Assessing Intercultural Sensitivity and Effectiveness: Adult Learners of Chinese as a L2

Assessing Intercultural Sensitivity and Effectiveness: Adult Learners of Chinese as a L2

Meihua Liu (Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, China)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3814-1.ch004

Abstract

This chapter examines adult CSL (Chinese as a L2) learners' intercultural sensitivity and effectiveness while studying in a university in Beijing. Seventy-four international students from various countries answered the intercultural sensitivity scale (ISS) and intercultural effectiveness scale (IES) as well as other scales in the present study; eight participants were informally interviewed. The findings indicate that the participants were moderate in terms of intercultural sensitivity and effectiveness, that intercultural sensitivity and effectiveness were generally and significantly related to each other, and that students' intercultural sensitivity and effectiveness levels were not statistically correlated with their background variables. Based on these findings, some implications are therein discussed.
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Literature Review

With an increasing importance of international education around the globe, study abroad programs and sojourners have increasingly caught the attention of researchers and educators (Liu & Liu, 2015; Martinsen, 2011; Olson & Kroeger, 2001; Straffon, 2003). Researchers found that sojourners in study abroad contexts encounter numerous difficulties and obstacles coping with cultural adaptation and intercultural communication due to various reasons (Zhang, 2010). Hammer, Wiseman, Rasmussen and Bruschke (1998) categorized the reasons for cultural challenges into four fundamental factors: (1) interpersonal saliencies; (2) intergroup saliencies; (3) communication message exchange; and (4) host contact conditions. Griffith and Harvey (2001) identified four determinants of cultural adaptation: (1) cultural understanding; (2) communication competence; (3) cultural interaction; and (4) communication interaction. Xue and Pan (2012) claimed that grammar-translation pedagogy and lack of intercultural communication awareness were two main reasons for cultural challenges. During the process, the issue of ICC has become prominent to all parties involved (Byram, 1997; Jensen, Jaeger & Lorentsen, 1995).

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