Documents and domains

Aspects of Intercultural Education in English Language Teaching (ELT) in Portugal


  • Nicolas Hurst
  • Carla Franco


The early learning of English in the state school network in Portugal
has been the subject of a wide debate, which has not been exhausted by
the introduction of English teaching as a curricular subject in the 1st cycle,
in 2015, and which has helped to develop the intercultural awareness of a
greater number of children. The new programmes and guideline documents
emanating from the Ministry of Education, where objectives and areas of
learning have been redefined, have been discussed and changed since the
supranational imposition of the Common European Framework of Reference
in 2001, with increasing allusions to the intercultural domain in learning English. Likewise, all the academic literature, from authors such as Byram
(2006; 2009) and Guilherme . (2006), points to the centrality of intercultural
competence in the learning of citizenship and curriculum construction since the
first years of schooling. This article seeks to analyze the extent to which these
intentions and visions of the “Intercultural Domain” have been incorporated
into the reference curriculum documents and, in turn, will be structuring the
experience of learning the English language by Portuguese children.