This domain emphasises the importance of understanding language and culture at a meta-level and instilling such knowledge in students. Language educators need not only to be highly proficient in the target language and have experience of the target language culture, but also need sophisticated knowledge of the linguistic and cultural phenomena and to be able to articulate these to support student learning. The domain of metalinguistic and (inter)cultural competence emphasises the language educator’s ability to reflect consciously upon the nature of the target language and culture in order to facilitate student learning.

Key skills for language educators in this domain include the ability to manipulate the structural features of language and to communicate and compare cultural conceptualisations within and between home and target-language cultures.


Has knowledge of the fundamental structures of the target language.

Has knowledge of metalanguage relating to morphology, phonetics, pragmatics, semantics and syntax of the target language.

Can analyse texts linguistically and culturally in the target language.


Is aware of beliefs, values and behaviours of the target-language culture(s).

Can use cultural artefacts from the target-language culture in the language classroom to foster intercultural awareness.


Has knowledge of the complex linguistic structures of the target language.

Has knowledge of the discourse features and text genres of the target language.

Can analyse phenomena from varied target language domains (such as business, technology, sociology).


Can analyse and interpret beliefs, values and behaviours of the target-language and home cultures.

Can develop curricula which foster students’ intercultural awareness and sensitivity, for example, in preparation for a sojourn abroad or virtual exchange.





Demonstrates critical perspectives on meta-concepts such as standard language, native speakerism, cultural essentialism, and intercultural communication, and their influence on language teaching and learning in HE.