Intercultural Competence

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In recent years the concept of intercultural communicative competence (ICC) has been spreading in the field of foreign language teaching and learning. ICC is based on the development by the learner of several “saviors” – as Byram (“Acquiring,” Teaching) calls them – concerned with attitudes and values, knowledge, skills of interpreting and relating, skills of discovery and interaction and critical cultural awareness. The concern for intercultural competence and more generally intercultural education reflect changing circumstances across the globe which result from trends of increased mobility (tourism, traveling, and migration) and modern communication which multiplies interactions through the use of new technologies. learners are more than…show more content…
Kim and Ruben (1992) state that the use of “intercultural” is preferable because “the term is not bounded by any specific cultural attributes” (p. 404). It is interesting to note that a meta-analysis of research on communicative competence in intercultural contexts found that “many scholars seem willing to use intercultural communication competence in preference to other labels, including intercultural effectiveness” (Bradford, Allen, & Beissel, 2000, p.…show more content…
As Serco (2004) summarized, there are two dimensions of intercultural competence identified by recent models: culture-specific (knowledge and skills about target culture) and culture-general knowledge and skills (‘more generalizable in nature and transferable across cultures’ (p.135)). Culture-general knowledge includes, for example, ‘the nature of cultural adjustment and learning’, ‘the impact of culture on communication and interaction between individuals or groups’, ‘the role of emotions in cross-cultural, cross-linguistic interactions’. Culture-general skills refer to, attributes such as ‘the capacity to display respect for an interest in the culture’, ‘tolerance and patience in cross-cultural situations’, ‘control of emotions and emotional resilience’ (p.135). Intercultural competence requires learners to develop a view of two cultures (their own and that of target language) and a position where they mediate between these
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