Intercultural Communicative Language Learning Competencies of Undergraduate Students in an International Program in Thailand

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Thanakorn Thongprayoon
Ladda Wangphasit
Rungtiwa Yamrung
Wilailak Langka

Abstract

The importance of understanding other cultures and intercultural communication is highlighted in today’s globalized world due to the proliferation of internationalization, increasing multinational cooperation, and mobility of world population. Therefore, intercultural communication is a required competence. In this study, intercultural communicative competence (ICC) is explored in the setting of language and culture classrooms. Then, ICC is expanded to intercultural communicative language learning competency (ICLLC). Since there are only a few international undergraduate programs in Thailand targeting ICC as the expected learning outcome, the recognition of ICLLC’s attributes and indicators benefits course developers and teachers realize how students develop ICLLC. This study aimed to identify ICLLC attributes and indicators, and to investigate ICLLC of undergraduate students in an international program. Firstly, a review of related literature toward intercultural communicative competence was done and followed by focus group interviews and educational connoisseurship method with 10 ELT experts to analyze and approve ICLLC attributes and indicators, teaching and learning activities, and assessment methods toward ICLLC. Twenty-four Thai undergraduates who were majoring in language and intercultural communication at an international college in Bangkok, Thailand were purposively selected using the three entrance examination recruitment criteria: English language proficiency, intercultural knowledge, and intercultural experience. Classroom observation, stimulated recall, journal writing, and semi-structured interview were utilized to portray students’ ICLLC. Analytic induction was used for data analysis. The results revealed that ICLLC consisted of four attributes and 21 specific indicators; 1) intercultural knowledge (with six indicators); 2) intercultural attitudes (with three indicators); 3) intercultural skills (with 10 indicators); and 4) critical cultural awareness (with two indicators). Students with higher levels of English proficiency and intercultural knowledge seemed to perform better ICLLC. Besides, willingness and motivation emerged as implementation forces to drive students to exhibit ICLLC. This study reveals deeper insights into development approaches to enriching ICLLC in international programs in Thailand.

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Author Biographies

Thanakorn Thongprayoon, College for Sustainability Studies, Srinakharinwirot University

Thanakorn Thongprayoon, as the main researcher for this paper, holds an M.A. in TEFL and a Ph.D. in Educational Science and Learning Management. He is a lecturer of English and a teacher trainer. Also, he is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the International College for Sustainability Studies, Srinakharinwirot University. His research interests vary from teaching professional development, English language teaching and learning, and intercultural communication to media literacy.

Ladda Wangphasit , Faculty of Education, Srinakharinwirot University

Ladda Wangphasit is an assistant professor at the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Faculty of Education, Srinakharinwirot University, Thailand. Her research interests include English language teaching and learning management. She can be reached at laddaw@g.swu.ac.th.

Rungtiwa Yamrung , Faculty of Education, Srinakharinwirot University

Rungtiwa Yamrung is an assistant professor at the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Faculty of Education, Srinakharinwirot University, Thailand. Her research interests include development of curriculums and instructional models, and teaching professional development. She can be contacted at rungtiwa@g.swu.ac.th.

Wilailak Langka, Faculty of Education, Srinakharinwirot University

Wilailak Langka is an assistant professor at the Department of Educational Measurement and Research, Faculty of Education, Srinakharinwirot University, Thailand. Her contact is wilailakl@g.swu.ac.th.

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