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    Intercultural Competence A Floating Signifier An Empirical, Multi-Dimensional Approach in the Study Abroad Context

    Huber, Linda (2017) Intercultural Competence A Floating Signifier An Empirical, Multi-Dimensional Approach in the Study Abroad Context. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    As a result of globalisation in recent decades, intercultural and multilingual encounters have become part of our everyday lives. A harmonious coexistence and a successful career often require foreign language skills and intercultural competence to consciously perceive heterogeneity and to respond appropriately to these encounters. Especially in the field of language teaching, intercultural competence has become a highly diverse, widely used concept, and a consensus on its definition and role does not exist. This thesis therefore argues that current theoretical conceptualisations of intercultural competence with all the attendant characteristics and complex human traits have so far been too scientistic and broad to serve as a useful tool for second language education research. The dissertation begins with a comprehensive review of the concepts of culture, competence and model from various academic discourses and continues with a discussion of models of intercultural competence. In the light of an empirical study, current models of intercultural competence are critically analysed regarding their feasibility in the second language education context and their terminological and conceptual deficits. Based on the qualitative content analysis approach by Mayring, data collected from 27 students of German at Maynooth University, National University of Ireland are analysed and evaluated. All of these students participated in exchange programmes abroad. The three methods of eliciting information are individual, semi-structured pre-stay and post-stay interviews and an amended version of the Autobiography of Intercultural Encounters as adopted by the Council of Europe. The variety of experiences does not permit generalisation but the findings serve as incentives for an alternative approach to intercultural competence, which could be implemented into curricula at secondary and tertiary institutions to help develop teaching and learning objectives.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Intercultural Competence; Intercultural Encounters; Foreign Language Teaching; Qualitative Research;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures > German
    Item ID: 16882
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2023 11:12
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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