Notwithstanding the contribution of postcolonial notions of subjectivity that emphasise the hybrid nature of a third space (Bhabba, 1994), the category of culture remains at the centre of intercultural communication theory. I agree with both Dervin (2011) and Holliday (2011) in pointing not only to essentialist intercultural communication theory with its rigid attribution of cultural identity along national lines (e.g. Hofstede and Hofstede, 2004), but also to neo- essentialist uses of culture, particularly in the field of intercultural foreign language education. In fact, Cole and Meadows (2013) write of an ‘essentialist trap’, highlighting a paradox of intercultural communication: although there is a growing awareness of the dangers of essentialism, culture and language are still considered discrete entities, a fact that Holliday (2011) defines in terms of methodological nationalism and which derives from the association between learning a foreign language and a foreign culture. Thus, neo-essentialism describes the situation ‘’where educators recognise the limits of essentialism but nevertheless reinforce it’’ (Cole and Meadows, 2013, p.30). Taking an anti- essentialist stance, I focus on the first term of the word intercultural, the ‘inter’, to argue in favour of a shift from culture to the dynamic process of communication, in order to highlight the dialogic character of interaction and its unpredictability.
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In this study, it is proposed to incorporate both quantitative and qualitative approaches to data collection, recognising that in-depth study of classroom learning are best combining these methods because the data generated can be integrated with one another to produce a more complete analysis (see Denzin, 1997; Creswell, 2002). Specifically, the QUAN- qual model is applied since quantitative study is good at establishing ‘what,’ while the qualitative study assists the researcher in understanding ‘how’ a study succeeds or fails (Hittleman & Simon, 2002). Further, it could be said that classroom based research (action research) plays a central role in the triangulation in education research (mixed methods), since it is accepted that action research allows teachers/researchers to employ such data gathering, analysis and critique to create an immediate sense of responsibility for the improvement of practice thus, to overcome such obstacles and difficulties, e.g. randomisation, weak points of quantitative and qualitative approaches, the mixed method approach is simultaneously applied together with a classroom based research approach (see Hollingsworth, 1999, p. 57; Kemmis, 1999, p. 152). Also Kemmis (1999, p. 156) proposes that in the Southeast Asian context, such as Thailand, action research enables exploration for research movement, giving an example of classroom based research in institutional contexts of generating school improvement, such as in Chuaprapaisilp’s (1989) research on the education of nurses in Thailand.
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Intercultural competence(IC) has recently drawn the attention of scholars and researchers of foreign language education and has, subsequently, resulted in intercultural talks and systematic utilization of the term interculturality (Dervin, 2009). As Lange (2011) maintains, the investigations conducted on intercultural competence tend to anticipate the integration of intercultural competence approach in teaching second language, and propose it as a genuine alternative to the communicative approach. However, despite the thrust of inquiries of the Council of Europe, virtual and factual hypermobilities, and globalization of higher education, interculturality does not yet appear to be fully integrated into second language teaching and learning (Dervin, 2010) while language learners are expected to possess proper understanding concerning intercultural competence (The Quality Assurance Agency for High Education, 2007; Barnett , 1997). In addition, as Jaeger (1995) maintains, the philological conventions along with the requirements of academic freedom, which help organizations to make critical decisions regarding their curricula and instructors, have hampered the development of a reflexive and critical conception of interculturality and have also declined the growth of intercultural competence. Based on the aforementioned reasoning, Kalsbeek (2008) concludes that the demands of internationalization and mobility of the global village oblige learners to be interculturally competent, so that they face no problem while communicating with worlds of varied cultures.
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Curricula based, to a large extent, on the criteria formulated by the Council of Europe in CEFR  have also been formulated. This publication, apart from introducing the description of the skills mastered by a learner on various levels (basic user A, divided into breakthrough or beginner A1 and way stage or elementary A2; independent user B consisting of threshold or intermediate B1 and vantage or upper intermediate B2; proficient user C effective operational proficiency or advanced C1 and mastery or proficiency C2) review of ideas on the curriculum forming the foundation for the development of a language course and didactic materials also emphasizes the role of the so-called intercultural sensitivity, playing a significant part in the process of learning foreign languages. The authors of the CEFR aimed at facilitating the improvement of the linguistic education within the area of the linguistically and culturally diversified Old Continent in line with the assumption that the “rich heritage of the variety of languages and cultures in Europe is a precious, common value which has to be protected and cultivated” and the “main educational effort of the member states should be directed at transforming the diversity into the source of mutual understanding and cultural enrichment in the result of defeating the communication barrier” , hence, the issues connected with the cultural and realities studies occupy an important place here.
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other; of interaction; individual and societal); savoir apprendre/faire (skills to discover and/or interact); savoir comprendre (skills to interpret and relate); savoir s’engager (critical cultural awareness, political education); savoir être (attitudes: relativising self, valuing others). Recently some European educators (see e.g., Hu & Byram, 2008) have used various ways to evaluate intercultural competence, based on the Common European Framework of Reference and on Milton Bennett’s model of intercultural relativity (Bennett, Bennett & Allen, 2003). In the U.S. the development of intercultural competence is at the core of genre-based literacy curricula (Byrnes, 2002) and online telecollaboration (Ware & Kramsch, 2005) at the college level. It has been recently promoted in foreign language departments as an organizing principle of the curriculum (Kramsch, Skogmo, Warner & Wellmon, 2007; Schulz & Tschirner, 2008). In all these cases, culture is tied to the characteristics of native members of a national community who speak the national language and share in its national culture. But such a modernist definition of culture is being challenged by a lingua franca like English that knows no national boundaries and by global social actors who contest the supremacy of the native speaker as well as the notion of neatly bounded speech communities. A post modernist view of culture manages not to lose the historicity of local national speech communities while attending to the subjectivity of speakers and writers who participate in multiple global communities.
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Part of the challenge to change the current paradigm has to do with the requirement in Byram’s model of intercultural competence to link foreign language education with a social, political and ethical enterprise. A number of foreign language educators (Byram & Feng, 2005; Guilherme, 2002; Reagan & Osborn, 2002) are arguing for citizenship education, which means “critical engagement with one’s own position in society and an awareness of the wider forces to which all of us as individuals are responding” (Giddens, 2000, p. 25 in Guilherme, 2002, p. 162). This dimension in Byram’s model is in fact related to the deepest meaning of education, especially in the modern world with high levels of mobility and intercultural exchanges. The ultimate goal of all these exchanges should be the possibility of communicating in order to construct a better world. Not only do teachers now have to teach culture facts, skills to interact, and positive attitudes, but they also have to develop commitment to the education of citizens that are “reflective, critical, sensitive and committed to issues of human suffering and dignity both at local and global levels (Wringe, 1984 cited in Guilherme, 2002, p. 165)”. It implies that we, as teachers ourselves, have to change.
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From our own practice of teaching, we know those real situations might be scientific discussions in a target language (with the presence of a native speaker or without him/her), annotation, abstracting and discussion of foreign scientific literature. Besides, reading lecture course books, attending practical lessons on specialty in a foreign language increases learners’ chances to be exposed to the real world. Higher school students may take advantage of participating in international conferences (as speakers, interpreters, who need to be able to communicate, contact, understand and deliver message), as well as take use of participating in foreign language groups, where students of different fields may gather.
As a result, probably the biggest problem with culture-generic competence development is that it requires long-term commitment and, if taken seriously, constitutes a life-long learning project. There rings a truth to idiomatic expressions such as the German “Kein Meister fällt vom Himmel” (No master falls from the heavens), meaning that no one achieves a high degree of mastery over any skill out of the blue, i.e. it requires commitment, dedication and time to achieve mastery over anything. Molinsky et al.  speak of a strong and conclusive correlation between implicit learning and exposure. Theories of success, such as Malcom Gladwell’s  notion of the 10,000 hours of practice rule, in which he postulates that it takes a person 10,000 hours of practice to become really good at something essentially emphasize this same point. He claims that no successful person has achieved success without this commitment of time and effort, quoting Bill Gates as example. In a similar vein, Richard St. John  reinforces this viewpoint in his TEDX talk on the secrets of success. He lists practice, persistence and hard work as vital building blocks for success, quoting Rupert Murdoch, who puts his success down to hard work: “It’s all hard work. Nothing comes easily”. Instead, Richard St. John  views success as a continuous journey. Spencer-Oatey and Franklin  confirm this view for the realm of intercultural competence development, postulating not only the comprehensive nature which goes beyond mere knowledge acquisition as well as the length of time-frame required to acquire competence. Clearly then, to achieve a high degree of the kind of competence that really adds value and to achieve mastery over intercultural competence, the same level of practice and persistence is required. Consequently, culture-generic competence development is more deterring than it is attractive to the vast majority of people.
However, before this phase and in an effort to assess the reliability of this scale in the initial piloting phases, 17 males and 33 females (N = 50) Iranian EFL teachers between the age of 21 and 53 similar to the target group also took part in this research project. The sampling design for these participants was non-probability availability sampling too. Moreover, as mentioned above, the design adopted for this study was ‘sequential exploratory strategy’ (Creswell, 2009) in which, firstly, a small-scale exploratory qualitative study was conducted. As the purpose of the interviews conducted in this qualitative phase was getting a deeper understanding of the components of ‘CCA’ construct and obtaining some specific themes and statements to be used in developing the ‘CCA’ scale, efforts were made to select “information-rich cases” (Patton, 2002). To meet this objective, 11 Iranian EFL teachers (6 were female and 5 were male) with more than ten years of English language teaching experience as well as 5 well-known experts (1 was female and 4 were male) from the most prestigious universities of Iran and with the most number of articles published in prestigious journals on the topic of this study were purposefully selected. One of the main reasons for choosing this number of participants in the sample rather than a larger or smaller sample was theoretical saturation (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). It means that sampling continued until theoretical saturation took place, that is, the researchers could not find any new instances or themes that could contribute to the theory that had been mostly established by the comprehensive literature review and was also emerging from the data. Professional motivation and comfort interacting in English, the medium of the interviews, were two other criteria for selecting the participants.
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Deardorff  developed the “pyramid model” of intercultural competence. This model includes four steps depending on five dimensions. In order for an individual to gain intercultural competence, s/he has to have the qualifications of these four steps. The first dimension is named as “requisite attitudes”. This dimension contains the “respect” for other cultures, “openness” to intercultural learning and other cultures, “curiosity” and “exploring”. Deardorff  values this step as the beginning for gaining intercultural competence. The second dimension is named as “knowledge and comprehension”. The individual’s awareness of her/his own culture and others’ culture, awareness of the effect of social factor on the use of language and skills of reading the culture, having the information about the culture and understanding are included in this dimension. Another dimension which is interrelated with this dimension is “skills”. This dimension is also is the second step of Deardorff’s pyramid model of intercultural competence, together with the dimension of “knowledge and comprehension”. The “skills” dimension includes listening to people from other cultures, observing other cultures, interpreting them, evaluating and relating the cultures. The last two dimensions and two steps are “desired internal outcome” and “desired external outcome”. The “desired internal outcome” dimension consists of adapting to new cultural environments, flexibility about choosing and using the appropriate communication styles, and empathy. On the other hand, the “desired external outcome” dimension includes the individual’s having the skills of communication and behaving accordingly and effectively in order to achieve intercultural purposes depending on her/his intercultural knowledge, skills and attitudes. Deardorff  emphasized that the process of intercultural competence can also be circular rather than being linear.
In consequence, pragmatic instruction in the FL classroom needs to fulfill three functions: 1) exposing learners to appropriate TL input, 2) raising learners’ pragmatic and metapragmatic awareness about the instructed aspect, and 3) arranging authentic opportunities to practice pragmatic knowledge. A way to compensate for the restricted opportunities for learning TL pragmatics in FL settings is to provide instruction for longer periods of time, supplying sustained focused input in pragmatic and metapragmatic aspects instilled through collaborative practice activities and metapragmatic reflection (Ohta, 2001; Kanagy & Igarashi, 1997). Several empirical studies have confirmed that an instructional approach combining communicative practice and corrective feedback enhances noticing and optimizes learners’ abilities to attend to the interactional needs of the addressee. Moreover, continuous practice contributes to faster and more efficient access and integration of sociopragmatic and pragmalinguistic knowledge into the learners’ interlanguage system. However, as is highlighted by Kasper & Rose (2002) “…unless learners consciously attend to the complex interaction between language use and social context they will hardly ever learn the pragmatics of a new language” (ix).
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“Most young people don’t want to speak Quechua or pretend they don’t know Quechua”. Throughout my fieldwork in Urubamba, a provincial capital of Cusco, Perú, I repeatedly heard comments like the one above from adults, sharing that youth were not interested in Quechua, the most widely spoken Indigenous language in Peru and the Andean region. High school teachers and principals often reprimanded their students telling them that they were “killing your own culture” by not speaking the language. Mothers and fathers, in turn, reported that youth struggled with speaking in Quechua, using Quechua terms such as “k’uri k’urita” (with difficulty) or “hanku hankuta” (misspoken or crudely spoken) to refer to youth’s mixed abilities, Spanish terms such as “extranjeros” (‘foreigners’), and bilingual Quechua-Spanish terms such as “waqcha pitucos” (a snobbish poor person) to refer to youth’s perceived inability or lack of interest in speaking Quechua. At the same time, I was advised by educators and townspeople that my field site was not the ideal place for me to study issues related to Quechua, as the true speakers live in the high-altitude communities above the valley town of Urubamba. Together, these comments pointed to circulating discourses in my field site and in Peruvian Andean society that the current generation of youth did not care much about Quechua, at the same time, reinforcing ideologies which invisibilized Quechua speakerhood among non-rural residents.
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150 from discussing more complicated cultural topics and issues, as Mr. Chen said: “The discussion has to be cut short or called off due to a lack of English proficiency, as students cannot further the discussion in English. This is after all an English class.” The priority of language teaching and learning in EFL education finds its reflection in the efforts to achieve maximization of English use in class and in the use teachers make of cultural input - the discussion of cultural topics and issues is frequently treated only as opportunities for oral English practice. For instance, in Ms. Ma’s College English class, when she observed that students have difficulty in speaking spontaneously in discussion, she told them the discussion topics in advance and asked them to come to class prepared. In many cases, students would write down what they want to say in class and then deliver the speech in class discussion. Regarding this issue, Ms. Ma believed that this was the only way they were able to practice their oral English. The discussion periods did not provide students with the opportunity to construct knowledge and promote cultural awareness and understanding through in-depth discussion about cultural topics and issues raised in the class.
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Byram (2000) asserts that intercultural competence is an essential skill for language teaching professionals. If language teachers are able to perceive, understand, and value their own culture and other cultures, they may be able to cope more efficiently with differences in their classrooms. In our Colombian context, usually, a school supported by the government (i.e. public) is nourished by students from diverse backgrounds. Students’ ages, learning styles, socio economic statuses, and beliefs are different. They regularly come from various regions in Colombia. Besides the previous facts, usually at least three out of forty students in each classroom have a learning disability. This makes a classroom a place in which diverse values, abilities, and behaviors co-exist. It implies, according to Artunduaga (1997), that educators need to value and enrich the culture of their students through a dialogical relationship with other cultures.
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today in albania, one of the latest tendencies in education has to do with the push for the integration of different subjects and disciplines when presenting information to students in the classroom. this concept is appealing to environmental education as well. it is becoming more popular for teachers to integrate the subjects of natural science, and technology with different aspects of the humanities to help students gain a better understanding that they may effectively apply the concepts and knowledge in real world situations. In addition, we face significant chal- lenges with respect to those environmental teaching problems which are essentially domestic. decades ago when environmental conservation was not the important issue that it is today, the goal was to establish an appreciation for the enjoyment of the nature but today education in albania does not only retain enjoying the nature as a goal for consolidating environmental knowledge to students but it also includes the importance how to improve the quality of life by protecting the environment and by enhancing intercultural competence. the strength of our curricular tools through intercultural competence is measured through the life actions of our students and therefore its impact will be a decisive factor of the next generations` integration that is going to become global. “different scholars have written that intercultural competence does not comprise individual traits but is rather the characteristic of the association between individuals and that no prescriptive set of characteristics guarantees competence in all intercul- tural situations (lustig and Koester 2003)”. this kind of comparative analysis has the potential, as byram (1997, p. 20) notes, to turn “learners’ attention back on the practices, beliefs and social identities”. We must strive to create educational experiences that challenge our students’ perspectives both locally and globally.
in order to probe turkish efl learners’ lexical competence in terms of size, depth and use of vocabulary, firstly, all participants’ performance at the vocabulary level test was analyzed, it was found that the mean rating of the vocabulary size was 75, 41% (out of 100). among the frequency bands in this test, the participants did better with the words in 2.000 and 3.000 word levels. considering these results, it could be suggested that the participants had a limited vocabulary size and their vocabulary knowledge mostly consisted of high frequent words. as nation (2001) underlined for the learners who are in academic studies like university students should have a repertoire with more low frequent words. in addition, in literature, it was stated that the first 1.000 and 2.000 words are acquired at the early stages and the students should have vocabulary knowledge including 5.000 and academic words at the advanced levels due to the exposure to the words in different contexts (schmitt, 2000; read, 2004). however, the results of this study revealed that the participants’ receptive knowledge, referring to the vocabulary size, was not as developed as expected.
In applying the Boone’s programming evaluation to this study, it is important to remember that there are four broad categories of evaluation: intended and unintended outcomes and manifest and latent outcomes. When reviewing particular internationalization strategies, it is important to consider the unintended outcomes as well as those targeted outcomes. For example, in regard to study abroad experiences, an intended, manifest outcome stated in the objectives may be greater competency in another language. An unintended outcome could be the development of a network that later may be utilized to advance one’s career (which would then be a latent outcome). One other point relevant to this study is Boone’s admonition that evaluation is based on “established criteria and known, observable evidence” (p. 179). This implies the importance of having criteria against which to measure outcomes of internationalization. In the case of this study, an attempt is being made to establish criteria of intercultural competence through the consensus of experts. Yet, established criteria lead to broader questions in the assessment of internationalization. For example, is there consensus on the criteria of an internationalized institution? What is the observable evidence of these criteria? These are questions for future research projects.
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Feng, 2004; Young & Sachdev, 2011; Young, Sachdev, & Seedhouse, 2009). Language instructors may often be perceived as having a superficial understanding of culture; however, Yuen and Grossman (2009) warn that this will not necessarily develop into a deep understanding and appreciation of other cultures. Young and Sachdev (2011) conducted one of the few studies investigating the intercultural communicative competence views of language instructors. A total of 17 instructors in the US, UK, and France kept diaries over the course of two weeks to record “in-class incidents, which… had a bearing on the applicability of [Byram’s 1997] ICC [intercultural communicative competence] model” (p. 86). The instructors were then asked to participate in focus group discussions. They identified a connection between intercultural communicative competence and the attributes of both successful language learners and language teachers. Over half of the participants in the focus groups reported multiple occurrences (at least twice a day) of incidental intercultural communicative competence teaching opportunities. An additional 105 participants completed a questionnaire exploring their intercultural communicative competence beliefs and practices. Overall, the researchers found a discrepancy between instructors’ expressed intercultural communicative competence beliefs and attitudes and their classroom priorities. The instructors generally felt that an intercultural approach to language teaching was appropriate and could be successful; however, they appeared to be ill equipped or somewhat unwilling to implement an intercultural approach in their own classrooms. They cited a lack of learner interest, curricular support, suitable textbook material, intercultural communicative competence testing materials, and confidence in addressing difficult topics. Interestingly, instructors did not mention professional development in the area of intercultural communicative competence; however, this has been investigated in other studies (see Yuen & Grossman, 2009) and is critical for facilitating syllabus design, materials development, and goal setting applicable to the development of intercultural communicative competence.
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Cultural intelligence is supposed to be influential to the development of intercultural competence as individuals with a higher cultural intelligence can more easily navigate and understand unfamiliar cultures and adjust their behaviors to perform effectively in culturally diverse situations (Earley & Ang, 2003; Earley & Mosakowski, 2004; Rosen et al., 2000). Development of intercultural competence for translators, in turn, is of significance value because in translation not only two languages but also two cultures invariably come into contact. In this sense, then, translation is a form of intercultural communication (House, 2015). To investigate the relationship between cultural intelligence and quality of translation of culture-bound texts, the current study was conducted over 88 Iranian postgraduate students of English translation at universities in Britain. The Cultural Intelligence Scale (CQS), developed by Ang et al. (2007), was adopted to evaluate participants’ level of cultural intelligence. The article from The Observer featuring a significant number of British cultural references used in the studies by Olk (2003) and Elyildirim (2008) was also used to evaluate participants’ ability to translate culture-bound texts. The analysis of spearman rank order correlation (rho) revealed a significant positive relationship between cultural intelligence and quality of translation of culture-bound texts. The pedagogical implications of the findings suggested incorporating cultural components of source language community into every translation course.
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All this contributes an unfavourable environment for communication, which in turn contributes to the implementation of conflict situations of communication,— ''the negative speech environment of the existence of communicants'' (Vernadsky, 2004: insert page number). The information environment can be considered as a synonym for the noosphere. (Vernadsky, 2004), and the “semiosphere” (Yu.M. Lotman, 2000). According to Yu.M. Lotman, the ''semiosphere'' forms the communicative-semantic structure of the noosphere ‒ the biosphere organised by rational human thought ‒ considered as a system of symbolic support of consciousness (Lotman, 2000). The intercultural information environment can be considered as the biosphere (noosphere) in which both the psychosphere is combined ‒ the environment where the psychological, intellectual and spiritual life takes place (Zvegintsev, 1996: 159-160) and the sign sphere ‒ the semiosphere because the psychosphere is expressed in language as a repository of public consciousness (Zvegintsev, 1996: 163; Evstratova et al., 2016; Akhmetshin et al., 2018). The research aims to identify the essence of this type of competence and describe its structure. The results of the research can find application in intercultural communication, in linguodidactics and the practice of teaching in foreign languages.
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