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Titill

Intercultural communication: A challenge to Icelandic education

Útdráttur

The paper deals with a radical transformation in Iceland’s relationship with the rest of the
world during the 20th century, shifting the island from centuries of extreme isolation to a new
age of contact and communication. Apparently, multicultural characteristics of Icelandic
society in the wake of increasing immigration have tended to provoke negative attitudes
towards foreigners.
This new situation has posed a challenge to the education system in Iceland which
will have to adapt to altered circumstances. There are indications that including
intercultural communication courses in teacher education may be an important step towards
strengthening the role of intercultural communication in schools, especially in tandem with
language teaching.
Against a background of globalisation and the rapid advance of Icelandic companies
into foreign markets, the world of commerce has been quick to understand the need for
intercultural communication training. In marked contrast to the general education sector,
business departments at universities appear to be responding to this need as evidenced by a
proliferation of culture-related courses at academic level. The twofold character of culturerelated
training should be particularly noted, i.e. culture specific instruction to help adjust to
a particular society and intercultural communication focusing on the awareness and
understanding of cultural differences in general.
JEL classification: I20, I21, I23
Keywords: Intercultural communication, immigration, attitudes, education

ISSN

1670 5394

Birting
1.6.2005


Skrár
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