EXPLORING INTERCULTURAL SENSITIVITY LEVEL AT A STUDY-AT-HOME CONTEXT

Tuba Demirkol

Abstract


Development of intercultural competence is a term that is mostly researched about learners who have experience in study-abroad contexts. Considering that we are living in a globalized world where trade, mass-media, the Internet, and various exchange programs have allowed people to interact with culturally-others without going abroad, we assume that intercultural sensitivity is worth investigating also for learners who have solely studied at their home countries. It is certain that in addition to consumption of foreign products such as movies, songs, and books, university learners have also wide options of enjoying cultural diversity through international teachers, exchange students on campus, or via social media, all of which are channels linked to intercultural sensitivity development. In this study, we questioned the influence of interacting with foreigners on study-home university students by investigating the intercultural sensitivity level of a group of Turkish EFL learners who have never studied abroad. Moreover, in order to research if international teachers make a significant difference in the intercultural sensitivity level of language learners, we compared two groups: one group of students who studied English with only Turkish EFL teachers and another group who studied English with international teachers more than 7 hours weekly. As the data collection tool, both groups were given a questionnaire consisted of two parts: the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale by Chen & Starosta (2000) and study-specific posed open-ended & multiple choice questions. The results showed that both groups achieved high levels of intercultural sensitivity though the participants who have been regularly taught by international instructors achieved higher scores in several subscales of the questionnaire.

 

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intercultural sensitivity, EFL learners, foreign EFL instructors, Turkish EFL instructors

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References


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