Top PDF Intercultural competence and the promise of understanding

Intercultural competence and the promise of understanding

Intercultural competence and the promise of understanding

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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The Unfulfilled Promise of Usability Engineering

The Unfulfilled Promise of Usability Engineering

While there were many definitions, this is the one that seemed most germane: Engineering is a process of applying limited resources to achieve a defined result. This definition provided us with a good starting point for defining usability engineering. First, resources (time, people, money, and intellectual horsepower) are always limited. In fact the limitation of time and resources was one of the biggest cultural changes that, as former academics, we faced moving into industry. Those limitations shaped our work in important ways, and we needed to embrace them (or at least accept them). That assumption changed how we thought and worked. The second and useful part of the definition is a “defined result.” A team can’t achieve anything without having a shared understanding of what they are trying to achieve. The question for the team is how will we define this result? The definition is a critical inflection point that the design and research team need to influence. There are important pitfalls that product development teams need to avoid in creating a product or tool definition. The first pitfall to avoid is a
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Building Intercultural Competence Through Intercultural Competency Certification Of Undergraduate Students

Building Intercultural Competence Through Intercultural Competency Certification Of Undergraduate Students

studying abroad experiences, and attending international events (Emert, 2008; Fabregas Janeiro et al., 2011; Fretheim, 2007; Golay, 2006; Herbst, 2011; Jeffrey, 2007; Keefe, 2008; Mark, 2004; Medina-Lopez-Portillo, 2004). The impact of the majority of the programs is not significant or developmental, as discussed by Milton Bennett (1993). For example, Boston College designed a Global Proficiency program, that had three requirements; an international experience, academic component (including language courses), and a co-curricular component (extracurricular activities) (Ashwill, 2004). Global proficiency programs suggest that achieving language proficiency is a good starting point to becoming truly bi-cultural, but cultural competence is distinct from language proficiency. California State University offers a Certificate of Language and Cultural Competence. To obtain this Certificate the students have to show their oral, writing, and reading skills in a second language, as well as their knowledge of history, current affairs and culture where the language they learned is spoken, as well as writing some essays to demonstrate their understanding of global issues. The program is evaluated assessing students’ skills and knowledge thought the STAN Language assessment test, and other history and world affairs tests (Ashwill, 2004; California State University, 2011). Another example is the international strategy of Howard Community College to improve students’ intercultural competence. The international strategy of the college includes a language program, a partnership with a foreign government, working with local business and industries, scholarships for students choosing international experiences, and building connections with other countries like China (Connell, 2006), this internationalization program was recognized and reported
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Probing intercultural competence in Malaysia: A Relational Framework

Probing intercultural competence in Malaysia: A Relational Framework

Taking all the aforementioned components, it can be conjectured that the Eurocentric orientation of intercultural competence tends to focus on the ability of an individual to achieve effective and appropriate interaction in intercultural situations based on her or his knowledge, motivation, and skills [9]. This definition certainly provides fundamental understandings on intercultural competence. However, given that current ideas about intercultural competence are vastly drawn from Eurocentric scholars’ experiences, do such definitions resonate with Asian experiences? Scholars attested that if the Western scholarship is used to analyze communication experiences in the West, it is a legitimate framework for such an analysis [10]. However, the problem arises when the single perspective is often presumed for its universality in many intercultural studies. Scholars contended that placing personal control at the heart of communication competence strongly reflect Western bias in which it may fall short to explain the workings of competency in other cultures [4]. Given that the intercultural competence field has developed world wide, the Eurocentric perspective has been challenged and questioned by both mainstream and other non-Eurocentric cholars [1, 11, 12].
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Theoretical Bases Of Developing Students’ Intercultural Competence

Theoretical Bases Of Developing Students’ Intercultural Competence

“otherworldly being ” in other pre-imagined cultures. In M. Bakhtin: “The culture does not have its own territory” [7, p. 37]. The phenomenon of culture, wrote V. Bibler, “All the decisive events of life and the consciousness of people of our century” [7, p. 261]. He believed that "every culture is a kind of" two-faced Janus. “Her face is as intensely turned towards a different culture, to her being in other worlds, as well as inward, deep into herself, in an effort to change and complement her being ”[7, p. 37]. The dialogue of cultures is “a situation of a collision of fundamentally irreducible “cultures of thinking, various forms of understanding” [7]. Reflecting on the essence of such a concept as a “cultural phenomenon”, V. Bibler does not consider it separately from the dialogue, because in dialogue with predecessors, contemporaries and descendants, the scientist believes, one can understand the true meaning of culture. V. Bibler warned against a primitive understanding of dialogue and argued that “in the dialogue of cultures we are talking about the dialogism of truth itself, that understanding another person requires mutual understanding.
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Developing Intercultural Communicative Competence in Foreign Language Learning

Developing Intercultural Communicative Competence in Foreign Language Learning

Abstract Successful foreign language learners need to have intercultural communicative competence that goes beyond linguistic knowledge. This paper focuses on designing activities that promote intercultural communicative competence in foreign language learning. Competence in intercultural communication requires an understanding of both the L1 and L2 cultures. Using the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) [1] skill levels, this paper looks at the role of intercultural competence in developing effective cross-cultural communication. The paper presents lesson activities designed to build such intercultural competence from the elementary through professional working competency levels as defined by the ILR scale. The sample activities address specific cultural objectives, activate higher-order critical thinking skills, and have the added advantage of allowing teachers to recycle information to anchor and reinforce existing knowledge.
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Advance Alert Monitor

Advance Alert Monitor

inextricably. The successful use of second language depends on the deep understanding and rich experiences of the target language culture. The worldwide acceptance about the intercultural competence and the communicative competence as the mainstream conception of language teaching and learning has guided the ESL teachers to search for more effective teaching styles and learning strategies as the powerful attribute of English language pedagogy (Lindsey, Nuri- Robins, & Terrell, 2009). On the other hand, there exists the profound relationship between the motivation, environment, contents and language acquisition. Dr. Krashen’s affective filter hypothesis demonstrates that the learners’ psychological status has the far-reaching impacts on students’ anxiety, learning motivation and attitudes in the process of English learning. Dr. Krashen’s input hypothesis also gives teachers the inspiration for improving the language input to enhance students’ second language proficiency. This project provided examples of how to include culture schemata, create the immersing language environment and enrich interactive experiences in the lesson plans which are meant to activate students’ motivation about second language cultures while lowering the learning filters to stimulate reflection on the aspects of culture, communication and language which profoundly affect students’ attitudes, feelings, behaviors, and preferences.
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Level of Intercultural Competence of International Students at Kocaeli University

Level of Intercultural Competence of International Students at Kocaeli University

Deardorff [8] 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 [8] 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 [8] emphasized that the process of intercultural competence can also be circular rather than being linear.
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Intercultural communicative competence, language proficiency, and study abroad

Intercultural communicative competence, language proficiency, and study abroad

While some researchers are of the opinion that longer sojourns have more significantly developed the sojourners’ intercultural communicative competence, a group of projects have emerged and demonstrated that through well-designed short-term study abroad programmes, sojourners could also obtain high levels of intercultural communicative competence (Anderson et al., 2006; Jackson, 2008; Jackson, 2010; Jackson, 2011; Martinsen, 2011; Rust & Morris, 2012). Among these is a companion set of studies in which Jackson (2008; 2010; 2011) investigated 5 Hong Kong university students in a 5-week stay in England. The author concludes that with well-designed and sequenced pre-sojourn, sojourn, and re-entry programming these short-term sojourners have gained sufficient enhancement in their intercultural communication skills, understanding, and sensitivity. Her research provides evidence to support Anderson and his colleagues’ study (2006) which measured the intercultural awareness and sensitivity of 23 American students in a 4-week management course in Europe. Anderson et al affirm that it is possible to cultivate the development of intercultural competence through well-designed short-term programmes. Martinsen (2011) conducted a similar study of 45 undergraduate students from an American university enrolled in a 6-week summer programme in Argentina. Martinsen reported that students who went abroad for only six weeks exhibited a significant development in their intercultural sensitivity through communicating with Spanish-speaking people. This finding is validated by a more recent investigation done by Rust and Morris (2012) who also find that a group of 15 undergraduate business students participating short-term study abroad courses from 10 days to 4 weeks can show a considerable progress in their intercultural sensitivity. She suggests that interacting with people from another culture can help each other recognize and understand cultural differences, even in a short-term period. Taken all the findings of these studies, one may assume that with proper interventions short-term study abroad programmes can also effectively develop the participants’ intercultural communicative competence. More specific strategies for dealing intercultural encounters will be discussed later.
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Improvisation of Real-life Scenarios through Intercultural Competence

Improvisation of Real-life Scenarios through Intercultural Competence

This study is qualitative, for “the overall purposes of qualitative research are to achieve an understanding of how people make sense out of their lives, delineate the process (rather than the outcome or product) of meaning-making, and describe how people interpret what they experience” (Merriam, 2009:14). Merriam (2009) identifies four key characteristics of qualitative studies: the centrality of the participants‟ perspective on the research interest, the role of the researcher as the main instrument for data collection and analysis, the inductive process of the study, and finally, the rich description of participants‟ interviews, and the researcher‟s field notes and observations. The characteristics of the qualitative study are particularly well suited for this research as the focus is the participants‟ perspectives on their experience in the intercultural exchange. In addition, the study used multiple sources of data, such as observations, students‟ essays and classroom oral presentations to understand their perceptions about intercultural experiences. Action research (Patton, 2002; Johnson, 2002; Creswell, 2012; Mertler, 2012) was conducted in order to explore more effective communicative learning strategies in a multicultural classroom through tasks involving real-life scenarios. Shetzer and Warschauer (2000) suggest that in action research, teachers and students work collaboratively “to reflect critically on the issues they discovered during their research and to revise future teaching, learning, or research plans” (p. 183). While this study seeks to understand the experience of learners in developing intercultural competence through reflective and experiential tasks, the goal of the study is also to understand how knowledge, attitudes and skills function through scenarios in the language learning process (Stringer, 2007).
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Relationship between Cultural Intelligence and Translation of Culture-Bound Texts

Relationship between Cultural Intelligence and Translation of Culture-Bound Texts

The study found that there is a strong positive relationship between translation students’ level of cultural intelligence and their quality of translation of culture-bound texts. Translation students who possessed a higher level of cultural intelligence managed to develop their intercultural competence to a greater extent and subsequently present their translation of culture-bound text at a higher level of quality than translation students who exhibited a lower level of cultural intelligence. Therefore, the null hypothesis of the study which states that there is no relationship between level of cultural intelligence and quality of translation of culture-bound texts is rejected. These findings can be explained through the fact that higher level of cultural intelligence facilitates navigation and understanding unfamiliar cultures and adjusting behaviors to perform effectively in culturally diverse situations (Earley & Ang, 2003; Earley & Mosakowski, 2004; Rosen et al., 2000; Thomas & Inkson, 2005). Translation students who were more culturally intelligent were consciously aware of source language people’s cultural preferences and adjusted their mental models in the translation process (metacognitive cultural intelligence), were able to understand the similarities and differences across source and target language cultures (cognitive cultural intelligence), were able to direct attention and energy toward intercultural situations based on intrinsic interest and confidence in their intercultural effectiveness (motivational cultural intelligence), and showed situationally appropriate behaviors based on their wide range of verbal and nonverbal abilities (behavioral cultural intelligence) (Ang et al., 2007). This awareness and knowledge of source language cultural features and the distinctions between the cultural perspectives of the source language and the target language ideally prepared them for transferring the meaning of source language cultural references to target language according to the sociolinguistic and sociocultural norms of the target language.
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Intercultural Competence Methods and Assessment Tool

Intercultural Competence Methods and Assessment Tool

3. Minimization – At this phase the students are aware of other cultures but at the same time can learn a lot about their own culture. ‘Minimization, as a transitional mind- set, highlights cultural commonality and universal values and principles that can mask a deeper understanding and consideration of cultural differences’. 4. Acceptance and Adaptation - at this phase it the

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A STUDY OF CHINESE UNIVERSITY EFL TEACHERS AND THEIR INTERCULTURAL COMPETENCE TEACHING

A STUDY OF CHINESE UNIVERSITY EFL TEACHERS AND THEIR INTERCULTURAL COMPETENCE TEACHING

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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Which Competence? A Comparative Analysis of Culture specific vs  Culture generic Intercultural Competence Development

Which Competence? A Comparative Analysis of Culture specific vs Culture generic Intercultural Competence Development

to Duronto et al. [18] “communication between strangers is characterized by a limited amount of information about each other, by ignorance of the means to reach a goal, and by ignorance of the probable outcomes. To deal with the ambiguity that characterizes these new situations, we need information [in order to manage uncertainty]” (p.550). However, culture-generic competence only marginally fulfills this need due to its inherent fuzziness. This is not just a problem for the individual, but also for the education sector, because education relies heavily on assessment of learning and the less tangible a competency is, the harder it makes it to assess [30], which is why the education sector also favours culture-specific (and therefore assessable) competence. The fact that all of intercultural work is wholly unpredictable per se puts many people off, so when they try to overcome the difficulties of cultural diversity they gravitate towards more ‘tangible’ competencies that seem easier to master and promise more instant success and achievement. While this is true to some extent, it is deceiving in the long run.
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Developing Intercultural Communicative Competence in ELF Communication

Developing Intercultural Communicative Competence in ELF Communication

by abandoning this seemingly unrealistic notion of ‘native-like’ proficiency, ELT can concentrate on other skills and procedures deemed equally valuable in ELF exchanges. There have been several communication strategies and accommodation skills (Jenkins 2000) identified in order to characterize ELF interactions, of which the following may be included: assessing interlocutors’ linguistic repertoires, resorting to extralinguistic cues, supportive listening, indicating non- comprehension in a face-saving way, paraphrasing, requesting repetition, self-repair, backchannelling, confirmation, in addition to the clarification of requests that allow participants to check, monitor and clarify understanding, among other skills (Mauranen 2006; seidlhofer 2002). Furthermore, contact with a wide array of varieties of English, along with a multilingual/comparative approach, equally contributes to facilitating the acquisition of the communicative abilities.
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The Role of Language and Communicative Abilities in Transnational Labor Markets: Experiences from Finland

The Role of Language and Communicative Abilities in Transnational Labor Markets: Experiences from Finland

improvement here, since offering programs through the medium of English and including students from different cultures does not necessarily enhance ICC if it is not actually included in the curriculum. The development of language skills during studies was also considered important, in addition to English and Swedish (Swedish is the second language in Finland), it was argued that there should be more opportunities to study other languages. Integrating students into work in Finland also entails compulsory Finnish language courses. That the ICT experts still reported persistent misunderstandings and casual inappropriate behavior suggests that the company framework supporting intercultural collaboration need to be complemented by individual ICC. Both the international students and the ICT experts would benefit from the skills for rendering tacit knowledge explicit and build a common understanding by the negotiation of reality. Negotiation of reality refers to the process by which participants examine their own and other people´s implicit and explicit assumptions, expectations, targets and possible roles concerning a situation, and decide together what kind of communication and behavior is appropriate (Friedman & Antal, 2005). This presupposes an ability for critical reflection, which is the part of the cognitive competence of ICC clearly unknown to the students and ICT experts. Even though the interviewees were generally able to examine the differences between communication cultures, they did not know how to render explicit their own and others´ expectations, making them keen to acquire cultural knowledge. The fact that ICT experts utilized national stereotypes to explain failures in communication suggests, however, that ICC training should not encourage stereotyping by offering cultural knowledge, but emphasize the growing ability to critically reflect on one´s own ways of perceiving, reasoning and behaving, which facilitates understanding other people´s ways of communicating. Cognitive competence would also reduce the problems caused by lack of language proficiency, and support language learning.
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Vol 11, No 1 (2009)

Vol 11, No 1 (2009)

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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Theoretical and Practical-Actional Components of Intercultural Competence Development

Theoretical and Practical-Actional Components of Intercultural Competence Development

Being lately understood as a dialogical and participative competence, the intercultural competence is a product of the network of interactions in time and space. The term "cultural" can name all the features, including the values and beliefs people grow with, the national, regional and local customs and in particular the attitudes and practices that affect the way they work. The aim of this study was to emphasize the role of intercultural competence development, process that can be achievable in any socio-cultural environment. The training area is one where teachers and learners interact, form and develop a range of skills, including the intercultural ones. We aimed at identifying the marks of a model of developing the intercultural competence and assessing the impact it has on a sample of 68 students who participated in the psycho-pedagogical training module during 2016-2017. The competence profile of the teacher also includes the intercultural competence, as communication in an intercultural context has an increasingly important role. Interculturality brings with it a new communication matrix, which requires an opening from the interpersonal and social communication to an intercultural communication. The proposed model is a methodological option which aims at a better communication between people of different cultures.
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Educational Alternatives, Volume 15, 2017

Educational Alternatives, Volume 15, 2017

The paper presents a study carried out in 2015-2016 within the national scheme of research - VEGA 1/0106/15 based on theoretical research and empirical verification of the concept of intercultural communicative competence. Our research has revealed how the concept of intercultural communicative competence had been perceived by secondary-school teachers of English in Slovakia before they were intensively trained. Intensive workshops were based on the use of both authentic and instructional materials with the goal to support interculturally oriented language teaching aimed at challenging thinking. The former concept that supported the development of the students’ linguistic knowledge and the use of a target language to obtain information about the culture of the country whose language learners were learning was expanded by the meaning-making framework which views language as a typical means by which culture is mediated. The goal of the workshop was to influence English teachers to better understand the concept of intercultural communicative competence, combining theory and practice optimally. The results of the study will be presented and analysed, providing particular recommendations for language teachers from which English learners should benefit in their future studies or professional careers.
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Conversational competence as 'construalistic' activity

Conversational competence as 'construalistic' activity

Although used in an almost informal vernacular sense in many contexts, the notion of 'competence' in language use is somewhat difficult to define (Witte and Harden, 2011, 3). Attempts to explicate the notion tend to focus on acquisition or teaching, of 'first' or subsequent language. In this paper I have attempted to ground the discussion not in the linguistic aspects of talk, but in the symbolic ones, that is, the ways in which the self located in conversation overlaps with or separates from the conversational selfhoods of fellow participants in talk. What I have argued is that the awareness of these features of talk, aliveness to them in operation, and ability to participate will allow persons to demonstrate, and others to recognise and evaluate, conversational competence. The immediately obvious example of this may indeed come from exposure to foreign conversational cultures, and one would indeed be making a mistake in thinking that exposing oneself to and engaging in such encounters with the belief that linguistic competence alone is sufficient. However, one need not encounter the foreign or exotic to consider the question of construalistic activity as a key aspect of conversational competence. In any context, persons must be aware of, alive to, and have the ability to mobilise appropriately both overlapping and differentiating aspects of conversational selfhood. Indeed, the 'skilled' conversationalists might be the sort of person who can overlap and differentiate at just the right points, to just the right extent, in just the right way to give fellow participants the feeling that the right conversational 'balance' has been struck. Fortunately, such perfectly deft conversationalists are rare, allowing the incompetences most of us display at one time or another to be easily overlooked or quickly assimilated into the ongoing to and fro of talk.
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