Utilizing the Project Method for Teaching Culture and Intercultural Competence

Die Unterrichtspraxis 50 (1):67–78 (2017)
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This article presents a detailed methodological outline for teaching culture through project work. It is argued that because project work makes it possible to gain transferrable and applicable knowledge and insight, it is the ideal tool for teaching culture with the aim of achieving real intercultural communicative competence (ICC). Preceding the pedagogical presentation, the term culture is conceptualized as small-c culture/deep culture, that is, as the sociopsychological programming of a given community. This concept is developed with practical examples and conceptualizations for pedagogical implementability. Finally, a project course with American undergraduate students conducted in Germany is briefly presented. This presentation includes project sheets, the methodological rationale of each project, and the observations the participants made during the course. These observations include many aspects of the way German and U.S. American deep culture differ and also shed light on the “truth” behind some German cultural clichés.
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