Intercultural Communicative Competence Development During and After Language Study Abroad: Insights from Arabic│Shiri, S. (2015)│To see the document: ERIC DATABASE through EBSCOhost (electronic library database)

This study explored the development and maintenance of intercultural communicative competence (ICC) among 352 American learners of Arabic who completed summer intensive language programs in five Arab countries. Data were collected through a survey that was based on the 2007 draft of the Culture Proficiency Guidelines (Lampe, 2007; later adopted by the Interagency Language Roundtable in 2012) that was designed to measure ICC development and was administered upon students’ return to the United States. The survey also investigated which components of the intensive study abroad program fostered the development of particular components of ICC. Data indicated that although students mostly developed ICC at the Intermediate level (completing daily activities), they also progressed into higher levels, e.g., by identifying, comparing, and contrasting traditions, history, and politics or by participating in low-frequency social occasions. Data showed that the structured and the unstructured components of the program and the diglossic learning of Arabic both supported, to various degrees, students’ development of ICC. Data also suggested that students sustained their developing levels of ICC upon their return to the United States, as demonstrated by their ability to shift perspectives, their increased compassion toward different populations, and their sensitivity to stereotyping.

Key words: Arabic, culture, intercultural communicative competence assessment, intercultural competence, intercultural proficiency, ICC, study abroad


Intercultural competence and student engagement of U.S. community college Students: a mixed method study│Riley, R. et al. (2015)│To see the document: ERIC DATABASE through EBSCOhost (electronic library database)

In a culturally diverse society, United States community colleges are ideally positioned to develop intercultural competence in students. This mixed method study focused on the relationship between student engagement, as measured by the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) (2005), and intercultural competence, as assessed by the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) (Bennett & Hammer, 1998). Student scores from the IDI were correlated with five benchmark measures of the CCSSE. Four of the five CCSSE benchmarks were significantly correlated with IDI scores. Then, students scoring in the highest and lowest quartiles on the IDI participated in focus groups to explore their perceptions of intercultural competence. Analysis revealed implications for community college leaders that include the value of using instruments like the CSSE and IDI to assess students’ intercultural competence. Practical implications also included the importance of collaborative classroom activities and exposure to racially and ethnically diverse faculty and students, as well as college-sponsored community service, cultural events, and study-abroad opportunities

Key words: Learner engagement, Interpersonal communication, Cultural pluralism, Higher education


Making intercultural communicative competence and identity-development visible for assessmetn purposes in foreign language education│Houghton, A. (2013)│To see the document: ERIC DATABASE through EBSCOhost (electronic library database)

This article reports on an action research case study conducted at a university in Japan, which explored how student identity-development can be made visible in potentially assessable ways through materials design in intercultural communicative competence (ICC)-oriented foreign language education. It suggests that identity-development can be nurtured by applying the Intercultural Dialogue (ID) Model. Various kinds of behavioural evidence from students’ written work upon which ICC assessment can be based are presented in the form of statement patterns indicative of student achievement of stated learning objectives and student self-discrepancy. Implications for the assessment of ICC and identity-development are considered. Firstly, the assessment of Byram’s savoir apprendre/faire in Stage 2 of the ID Model should be based on recorded interaction and/or direct oral testing. Secondly, assessment should be partly formative and partly summative and it should take place both continuously and at fixed points, since they are all needed to illuminate student ICC and identitydevelopment, which is both a critical and a creative process.

Key words: Intercultural communication, communicative competence (languages), self concept, student attitudes, academic achievement, summative evaluation, formative evaluation


Intercultural Competence in education, counselling and psychotherapy│Portera, A. (2014)│To see the document: ERIC DATABASE through EBSCOhost (electronic library database)

The present era of globalization, interdependence and multicultural societies has brought about both opportunities and crises in educational institutions. Especially schools and families seem to be unable to cope with such revolutionary changes. The crises also concern all fields involved in maintaining social welfare, including counselling and psychotherapy. Within these fields, there is a growing need for Intercultural Competences at the cognitive, emotional and relational levels which endow teachers and counsellors with the ability to operate in linguistically and culturally complex contexts. However, despite the vast amount of international scholarship, the concept of ‘Intercultural Education’ and the term ‘Intercultural Competences’ are often misunderstood and require more precise definition. The present contribution intends to give further impulse to the discussion of Intercultural Competences and to offer concrete definitions that are applicable to the fields of education, counselling and psychotherapy. The article is based on a comprehensive review of literature on Intercultural Competence and an extensive empirical study carried out by the Centre for Intercultural Studies at the University of Verona. The study relies upon focus groups and semi-structured interviews in order to develop a theoretical model of Intercultural Competences with implications at the practical-operative, methodological and vocational levels.

Key words: Intercultural Competences; intercultural education; intercultural counselling; Italy; globalization

Abstract: The concept of intercultural competences is contested, although it is omnipresent in varied fields of research and practice. Its assessment is also questioned: how can it be done? By whom? When? Should assessment be summative or formative—or both? In order to be able to assess anything, learning and teaching objectives must be clear, coherent, and consistent. Yet intercultural competences are often polysemic and rely heavily on problematic concepts such as (national) culture and identity. Here we revisit the concept and reflect on its use for formative assessment within international teacher education. Having developed a Portfolio of Intercultural Competences (PIC) to be used by student teachers in an English-medium teacher education programme in Finland, we explain how the portfolio came to life (theory, methods) and how it can help develop students’ intercultural competences. We report on three components of the portfolio: the students’ reflexive and critical essays on five stories of meaningful and/or memorable intercultural encounters written during a course on multicultural education, and focus group discussions amongst the students. We analyze the data with discursive pragmatics, a linguistic method which looks deeper into participants’ discourses
This research looks at the intercultural communication challenges of host culture adaptees through the multi-ethnic customer contacts of two groups of Finnish civil servants. The philosophical framework utilised is the critical-pragmatic notion of mutual adaptation and critique, as proposed by Young (1996). The host culture focus adapted in this research is significant from the point of view of Finnish working life, as well as internationally, for the field of intercultural studies has mainly concentrated on studying the adjustment processes of the immigrant populations.The research challenges the general claim (e.g. Kim Y.Y. 2001) that the cultural adaptation processes of the host culture members are only limited in nature. The way the Finnish civil servants go about creating intercultural space in their multi-ethnic customer contacts is approached from three different angles: as integrity issues, as cultural learning issues and as communication issues.
This book explores the decades-long use of the notion of interculturality in education and other fields, arguing that it is now time to move beyond certain assumptions towards a richer and more realistic understanding of the ‘intercultural’. Many concepts such as culture, identity and intercultural competence are discussed and revised. Myths about interculturality are also unpacked and dispelled. Written by one of the leading scholars in the field, this book proposes a very useful framework to address theoretical and methodological issues related to interculturality. This somewhat provocative book will be of interest to anyone who wrestles with this knotty but central notion of our times.


Cultural Essentialism in Intercultural Relations│Edited by Fred Dervin, Regis Machart (2015)

The concept of culture has never been as problematic as it is today. Over the last three decades, critiques of the concept have been widespread around the world, especially in anthropology and sociology. Yet in the field of intercultural communication and relations, culture is still omnipresent and is often used to justify certain views on the ‘other’ and also to discriminate, which can lead to understandings and visions of interculturality that are limiting and essentialist.

This collection examines how culture is used in intercultural encounters, but also what it does to people and how they deal with it, with some contributions proposing a move beyond the concept of culture in order to empower individuals and to complexify the analysis of intercultural relations. The volume will appeal to anyone interested in alternative and critical perspectives on interculturality.