20 SES 04.5 PS, General Poster Session
General Poster Session
The importance of intercultural competence development
Integrating cultures into language lessons have been taken into account and under debate over the past decades (Jack, Howard & Joseph, 2011). Because socializing and communicating appropriately in a foreign language, specifically English, is a benefit for obtaining a job, it is crucial for the language teachers to emphasize the role of culture instruction in the language classrooms. According to Lies (2010), both employers and educators believe that learners should be prepared for living in a multicultural world and become skillful negotiators in increasingly intercultural work situations. Besides, Deardorff (2011) contended that the central responsibility of today higher education is to train students to function more effectively in the integrated world system.
Intercultural competence development
Insights into approaches of intercultural competence development are still in progress, adapted and enhanced. According to Byram, Bella, & Hugh (2002), the general attributes can be described as follows: offering the intercultural and linguistic knowledge to the learners, preparing them for interaction with people from other cultures, enabling them to understand and accept people from other cultures as individuals with other distinctive perspective, values and behaviors, and helping them to see that such interaction is an enriching experience. Lindy, Gail, Bob, Noel & Maureen (2006), Deardorff (2011) and Aleidine & Kristen (2014) added two more prominent constructs: giving the learners the opportunities to reflect on and assess the development of their own intercultural competence over time, and developing their critical-thinking skills in which they can acquire and evaluate their intercultural knowledge. In this sense, the skills of thinking and interacting interculturally are more crucial than the actual knowledge acquired. Byram et al. (2002) specified the relevant skills that learners must master in order to communicate effectively including:
- Skills of interpreting and relating: ability to interpret a document or event from another culture, to explain it and relate it to documents or events from one’s own.
- Skills of discovery and interaction: ability to acquire new knowledge of a culture and cultural practices and the ability to operate knowledge, attitudes and skills under the constraints of real-time communication and interaction.
- Critical cultural awareness: ability to evaluate critically and on the basis of explicit criteria, perspectives, practices and products in one’s own and other cultures and countries.
Byram et al. (2002)
Within this framework, the target of teaching here is not to change the learners’ values but “to make them explicit and conscious in any evaluative response to others” (Byram et al., 2002, p. 13)
In the present study, we examine an intervention with the critical incident tasks, which are several communication situations in which the participants consider as problematic and confusing. Typically, critical incidents consists of examples of cultural clash events - situations where unexpected behavior occurs. Flanagan (1954, p. 327) defines the critical incident technique as… "a set of procedures for collecting direct observations of human behaviour in such a way as to facilitate their potential usefulness in solving practical problems and developing broad psychological principles" (Claire & Helle, 2015). The purpose of the critical incident technique is to develop one's ability to see interaction situations from perspectives of different cultures. Critical incidents are, thus, quite an effective strategy to promote cross-cultural awareness because they highlight the differences and misunderstandings from a cultural perspective, and create chances for learners to think critically and analytically about these critical situations. In order to achieve these goals, we aim to answer the following research questions:
- Do critical incident tasks enhance English non-majored undergraduates’ intercultural communication awareness? Why or Why not?
- How do students develop their intercultural communication awareness throughout the course?
Aleidine, J. M. & Kristen, N. (2014). Building intercultural competence in the language classroom. Faculty Publications: Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education. Paper 161. http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/teachlearnfacpub/161. Arman, G., & Adair, C. K. (2012). Cross-cultural differences in perception of time: Implications for multinational teams. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 21(5), 657-680. doi: 10.1080/1359432X.2012.662488 Byram, M., Bella, G. & Hugh, S. (2002). Developing the intercultural dimension in language teaching: A practical introduction for teachers. Strasbourg: Council of Europe. Claire, M. L. & Helle, N. (2015). Handbook of qualitative research techniques and analysis in entrepreneurship. The UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, Inc. Deardorff, D. K. (2011). Assessing intercultural competence. New Directions for Institutional Research, 149, 65-79. doi: 10.1002/ir.381. Hofstede, G. (1986). Cultural differences in teaching and learning. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 10(3), 301-320. doi: 10.1016/0147-1767(86)90015-5. Jack, R. L., Howard, A. R. & Joseph, J. H. (2011). Defining, developing and assessing global competence in engineers. European Journal of Engineering Education, 31(1), 119-131. doi: 10.1080/03043790500429906. Jariya, A. M. I. (2012). Western cultural values and its implications on management practices. South East Asian Journal of Contemporary Business, Economics and Law, 1, 61-70. Retrieved from http://www.seajbel.com. Kathryn, J. R. (2006). Vietnam’s developing markets: How do perceptions and strategies in the negotiation process differ from the U.S? Journal of Diversity Management, 1(1), 49-60. Retrieved from http://www. cluteinstitute.com Kvassov, V. (2003). The effects of time and personality on the productivity of management information system. Proceedings of the 36th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 1-10. Retrieved from http://www.hicss.hawaii.edu/HICSS36/HICSSpapers/OSSIO01.pdf Lies, S. (2010). Assessing intercultural competence: a framework for systematic test development in foreign language education and beyond. Intercultural Education, 15(1), 73-89. doi: 10.1080/1467598042000190004. Lindy, M., Gail, W., Bob, H., Noel, T. & Maureen, F. (2006). Reflection in intercultural learning: examining the international experience through a critical incident approach. Reflective Practice, 7(3), 367-381. doi: 10.1080/14623940600837624. Tran, T. (2013). Limitation on the development of skills in higher education in Vietnam. Higher Education, 65(5), 631-644. doi: 10.1007/s10734-012-9567-7. Tran, T. Q. T., Admiraal, W. & Saab, N. (2016). Cultural distance in the workplace: Differences in work-related attitudes between employers and host country nationals in foreign companies (submitted to Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology).
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