A Comparative Study on the Intercultural Communicative Competence of Chinese Non-English Majors
|School||Huazhong University of Science and Technology|
|Course||English Language and Literature|
|Keywords||intercultural communicative competence intercultural training|
With the development of technology and ongoing process of globalization, more andmore people have access to communicating with others who are from different culturalbackgrounds. Therefore, nowadays this kind of intercultural communication becomesfrequent and unavoidable than ever before. Multinational companies begin to be aware ofthe importance of developing employees’ intercultural communicative competence. Thesame is true in the foreign language teaching field. In the foreign language teaching,experts also start to realize the significance and necessity of developing students’intercultural communicative competence. As a result, an increasing number of scholarshave carried out their researches on intercultural communicative competence. However,the empirical comparative researches on intercultural communicative competence in Chinaare rather limited. Therefore, this study intends to carry out a comparative study onChinese university students’ intercultural communicative competence (ICC for short) froma perspective of intercultural training (ICT for short). The study aims to find whethercurrent intercultural training in university can enhance students’ ICC or not and discusssome pedagogical implications on the intercultural training in university.In this study, the researcher adopts quantitative research method by applying aquestionnaire to investigate the students’ ICC and current intercultural training inuniversity. The questionnaire consists of two parts. Part I is designed to investigatesubjects’ demographic information and current intercultural training in university. Part II isa self-assessment ICC questionnaire, which is adapted from Fantini’s (2000) YOGA formstrictly based on Byram’s (1994) ICC model. The self-assessment questionnaire iscomposed of four sub-parts: awareness, attitude, skill and knowledge. The questionnairesare distributed to the second grade students in Huazhong University of Science andTechnology. They are divided into two groups: Group1contains the students who haveattended the intercultural training; Group2contains the students who have not attended any intercultural training. The ICC survey is carried out between these two groups ofstudents，aiming to make the comparison of overall ICC between the two groups, ICC interms of four dimensions and internal ICC constructs between the two.This study finds that students’ overall ICC is relatively low and not satisfactory. Thereis no significant difference in overall ICC level between the trained students and untrainedstudents; students only improve intercultural awareness through the intercultural training;the trained students and untrained students have similar internal ICC constructs. Thepossible causes of the insignificant ICC difference are discussed from three aspectsregarding current intercultural training in the university: the intercultural trainingcurriculums set up in university, frequency of teaching cultures of English-speakingcountries, and students’ intercultural learning motivation and attitude.The investigation on students’ ICC from the perspective of intercultural training shedssome light on the present intercultural teaching and learning and offers some usefulpedagogical suggestions for the intercultural training in Chinese universities.