develop the intercultural competence during Second Language Acquisition in Italian L2 contest

30 May 2024
Room E1

How to develop the intercultural competence during Second Language Acquisition in Italian L2 contest

The development of intercultural competence in the learner is relevant in learning and teaching a foreign language. According to Balboni (2015), intercultural competence is the ability to interact effectively and appropriately in an intercultural situation. This capacity is developed through intercultural knowledge, skills, and reflections. In fact, it is well known that cultural elements can differ from culture to culture, and not knowing and acknowledging diversity can create discomfort or embarrassment in the student of non-Italian citizenship (Celentin, 2000). In addition, successful cross-cultural communication is also often influenced by nonverbal language: gestures, gaze, and facial expression are some examples. Knowing other cultures makes it possible, therefore, to avoid misunderstandings due to the attitude taken consciously by interlocutors from different countries. For the success of a communicative act, aspects related to the pragmatics and socio-culture of a population must also be considered so that communication is effective and, above all, appropriate (Balboni, Caon, 2015).

This study will focus on the development of learners’ sociocultural competence after its analysis. The sample taken into consideration is composed by students of Italian as a second language of the Italian language courses of the University for Foreigners of Perugia. The survey instrument used is the questionnaire. Two were administered (at the beginning and end of the course) with items regarding sociocultural competence and attitudes. Analysis of the data led to the insight into how much and how this competence differs at the beginning and end of a language course. Finally, activities to develop and improve intercultural competence will be proposed. The estimated result of the study is to create a unique environment inside and outside the classroom.



Balboni, P. (2015). La comunicazione interculturale e l’approccio comunicativo: dall’idea allo strumento. EL:LE, 4(1).

Balboni, P.; Caon, F. (2015). La comunicazione interculturale, Venezia: Marsilio.

Celentin, P; Serragiotto, G. (2000). Didattica dell’italiano in prospettiva interculturale. ITALS, Venezia: Università Ca’Foscari.