Intercultural Competence in Tertiary Learners of Chinese as a Foreign Language

Analysis of an Innovative Learning Task

Robyn Moloney*, Hui Ling Xu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This chapter presents the findings of a project designed to support development of student intercultural competence and critical thinking, innovative in the context of undergraduate Chinese language study.

An 'intercultural' approach to language learning has been widely encouraged in contemporary foreign language learning in Australian, North American and European contexts, at primary, secondary and tertiary levels (Kramsch, 2006; Scarino, 2000). As an integral part of language acquisition, students need to acquire habits of critical thinking about cultures, or 'intercultural competence'. Within student language learning, learners may develop intercultural competence through having structured opportunities to critically observe a cultural practice or particular language usage, and negotiate meaning across cultural boundaries. The chapter presents a description of a teaching intervention which took place in a second year Chinese language unit. Data comprised student reflective journals and focus group interviews. Analysis of the data showed that students found the intervention workshop and the ensuing tasks, consisting of intercultural language teaching, and journal writing, to be useful in facilitating heightened intercultural awareness. Furthermore, it raises the profile of intercultural competence as a critical language learning outcome, aligned with current initiatives in the tertiary sector, in the commitment to exchange opportunities and internationalisation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEXPLORING INNOVATIVE PEDAGOGY IN THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF CHINESE AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE
EditorsR Moloney, HL Xu
Place of PublicationBerlin; New York
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Pages97-114
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9789812877710
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameMultilingual Education
PublisherSPRINGER
Volume15
ISSN (Print)2213-3208

Keywords

  • PEDAGOGY

Cite this

Moloney, R., & Xu, H. L. (2016). Intercultural Competence in Tertiary Learners of Chinese as a Foreign Language: Analysis of an Innovative Learning Task. In R. Moloney, & HL. Xu (Eds.), EXPLORING INNOVATIVE PEDAGOGY IN THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF CHINESE AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE (pp. 97-114). (Multilingual Education; Vol. 15). Berlin; New York: Springer, Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-772-7_6