I see my culture differently now. Culture is important for interculturalcompetence because if I do not understand even my culture I could not recognise who I am and know the way to find similarities and differences between my culture and others . At first I thought that
However, this apparent lack of consensus (Fantini, 2009: 456) confirms not only the complexity of the study of intercultural communication competence, but the need to address its study from a multidisciplinary perspective depending on the context in which the intercultural interaction takes place. Furthermore, to date it appears that there is no universal ICC assessment model and the successful foundations for ICC assessment tools shall lie in the specific focus on the purpose and the target user of the intercultural communication competence. As Van de Vijver and Leung (2009: 413) point out: “Given the complexity of assessinginterculturalcompetence research, Deardorff (2004) has shown that it is important to use a multimethod, multiperspective approach when assessinginterculturalcompetence. This kind of approach has been rarely used to date.”
Interculturalcompetence (IC) is a concept that has gained importance in recent years. It seems to be transparent, accepted as well as used both in formal and informal situations. This concept can be defined as an individual’s capability to communicate effectively and appropriately with other people who have different cultures, norms, and values. In order for a person to be labeled as an intercultural speaker with interculturalcompetence, s/he should have the competence of intercultural attitude, skill, and knowledge. However, this competence has not b een noticed and assessed comprehensively inside and outside academia, particularly in the setting of English language teaching. Hence, this study aims to assess and determine the level of interculturalcompetence of state junior high school English teachers in Yogyakarta. This study involved 260 participants taken using cluster random sampling from the whole population of 790 state junior high school English teachers. Data were collected using a valid and reliable questionnaire. Afterward, the data were analyzed with descriptive statistics and the Kruskal Wallis test, along with a prerequisite of normality. This study revealed that the level of IC of state junior high school English teachers in Yogyakarta was high. Moreover, it has been found that their leve l of intercultural attitude (IA), intercultural skill (IS), and intercultural knowledge (IK) were categorized as high. In other words, these results indicate that the state junior high school English teachers in Yogyakarta have a capability to mingle with diverse people using a language effectively and appropriately. Importantly, this study showed that there were no significant differences in their IC level according to where they teach in four districts and one city. These mean that the locations where they teach do not affect their level of interculturalcompetence.
through the data corpus improves the overall validity of my coding endeavors because I had to re-read all of the code definitions and compare them to the data segments again (Guest et al., 2012). Repeating this process a second time improved the overall reliability of my data, or the trustworthiness that my coding process was yielding quality results because I checked to be sure that I coded all of the data the same way both times (Bazely & Jackson, 2013). When codes were consistent, I continued coding with periodic re-checks. When codes were not consistent, I adjusted the definitions and re-coded as needed. Key codes that emerged through this process are displayed in Table 4 below. Only themes that were well substantiated by the data were pursued. Strongest themes included those related to PSTs making comparisons between their JIS classroom and their previous experience in U.S. schools (SCHOOL DIFF, TEACH ADAPT IN MEX) and what they noticed about JIS classroom dynamics between teachers and students (RELATIONSHIP, CLASS COMM STYLE). An additional theme, how PSTs saw their future teaching changing as a result of their IST experience (TEACH CHANGE), was also important to my overall data analysis. Analytic memoing occurred periodically throughout the coding process to explore patterns of meaning in themes and connections between them. Quotations that best illustrated each theme were selected to give voice to participants (Hendershot & Sperandio, 2009).
In the process of teaching a foreign language a special attention is dedicated to the methods. The professors need to be updated with the new methods and techniques of teaching and assessing students’ performance. The traditional methods of teaching a foreign language are not effective anymore. In the traditional methods the professor is at the center of the attention, and the student has a passive role. Today, the most successful methods are those methods that require the collaboration of the students and professors, where the student plays an active role and contributes in the development of his knowledge too.
This study found that teachers’ perceptions of ICC can be a key means for raising cultural teaching practices in the classroom. The findings of the qualitative part also provided solid reliable evidence completing the quantitative phase of the study. However, as the participants in the interview phase were very different in their proportion fallen into different experience and instruction categories, it was practically impossible to present the data according to the quantitative phase which presented the findings based on teaching experience and instruction level. Furthermore, the findings of the qualitative section were limited in that the participants were only master holders/graduates, and thus not representative of the entire sample. This in turn echoes the necessity for consolidated findings and provides a fertile ground for future researchers to move into this direction. A safe conclusion to be drawn here is that the concept of ICC needs to be incorporated in EFL teacher training programs, prodding pre- service and in-service teachers to earn more sensitization of it. It seems that in its eagerness to give more voice and value to teachers and their knowledge, decisions about ICC should be made at macro rather than micro-level. As Gardner (1999) commented:
While the EFL classroom environment, distant as it often is from other cultures, may not initially appear to be the ideal place for the creation of the aforementioned dialogue (see Kearney, 2010; Perry & Southwell, 2011), it comes across more positively if one considers the learner’s role not as that of a passive recipient of information but as that of an intercultural participant who “creates meaning” (Kramsch, 1993, p. 236, italics as in original). Viewed from such a perspective, the classroom becomes a place where the learner can agree or disagree with the other, where he/she can agree or disagree with his/her own cultural norms—in short, where he/she can become a knowledgeable individual making informed personal choices (see Cortazzi & Jin, 1999; Kramsch, 1993; Menard-Warwick, 2009). Ultimately, then, a classroom environment fostering ICC must be one in which cultural meaning is “socially constructed” by the “key participants in the learning process: students, teachers, and materials” (Weninger & Kiss, 2013, p. 695).
Compositional models could be combined with developmental models. The participants in the CCI can develop knowledge, attitudes and skills while they move from one stage to another to increase their interucultural competences. Desing activities that develop knowledge and comprehension, atitudes and skills as described by Dearrdoff (2006) in the Compositional-Pyramidal Model of InterculturalCompetence (Deardoff, 2006); discuss and experience cultural differences while moving from ethonocentric to ethnorelative stages as proposed by the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS) developed by Bennett (1993). The main goal of DMIS is developing strong and long term theory based strategic comprehensive plans that could include different activities such as international courses, teaching abroad, Fulbright experiences, faculty led experiences, language training, short and long faculty led experiences, international courses, and/or diversity courses (Anderson, 2004; Busby, 1993; Emert, 2008; Fabregas-Janeiro, 2009; Fabregas Janeiro et al., 2011; Fretheim, 2007). The DMIS provided the theoretical framework to develop the Intercultual Development Inventory (IDI) (Hammer et al., 2003), this instrument assess cultural competence. The combination of these two models and the use of the IDI to asess interculturla competenece could result in a comprehensive theory base approach to develop interculturalcompetence suggested by Fabregas Janeiro et at. (2011).
Examples of actual classroom practices used by faculty to support diverse learners and promote intercultural learning goals are scarce in the literature, resulting in a lack of information about the possible variation of interculturalteaching approaches in different disciplines. Leask and Bridge (2013) describe curriculum internationalization approaches in accounting and journalism, while Winter (2007) shares his experience promoting social justice in a mathematics classroom. Harlap and colleagues (2008) offer examples from a faculty learning community at the University of British Columbia focusing on global citizenship, including examples from forestry, history, nursing, zoology, and earth and ocean sciences. A few studies have focused on student responses to internationalization initiatives, providing reflection on how students perceive intercultural learning in the context of a particular discipline. For example, Haigh (2009) explores student reactions to learning activities that promote empathy in an Ethical Geographer course at Oxford Brookes University. Haigh asked students to assess the emotional impact of habitats using Samkhya’s three modes of nature, drawing on multiple modes of knowledge and ways of knowing in Indian philosophy. Students were asked to engage in reflection activities that emphasized introspection, self-awareness, and perspective-taking. While many students found the course to be a great opportunity to engage with the role of empathy in urban geography, some students felt uncomfortable with the
dialogue accompanied by cultural diversity and human rights stemming from them and constituting the main trunk of the tree. Then come various activities that need to be undertaken to ensure that the issues mentioned above get to be enacted in real life: clarifying, teaching, promoting, supporting and enacting intercultural competences. It is thanks to these actions that we can eventually observe all the desirable phenomena listed on the leaves, e.g.: intercultural responsibility, intercultural literacy, cultural shifting, intercultural citizenship, conviviality, creativity, liquidity, contextualization cues, multilingualism, disposition, emotions, knowledge, intercultural communicative competence. Some of the leaves are still empty as interculturalcompetence, just like a tree, is a living and changing construct that keeps adjusting to and incorporating constantly emerging contexts worldwide.
The tasks to be accomplished on the route to developing a model predicated upon intercultural communicative competence imply that the community of English language teaching and research has quite a lot of work to do. Nonetheless, the author believes that it would not be fair to expect English language courses, teachers and materials alone to give individuals such personal attributes as those mentioned above (display of respect, interaction posture, orientation to knowledge, empathy, interaction management, tolerance of ambiguity etc.), and even a properly structured system of interculturalcompetence-oriented English language education would not suffice unless it was backed up by a broader research-driven educational philosophy and a multidisciplinary policy embracing openness to other cultures within the framework of a keen appreciation of the importance of intercultural communication in our globalizing world.
Of course, understanding the research also means that instructors need to be trained in how best to deliver it. Paige and Goode (2009) stress the importance of training international education profession- als so that they themselves can foster intercultural understanding and competence in the students with whom they work. If a faculty member with 20 years’ experience teaching law decides to take a small cohort of students to another culture to learn about artistic traditions there, that faculty member needs to understand more than just art. He needs to comprehend the complexity of what it means to cross cultures for his students, the processes they are likely to experience, and how he as the facilitator can best support those students through these processes. Sanderson (2008) remarks “academic development workshops that educate staff about teaching [internationally]… are more likely to be ‘hints and tips’ sessions focused on knowledge and skills rather than about attitudinal change on the teacher’s behalf with respect to fostering a spirit of cosmopolitanism” (p. 297). Instead, Sanderson (2008) emphasizes the need to foster intercultural awareness within instructors so that they cannot only cope with these situations as they arise, but also so that they can make these situations teachable moments to develop intercultural competency.
Conflict is inevitable in all social and personal relationships. Intercultural miscommunication often leads to misinterpretations and conflicts because of the cultural differences. If the misinterpretation goes unmanaged or unclarified, it can become actual interpersonal conflict. So it is very necessary to discuss the cultural skills to avoid and manage intercultural conflicts effectively. To deal with conflicts effectively in intercultural communication with people from different countries all over the world, Samovar, Porter and McDaniel (2010) proposed that Chinese college students need to be mindful of the problem-solving assumptions, learn to openly express opinions or point of view, open a conflict dialogue with an upfront thesis statement, verbally explain a situation more fully, provide verbal feedback and engage in active listening skills, use direct, integrative verbal messages, and commit to working out the conflict situation with the conflict party by using task-oriented integrative strategies and try to work out a collaborative, mutual goal dialogue with the conflict party. English teachers should try their best to use intuitional teaching methods to have students experience other cultural atmosphere, providing students with opportunities and materials for intercultural communication. For example, English teachers could collect and show some films, videos and pictures related to western culture according to the teaching contents in the cultural integration into college English teaching, so as to familiarize students with westerners’ communication styles, non-verbal behaviors and the way to manage conflicts in an intuitional way. If possible, students could be required to do role-play in class so as to impress students with cultural skills in communication. Of course, it should be pointed out that developing students’ cultural skills does not mean cultivating students to behave like some else in the intercultural communication. Kramsch (1993, p. 181) considered that the ability to “behave like someone else” is no guarantee that one will be more easily accepted by the group who speaks the language, nor that mutual understanding will emerge.
Altshuler, Sussmann, and Kachur (2003) investigated within 24 pediatric resident trainees at a teaching hospital in an urban setting (Brooklyn, New York) in the academic year 2000-2001 by assessing their stage of intercultural sensitivity using the IDI before and after their participation in an intercultural training intervention. The aims of their research were (1) to provide normative data for the IDI on a new population; (2) to assess the predictive value of demographic variables on intercultural sensitivity; and (3) to explore the efficacy of the IDI in gauging the effectiveness of an intercultural sensitivity training program for pediatric residents. The researchers aligned the participants into three groups, workshop and culture OSCE (objective structured controlled evaluation), culture OSCE only, and control. A 2-h workshop provided opportunities to extrapolate culturally different health attitudes and concomitant behaviors from cultural backgrounds of patients by using a comparative values-based methodology linking culture, values, attitudes and beliefs and Hofstede’s four cultural dimensions of individualism, power distance, masculinity, and uncertainty avoidance (Hofstede, 1980) as conceptual
The results of the CCAI conveyed a higher level of interculturalcompetence in NTFLMs than FFLTs and SA students. This was apparent not only in the CS, but the dimensions as well. However, due to the small sample size, speculation as to why this was apparent could be inaccurate and warranted additional attention. Further analysis of the three groups’ data found that the variations in interculturalcompetence were not statistically significant. Based on these findings, I posit that regardless of whether a foreign language student completed an ACTFL-guided pre-service teaching component, or studied abroad, they will exhibit similar levels of interculturalcompetence. However, it should be noted that the number of participants in this study was not an accurate representation of the population, and may mistakenly portray the indifference of interculturalcompetence among FFLTs and NTFLMs.
Four learning community courses that were offered at the college in the fall of 2014 were selected for this study. Data collection for the study was conducted with various constituencies. First, data was secured from the student participants enrolled in the four courses. The students completed the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) both at the beginning of the course, September, 2014, and again at the end of the course, December 2014–January 2015. Students also kept their own journals and shared their observations with the peer facilitators. Finally, the students completed a questionnaire about their experiences in the course. Follow-up meetings were held on a regular basis (every other week) with the peer facilitators to educate them on the next assignment and to gauge the interest/difficulties/successes of them facilitating the lab section of the course. Information from these meetings allowed me to change assignments or talk through challenges with the peer facilitators. Lastly, I met with the professors teaching the course three times, once at the beginning to learn about their curriculum and civic engagement activities, once in the middle to ascertain how they thought the class was doing and to change items that were frustrating, and finally at the end to share the results of the IDI and the
Finally, the strategy to build intercultural understanding is through cognitive input about other cultures. There are two ways of teaching learners about other cultures. A lecturer of Business Communication states that learners can learn how to behave inclusively through “reading articles or books about other cultures, watching videos, and listening to stories about other cultures, and attending a lecture on intercultural understanding” (P3). This lecturer also asserts that learners should “experience directly in a culturally diverse environ- ment and grouping students whose backgrounds differ from each other.” In addition, a lecturer of Management extends this practical example of becoming intercultural competent graduates “by exposing students internationally through dif- ferent ranges of academic collaborations with partner univer- sities overseas such as university to university exchange programs” (P4).
Intercultural communicative competence is a complex combination of valuable knowledge and skills. According to Byram’s model (1997) intercultural communicative competence implies certain attitudes, knowledge and skills in addition to linguistic, sociolinguistic and discourse competence. Byram doesn’t abandon the objectives of the communicative approach but rather expands it. Byram’s model provides a detailed outline of what interculturalcompetence is and what kind of skills need to be taken into account when teaching language according to the intercultural approach. He formulated five savoirs which refer to five kind of knowledge and skills which a successful intercultural speaker needs in order to understand and mediate between the home culture and the target culture. Language learners should acquire knowledge of a particular culture or country and develop skills, attitudes and awareness of values. The question is not how much information about a country and its cultures should be included in the syllabus, but how can one develop competences which will help learners to interact successfully with people of other cultures and identities (Byram, Gribkova & Starkey, 2002, p. 17). Developing critical thinking and analytical skills as a part of interculturalcompetence is essential because it allows learners to take into consideration positive and negative sides of different cultures, including their own. Generalisations and stereotypes should be challenged, other viewpoints should be suggested and presented, and skills of critical discourse analysis and critical cultural awareness should be developed (Byram, Gribkova & Starkey, 2002, p. 27). Learners should interact with parts of another society and culture in order to relativise understanding of their own cultural values, beliefs and behaviours, and to encourage them to investigate the otherness around them. (Byram, Nichols & Stevens, 2001, p. 3)
After interviewing EFL learners, the researcher interviewed 10 EFL teachers. They are the teachers of different ages, the oldest one is 54 years old, the youngest is 28 years old. In general, the ten teachers can be representatives of Chinese higher vocational college teachers. When asked ― In your teaching, do you focus on cultural differences in the teaching materials and consciously cultivate EFL learners’ intercultural communication competence? ", a lot of teachers had a similar answer: ― Because EFL learners’ intercultural communication competence tests are not required, it’s unnecessary for us to teach intercultural knowledge. What’s worse, it would affect the process of teaching.‖ Only two young teachers paid a little attention to the cultivation of EFL learners’ intercultural communication awareness, but did not attach great importance to it. There are three teachers saying that they also knew what the function of language and the purpose to learn a language were? But in reality, they are not allowed to do so, because the teaching tasks are packed in each lesson. There are four teachers stressed it was even more difficult to achieve this goal, and never considered it as a teaching content. Their reasons are as follows: it’s difficult for EFL learners to grasp English words and basic grammar and structure, and it’s impossible for EFL learners to have a lot of time to improve their intercultural communication competence. However, many of the teachers in the study have shown great interest in cultivating EFL learners’ intercultural communication competence, and they have made many valuable ideas and suggestions and hope to attract the attention of the people concerned so as to promote the reform of the existing examination system and develop English innovation in teaching methods and content.
5.7.1. How do English Language Teachers Understand and Define the Concept “Culture” and ICC in ELT? 5.7.2. To What Extent do English Language Teachers see ICC as an Objective in the Language Classroom? 5.7.3. How do English Language Teachers Approach the Teaching of ICC in their Classrooms? 5.7.4. What Preparation/Training have Teachers had (Pre-service), or wish to have (In-service), for including ICC in their Teaching? 5.7.5. In Conclusion Chapter 6: Implications and Recommendations ----------------------------------- 201