Intercultural Competence Model

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Various models of intercultural competence have recently been reviewed by Spitzberg and Changnon (2009), who classify them into five types: (1) Compositional models, which identify the various components of intercultural competence without attempting to specify the relations between them – these models therefore simply contain lists of the relevant attitudes, skills, knowledge and behaviours which together make up intercultural competence. (2) Co-orientational models, which focus on how communication takes place within intercultural interactions, and how perceptions, meanings and intercultural understandings are constructed during the course of these interactions. (3) Developmental models, which describe the stages of development through which intercultural competence is acquired. (4) Adaptational models, which focus on how individuals adjust and adapt their attitudes, understandings and behaviours during encounters with cultural others. (5) Causal path models, which postulate specific causal relationships between the different components of intercultural competence. Spitzberg and Changnon observe that many of the terms used to describe intercultural competence in all five types of model (e.g., adaptability, sensitivity, etc.) have not yet been properly operationalised or validated in empirical research, and that many of the models may well have ethnocentric biases due to the fact that they have been developed within western European and North American societies and probably
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