The paper describes the text linguistic research of political texts in the field of Translation Studies and presents an overview of critical discourse analysis-based studies. First, the relationship between text, power and ideology and its implications on the role of translation are explored. This is followed by a review of a number of studies on the translation of political texts and on the power relations involved. The paper classifies such studies into the following six categories representing distinct research fields: translators' professional roles and politics; translators acting as mediators in situations of political conflict; translators' professional responsibilities and the strategies they apply; the inference of translators' own historical, social and cultural backgrounds; manipulation in the translation of literary texts and other text types; and critical discourse awareness in Translation Studies. The most recent studies in the above research fields and their results are also presented. It is concluded that these approaches exhibit quite varied research methods and their results are almost impossible to compare. With a view to the future development of this research field, it seems expedient to introduce a unified research theory, method and tool.
Introduction: Students of English as a foreign language must possess intercultural communicative skills in order to be able to interpret and discuss the cultural diversity that surrounds them when they use English for communicational purposes. This paper claims, and is based on the conviction, that the development of these skills takes place primarily through teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in most educational contexts. This approach is facilitated by the fact that the English language functions as the most widely used foreign language in the context of culture teaching.
Methods: Based on these considerations and with a view to theoretical and practical aspects concerning teaching material development, the presented study discusses some fundamental concepts associated with the relationship between teaching EFL, teaching cultural information and developing students’ intercultural skills. After reviewing potential theories, it adopts Byram’s (1997, 2008) Intercultural Communicative Competence model as a theoretical foundation for creating teaching materials for the purpose of developing students’ intercultural communicative skills.
Results: The study presents the results of this endeavour through the example of author-designed worksheets focusing on Canadian content, and analyses a worksheet that covers Korean immigrant culture in Canada in order to demonstrate, with the help of this example, how theoretical considerations can be put into practice in the scope of developing teaching materials with Canadian content focusing on the development of intercultural communicative skills.
Discussion: Within the scope of English as a foreign language, Byram’s (1997, 2008) Intercultural Communicative Competence model proves a very practical model to be used for the purpose of designing worksheets that develop students’ intercultural communicative skills: this is proved on the basis of the analysis of the above-mentioned worksheet. It is also demonstrated that teaching intercultural communicative skills through Canadian contents is a feasible and practicable way of introducing students to the concept of interculturality through the cultural heritage of an English-speaking country.
Limitations: The theoretical background and the teaching material development project described below can serve as a potential model for designing similar worksheets, but the actual use and efficiency of this and similar worksheets depends on the applicable national curriculum and the specificities (primarily the language and motivational levels) of the class where such materials are intended for use. This also means that some aspects of the project are worth reconsidering when one intends to design their own teaching materials.
Conclusion: For the design of worksheets developing intercultural communicative skills, this study provides a tried and tested methodological model to follow and presents a worksheet that can function as a potential model. In addition, this paper hopes to generate further research in the field of developing teaching materials focusing either on the development of intercultural communicative skills or on Canadian culture, and, through setting an example, it encourages the creation of worksheets of a comparable design or topic.