Developing intercultural competence in multilingual and multicultural student groups

Sabine Krajewski*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Internationalization and intercultural competence are key issues in higher education institutions across the globe. In times of accelerating globalization, intercultural competence emerges as one of the most desirable graduate capabilities for those who are likely to work in international environments. This article focuses on the development of intercultural skills within mixed student groups. It offers a case study with a focus on building intercultural competence through an assignment that invites experiential, self-directed learning. Students' previous intercultural experiences as well as their personal attitudes, it is argued, have a strong influence on what they learn during their studies. The assignment presented in the case study draws upon the expertise that individual students already have when they enter the classroom, and aims at further developing their intercultural skills. The article also includes an assessment of the assignment, based on a student survey conducted across several semesters. The results of the survey show how students rate the usefulness of this particular assignment in comparison with other, more traditional, assessed tasks such as essay writing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-153
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Research in International Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


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