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With increased globalization in recent years, there has been a need
for a special focus in language teaching which has shaped the changing role of
English language (Galloway, 2017; Widodo, Wood, & Gupta, 2017). Following
this trend, foreign language teaching has expanded its objectives from a basically
linguistic focus towards a communicative competence trend which is basically
intercultural to help language learners develop skills they need to interact
successfully with others across cultural diversities (Chan, Bhatt, &
Nagami, 2015) and prepares learners for global citizenship (Byram, 1997;
Noddings, 2005; OECD, 2016). In other words, intercultural
communication has become an important topic in English language teaching (ELT)
because language learners need to communicate in English with people of
different cultural backgrounds (Baker, 2012; Nieto, 2010; Widodo, Wood, &
Gupta, 2017). In effect,
English has gained its place in foreign/second language education curriculum to
be a required subject in formal education (Fenton-Smith, Humphreys, &
Walkinshaw, 2017).

     In the same fashion, Alsamani
claims that learners should be exposed to the foreign culture in order to
develop their cultural awareness and understand the diversities of the home and
target culture. Additionally, cultural exposure is
inspired by Fenner’s (2000) claim that language instruction should provide
opportunities for the learners to expand their intercultural awareness and
understanding of both the target
culture and their own culture. As Aly?lmaz and Er (2016) state when the cultural learning includes
the recognition of the student’s own culture, it means that the student’s
approach to cultural learning will be positive. Several
studies have mentioned the importance of intercultural knowledge, awareness and
competence in describing learners’ outcomes of intercultural exposure (e.g.,
Georgiou, 2011; Larzén, 2005; Pi_tkowska, 2015).

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     When language teachers
plan a standard based curriculum, it is clear that language and culture should
be linked parts of an effective classroom climate. This requires instructional
planning that provides time and space for intercultural awareness and understanding.
As can be seen, in an intercultural classroom climate, student learning is
learner-centered, engaging, interactive, participatory, and cooperative (Byram,
Gribkova, & Starkey, 2002). In such climate, learners are discoverer of
knowledge who explore and investigate a topic both in and outside of the
classroom (Furstenberg, 2010a; Kearney, 2010; Lee, 1998; Moore, 2006). Despite
the significance of teaching English language alongside the target culture in
the EFL classroom, there is a debate on using authentic materials that include
western values, and consequently there is a resistance to using authentic
material which is commonly considered the most appropriate way (Allehyani,
Burnapp & Wilson, 2017). Although this approach remains controversial,
Akbari and Rasavi (2016) point out utilizing authentic materials in the EFL
classrooms improves learners’ performance. In the same way, Allehyani, Burnapp
and Wilson (2017) recommend that instructional materials should include
authentic materials acceptable to the learners’ local culture to improve their
communicative competence. Accordingly, using Deardorff
(2006) intercultural competence process, this study seeks to answer the following research questions: (1)
How can intercultural TV advertisements affect EFL learners’ intercultural
sensitivity? (2) What effect do intercultural TV advertisements have on EFL
classroom climate?

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