This study aimed to investigate the effects of integrating intercultural education into university English classes on the development of students’ intercultural competence. This study consisted of three major phases, and an 18-week curriculum was developed in the first phase. The curriculum covers a variety of cultural issues related to Vietnam and Indonesia, including cultural diversity and lifestyle. A series of experiential lessons were also designed to engage students into the target cultures more deeply. The curriculum was later applied in two elective English courses in two consecutive semesters at a public university. In each semester, the participants enrolled in the class was 34 non-English majors from the sophomore division to the senior division respectively, yielding a total number of 68 students participating in the proposed intercultural curriculum. In each class, the students completed an Intercultural Competence Scale for a pretest and a posttest. After the end of the semester, they were invited to complete a course evaluation survey and to participate in a semi-structured interview. Data reported in this study emerged from 17 students in the first semester (Study 1) and 14 students in the second semester (Study 2) who signed the consent form to contribute their data for this research. Interview data from three participants were also analyzed to clarify the effects of the curriculum on the students’ intercultural competence and learning of English. Results reveal that the students in Study 1 and Study 2 showed improvements in all the five aspects of intercultural competence; yet, the effects of the curriculum varied. In Study 1, only the students’ knowledge of intercultural competence, behavioral performance in intercultural interaction, and display of intercultural consciousness significantly improved; in Study 2, only the pretest-posttest difference in knowledge of intercultural competence and self-efficacy in intercultural situations reach the significance level. Taken together, Study 1 and Study 2 show that the curriculum benefited the students’ knowledge about intercultural interaction the most, and the students’ affective orientation the least. On the other hand, its effect on self-efficacy, behavioral performance and intercultural consciousness varied, which may be due to the students’ personal characteristics and the slight differences in the curriculum design. Moreover, analysis of the students’ course evaluation surveys and interview responses further show that the curriculum was perceived by the students to be facilitative to their knowledge, skills and attitude on the domains of intercultural competence and learning of English. Based on the findings, pedagogical implications are proposed to shed light on how intercultural education can be integrated in university English classes to arouse students’ intercultural awareness and develop their intercultural competence.
|Effective start/end date||2018/08/01 → 2020/02/29|
- Intercultural competence
- Southeast Asian culture
- English learning
- university English
- cultural experience
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