In the first article Research into Practice: Cultural and intercultural awareness, the researchers main objective is to highlight the role played by Cultural awareness [CA] and intercultural awareness [ICA] in pedagogical classroom theory and practices. Both the CA and ICA reinforce the role of different cultures in communication; on the other hand, CA generally involves the integration of the national cultures while ICA involves the incorporation of both language and culture. The article reveals that the cultures exhibited by different ethnic groups play an important role in teaching and learning of a second language [L2]. This is achieved through either focusing on the literature written in the target language or targeting the traditions associated with the country. In the society today, when the notion of CA or ICA is introduced into the classrooms it automatically involves a comparison of the national cultures involved. This has been shaped by the research findings of different studies by scholars around the world. With that in mind, the researchers work aims to highlight to what extent these findings have been applied in main stream teaching today.
The researcher draws his findings subjectively from his own experiences that he has had teaching in UK and Thailand. He also relates his findings to the research finding from other scholars works applied today as far as AC and ICA is concerned in L2 teaching and learning.
According to the author the research findings that have not been well applied include: Intercultural competence, Integration of culture into language teaching, Images of cultural simplification in comparison with the complexities that can be involved. On the other hand the research findings that have been applied include: Recognitionof a relation between culture and language, significant increase in intercultural communication awareness and the role of languages. Finally, the research finding that is over-applied in todays classroom set-up cultural comparison.
In conclusion, CA and ICA play an important role in the teaching and learning of L2. The two factors are essential for outlining the type of knowledge skill and mental attitude needed for conclusive intercultural communication.
In the second article Identification and Assessment of Intercultural Competence as a StudentOutcome of Internationalization, the authors research aims at establishing an effective assessment method of intercultural competence based on an approval by a panel of international intercultural scholars. This study is motivated by the lack of a set standard to judge the Intercultural competence of a person. Due to this most institutions find it difficult to adequately define intercultural competence exhibited by their students. Other scholars worksexhibited in the study have shown that competence can only be measured based on circumstances being highlighted. On the other hand, the scholars have never agreed on the suitable definition for intercultural competence.
The research incorporates two distinct methodologies in analysing the above discussed concept. The first one was the use of questionnaires that were completed by members of the International Administrators of Internationalization Strategies in the US. The second method was the Delphi technique to aid in coming to a consensus by the international intercultural scholars. Other techniques integrated in the research includes interviews, observations and self-judgement.23 scholars from different fields were used were used in the Delphi study and remained anonymous to each other throughout the time of the study.
The findings of the study were partitioned into different categories. The first category of findings revealed that most of the participants in the study gave a more inclusive definition for intercultural competence with most of them drawing their references from Byrams work of 1997. In the second category of finding generated from analysis of the Delphi study the most effective definition was established from the data analysis. The third category of findings was based on students view of intercultural competence. The final finding was based on both the qualitative and quantitative finding.
In conclusion, the intercultural scholars did not give a definitive definition to intercultural competence but instead preferred broader definitions instead. In the second conclusion, it is evident that the scholars and administrators agree that intercultural competence can indeed be measured. Finally it was concluded that it is difficult to adequately define and measure intercultural competence because it is complex and it evolves continuously.
In the third article Development of intercultural competence among US American teachers: Professional development factors that enhance competence, the researcher bases the study model Bennetts developmental model of intercultural sensitivity. The study exhibited in this article is a build-up work to the work that applies intercultural development inventory in determining any change in intercultural competence among K-12 educators. This study is encouraged by the steady increase of students diversity in schools across the United States. With that in mind, the researcher provides information portraying the educators development as far as intercultural competence is concerned over a four year period.
The intercultural development inventory is used in this study because it develops over a long period of time and it can be developed using professional helps in school unlike other models. The study involved teachers in their normal school context situations using the Intercultural development Inventory [IDI] as the methodology instrument that was used to carry out the study. This technique was used to evaluate the intercultural competence of the educators at two different time periods. The study involved 86 teachers from 7 elementary schools that had a teachers population of 245. The results from this study was analysed using the repetitive measures analysis to compare changes in IDI from the two respective time periods. A t-test was also used in this case.
The results revealed that there was a significant change in teachers IDIwhen the teachers were subjected to Intercultural training initiative. This further revealed that these types of training would enhance the teachers Intercultural competence.
In conclusion, from the research, it is possible to improve the teachers intercultural competence through professional help that is supervised. These types of training helps the educators develop new skill, knowledge and attitude that eventually helps them in their profession.
In the fourth stage Dimensions of diversity: Challenges to secondary school teachers with implications for intercultural teacher education, the study employs the use of Intercultural Development Inventory [IDI] similar to the study reviewed above. From the other studies it was revealed that most of the teachers in Hong Kong had developed a negative attitude towards evaluation of cultural differences; this was because most of the teachers were in the denial stage of the Development Model of Intercultural Sensitivity [DMIS]. The researcher puts forward three main objectives for working on this study. The first one was to find out the cultural sensitivity level of teachers based in Hong Kong; secondly to find out the demographical data that encouraged the gradual advancement of intercultural sensitivity; the final one was to find out the implication for implementing culturally sensitive pedagogy in teaching students in Hong Kong.
The researcher reinforces the objectives of the research by revealing that teachers' intercultural competence is directly linked to their teaching effectiveness. The article further reveals that most of the teachers in Hong Kong are taught in environments that encourage a mono-culture system; this creates a basis for the study and the objectives. The methodology employed in this case exploits the IDI technique that measures the concepts defined by DMIS. The DMIS on the other hand stipulates a complex model of intercultural development that is shaped by individuals affected, response to cultural differences and behavioural construction.
The data was collected from nine schools randomly selected in Hong Kong. The results were later analysed by the IDI software. The results revealed that about 82.83 percent of the 386 teachers that were involved in the research were within the denial/defence stage of the IDI instrument. This showed that most of the teachers were not well equipped when it came to intercultural competence.
In conclusion, real change from a mono-culture to a sensitive multicultural perspective can only be achieved through field-based experiences. This can be done through professional education of teacher at their respective areas of work in order to boost their working intercultural competence.
The final article is Internationalisation, intercultural communication and intercultural competence. The writing of this article was motivated by the discourse on educational ideologies. The researcher addressed four major issues in his paper by clearly stipulating the core factors in intercultural education; the research uses a precise pedagogical approach in this matter i.e. [FACTO-Approach] in the overall intercultural education. Some of the highlighted topics in this article include:
Ideologies of Higher Education
With the advancement in education, the institutions of higher learning were forced to internationalize their standards at every level to accommodate this fast growth. Another reason for this was to enhance Intercultural Communication Education (ICE) to cope up with the constantly increasing cultural diversity at the higher level. This notion is further discussed under idealism, instrumentalism and educationalism in this topic.
Intercultural Communication [IC]
The author of the article in this context described the phenomenon above as a symbolic process that involves the attribution relevance to people of different cultures. With that in mind, the researcher described IC as a complex process that and not just a mere one time encounter. The article reveals that the tutors and students that can meet the expectation of IC can easily meet the qualities of internationalization than others.
The issue of internationalization has been discussed in depth in the research article. Internationalization is an inevitable factor that exhibits three different ideologies in the article. The only common factor in that case is the significant role of ICE in internationalization. The article discusses vividly the consequences of employing and not employing ICE in the institutions of learning.
In conclusion, The IPSO FACTO-approach is the only model portrayed by the article that attempts to summarise and visualise the assumptions, goals and concepts that are incorporated in ICE as a tentative working model in internationalization.
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