How Teaching Language and Culture at University Influences Intercultural Competence: From Research to Practice

By Verena Behrnd.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

As the world grows more and more together intercultural skills and development measures should be included in university education. Considering the fact that only few universities do already offer intercultural training, the impact of teaching the language and culture of specific regions on intercultural competence has been examined. The influence of relevant co-variables has also been analyzed. The sample consisted of students who before the survey had participated in an additional education program about East Asia or had been receiving language and regional courses about a particular culture and a control group. The data indicated that language and regional courses as well as intercultural contact and experiences abroad do foster intercultural competencies. The study showed further how cognitive, affective or conative competence as sub domains of intercultural competence are affected by having language and culture courses or by the co-variables. Based on the results, suggestions are given for taking intercultural competence fostering measures at university. A discussion about the necessity of including didactic or experiential intercultural training in the schedule completes the representation.

Keywords: Intercultural Competence, Intercultural Education, Intercultural Training

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp.121-126. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 559.346KB).

Verena Behrnd

Doctoral Student, Dresden, Saxony, Germany

Verena Behrnd received her degree in psychology in 2005 from the Dresden University of Technology. Already during her studies language skills and beeing abroad have strenghtened her interest on intercultural topics. Therefore she decided to contribute to this area with her doctoral studies. Her research focus is on intercultural training and its effect on intercultural competence. In addition to her doctoral studies she also participated in a qualification for working as an intercultural trainer. She is now a freelance-trainer and academic.

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