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Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (2000:721) defines language as “the system of communication in speech and writing that is used by people of a particular country”. However, Krashen (according to Gomez, 2002) states that learning a foreign language is learning about a language, that is, learning about grammar rules, vocabulary, pronunciation, etc. Our experience in teaching English in the Algerian context enables us to go beyond this definition. This article describes effective pedagogical practices that have been integrated in undergraduates EFL learners Reading/Writing curriculum at the department of English of Hassiba Ben Bouali University of Chlef in Algeria. We integrated a strategy that enhances tolerance and bridges the cultural gap between native and target language culture. Besides exploring the essay writing process, the Reading/writing course exposes EFL learners to authentic narrative English text, as stories about traditions, and thus helps them perceive and recognize cultural differences through comparison of similar customs in their own culture. This approach in teaching and learning a foreign language emphasises the learner’s ability to perceive, to understand, and ultimately, to accept, appreciate and value cultural relative differences. Hence, EFL learner becomes tolerant and accepts difference and make of it a a bridge rather than a gap. Our article proposes a lesson from Reading/Writing course called ‘Personal Narrative’ where EFL learner discovers narratives in the lives of the target families and communities through reading and analysis of non-fiction stories. Then, he has to identify similar narratives in his own life, family and community and deduce that people are not so different whatever the language they talk. This approach promotes students’ motivation and engagement in learning a foreign language going beyond issues of stereotyping and lack of intercultural awareness.  

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Leila Kara Mostefa-Boussena (Algeria) 9860
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