The role of noticing in developing intercultural communicative competence

Ardith J. Meier
University of Northern Iowa
Keywords: Noticing, intercultural communicative competence, culture-general approach, English as a lingua franca


This paper expands Schmidt’s (1990) concept of “noticing” and adapts it to the development of intercultural communicative competence (ICC), an especially relevant goal of language teaching given increased communication across cultures and the role of English as a lingua franca. Schmidt’s conceptualization of noticing is presented and readjusted in light of two premises. The first is the validity of a communication model that ascribes importance to context and the negotiation of meaning and identity within that context. This view of communication, as well as the global functions of English, is congruent with the second premise, namely, the suitability of employing a culture-general approach to develop ICC as defined in this paper. What needs to be noticed in developing ICC will be identified as well as ways in which this noticing can be effected in the language classroom.