Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on the English Language in Ukrainian Context, November 2020  Pp.102-112

Full Paper PDF



Teaching Anti-Utopian/Dystopian Fiction in RFL/EFL Classroom as Intercultural
Awareness Raising Tool

Tetiana Kleofastova
Department of Russian Language and Literature
Kyiv National Linguistic University, Ukraine 

Natalia Vysotska
Department of Theory and History of World Literature
Kyiv National Linguistic University, Ukraine 

Oleksandr Muntian
Department of Russian Language and Literature
Kyiv National Linguistic University, Ukraine




The article sets out to explore and substantiate the effectiveness of using anti-Utopian and dystopian fiction in teaching intercultural communication. It is based on the lasting experience of teaching Russian and English languages and cultures to students from many European, Asian, and African countries trained as Russian and English philologists at the Kyiv National Linguistic University. Intercultural literacy is one of the conditions sine qua non for successful communications and career in the rapidly globalizing world. Intercultural awareness in the Foreign Language Classroom can be raised by incorporating literary texts written in target languages into the curriculum. In addition to being instrumental for acquiring linguistic prowess, they can also play a substantial part in fostering (inter)cultural competences in non-native speakers. The two texts by contemporary Russian and British writers (Tatiana Tolstaya’s The Slynx and Jeannette Winterson’s The Stone Gods) were selected as case studies due to their artistry in addressing familiar and relevant human concerns, while containing specific cultural codes to be deciphered and understood by the international students. It was established that the success of the teaching/learning process relies on the interactive dialogic qualities inherent in the texts under study and enabling comparative, interdisciplinary, and cross-cultural approaches to them, thus contributing to the formation of full-fledged intercultural speakers. As demonstrated by the article, current dystopian fiction may serve as an efficient tool in enhancing intercultural competence in international students.
Keywords: anti-Utopia, dystopia, intercultural awareness, linguistic and intercultural competences, literature in foreign language learning

Cite as:   Kleofastova. T., Vysotska, N. , &   Muntian, O. (2020). Teaching Anti Utopian /Dystopian Fiction in RFL/EFL Classroom as Intercultural Awareness Raising Tool. Arab World English JournalSpecial Issue on English in Ukrainian Context. 102-112.


Afacan, M. (2017). Suppression of Sexuality and Gender in Dystopias: George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four, Anthony Burgess’s The Wanting Seed and Iain Banks’s The Wasp Factory. Master’s thesis. Hacettepe University Graduate School of Social Sciences. Available at:

Alred, G., Byram, M. & Fleming M. (2003). Introduction.  In Alred. G, Byram, M., & Fleming, M. (Eds). Intercultural  Experience  and Education. (pp. 1-21). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Ausburg, T. (2006). Becoming Interdisciplinary: An Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies. New York: Kendall / Hunt Publishing.

Badmington, N. (Ed) (2000). Posthumanism. Palgrave Macmillan.

Balasopoulus, A. (2011). Anti-Utopia and Dystopia: Rethinking the Generic Field. Utopia Project Archive, 2006-2010, V. Vlastaras (ed). Athens: School of Fine Arts Publications. Available at:

Bassnett, S. & Grundy, P. (1993). Language through Literature: Creative Language Teaching through Literature. London: Longman.

Booker, K.M. (1994).  The Dystopian Impulse in Modern Literature: Fiction as Social Criticism. Westport, CT: Greenwood.

Byram, M. (2008). From Foreign Language Education to Education for Intercultural Citizenship: Essays and ReflectionsClevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Clandfield, L. (2004). Teaching Materials: Using Literature in the EFL/ ESL Classroom. Available at:

http:// =146508

Company, S.M., Michel, M.M. & Loutayf, M.S. (2019). Using Literature and Translation to Foster Intercultural Communication Competence. Literature in ELT: Selected Papers from the 44th FAAPI Conference. D.L.Banegas et al. (Eds). Salta: ASPI, 54-63.

Dasli, M. & Diaz, A.R. (2018). Preface and Acknowledgments. In Dasli, M., & Diaz, A.R. (Eds) The Critical Turn Language and Intercultural Communication and Pedagogy. Theory, Research, and Practice (pp. XI-XIII). New York: Routledge.

Dema, O. & Moeller, A. (2012). Teaching Culture in the 21st Century Language Classroom. Touch the World. Central States Conference Report. T.Sildus (Ed). Eau Claire, WI: Crown Points, 75-91.

Fenner, A. (2001). Cultural Awareness and Language Awareness Based on Dialogic Interaction with Texts in Foreign Language Learning. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing.

Fenner, A. (2006). Intercultural Awareness as an Integral Part of Foreign Language Learning. Coherence of Principles, Cohesion of Competences: Exploring Theories and Designing Materials for Teacher Education. A.-B.Fenner & D. Newby (Eds). Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing, 27-48.

González Rodríguez L.M. & Puyal, M.B. (2012). Promoting Intercultural Competence through Literature in CLIL Contexts. ATLANTIS. Journal of the Spanish Association of Anglo-American Studies, 14 (2), 105-24.

Haraway, D. (1991). A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology and Socialist Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century. Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. New York: Routledge, 149-81.

Haraway, D. (2008). When Species Meet. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press.

Hoda, Z.M. (1990). Utopia, Dystopia, and Ideology in the Science Fiction of Octavia Butler. Science Fiction Studies, 17, (2). Science Fiction by Women, 239-51.

Hayles, K. (1999). How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Morson, G.S. (1981). The Boundaries of Genre: Dostoyevsky’s Diary of a Writer and the Traditions of Literary Utopia. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.

Moylan, Th. (2000). Scraps of the Untainted Sky: Science Fiction, Utopia, Dystopia. New York: Routledge.

Narančić-Kovač, S. & Kaltenbacher, M. (2006). Promoting Intercultural Awareness through Literature in Foreign Language Teacher Education. Coherence of Principles, Cohesion of Competences: Exploring Theories and Designing Materials for Teacher Education. A.-B.Fenner &D. Newby (Eds).Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing, 78-94.

Nichols, S. (1988). The Post-Human Movement Manifesto. Available at:


Pepperell, R.  (1995). The Posthuman Condition: Consciousness Beyond the Brain. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Piller, I. (2017). Intercultural Communication: A Critical Introduction (2nd ed.). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Sargent, L.T. (1994). The Three Faces of Utopianism Revisited. Utopian Studies, 15 (1), 1-37.

Sercu, L. et al. (2005). Foreign Language Teachers and Intercultural Competence. An intercultural Investigation. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Stadler, S. (2020). Conflict, Culture, and Communication. London: Routledge.

Tolstaya, T. (2003). The Slynx. (J.Gambrell, trans.). New York: The New York Review of Books. (Original work published 2000).

Van WoodwardC. (1998). Meanings for Multiculturalism. Multiculturalism and American Democracy. A.Melzer, J.Weinberger, & M.R.Zinman (Eds). Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 55-68.

Winterson, J. (2009). The Stone Gods. Boston-New York: Mariner Books.

Wolfe, C. (2010). What is Posthumanism? Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Zielinski, C. (2020, April). I’ve Been Reading More Dystopian Fiction than Ever during the Corona Crisis. Here’s Why. The Guardian. International Edition. Available at:


Tetiana Kleofastova, Doctor of Science (Philology), Professor at the Department of Russian
Language and Literature, Kyiv National Linguistic University, Ukraine. Her research interests
include discourse theory of literature, the history of Russian Literature, Comparative Literature,
cross-cultural studies. ORCID ID: