The importance of cultural conceptualizations and metacultural competence in developing cultural literacy
Cultural Literacy is an emerging, interdisciplinary approach in literary and cultural studies. As such, it seeks to grow and benefit from different fields and disciplines. Whilst there are differences between Cultural Literacy and Cultural Linguistics, there is common ground between them, and Cultural Literacy can draw immense benefit from the cross-pollination of ideas with Cultural Linguistics. This article explores the interconnections between Cultural Literacy and Cultural Linguistics, particularly in relation to intercultural communication. The article compares a number of differences and similarities between Cultural Linguistics and Cultural Literacy, in particular, the notions of ‘cultural conceptualisations’ and ‘metacultural competence’ as they are currently applied in Cultural Linguistics. The article discusses the possible use of cultural conceptualisations in Cultural Literacy, arguing that these can support the development of cultural literacy skills, by providing a strong, useful framework to enhance what is known as ‘cultural readability’. Furthermore, the paper looks at the application of strategies for metacultural competence hitherto associated with Cultural Linguistics in the context of Cultural Literacy, arguing that such strategies illustrate practical steps that can be taken toward developing an individual’s Cultural Literacy skills. Lastly, the article suggests that the ideas of transcultural competence, critical reflection and cultural readability, often used in Cultural Literacy, can enrich new discussions on Cultural Linguistics.
Keywords: cultural linguistics, cultural conceptualizations, cultural literacy, metacultural competence, transcultural competence
Published online: 08 March 2021
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