Intercultural competence is ranked fourth of the top ten work skills needed for the future according to Future Work Skills 2020, a study conducted by the Institute for the Future for the University of Phoenix Research Institute in 2011.
The literature to date has not settled on one particular definition of Intercultural Competence. Darla Deardorff, executive director of the Association of International Education Administrators based in Durham, North Carolina, developed a model that has persisted as a dominant model in the field. A narrative version of Deardorf’s (2006: 254) model (originally presented in the form of a more detailed pyramid) might read as:
Intercultural competence is a lifelong process that includes the development of the attitudes (respect and valuing of other cultures, openness, curiosity), knowledge (of self, culture, sociolinguistic issues) skills (listen, observe, interpret, analyze, evaluate, and relate), and qualities (adaptability, flexibility, empathy and cultural decentering) in order to behave and communicate effectively and appropriately to achieve one’s goals to some degree.
The resources provided on this page serve to assist language programs as they:
1) respond to Levine’s (2014: 72) call to “fundamentally alter how we, the professionals, think about the ontology of foreign language teaching” and how it fits in the university’s educational goals, and
2) change messaging about the value of language study by highlighting that the study of any world language, even without attaining high proficiency levels, is essential for achieving the university’s goals and obtaining transferable skills that are part of intercultural competence.
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