An Investigation of Iranians and International English Students'Attitudes towards Intercultural Communicative Competence

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of English, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Esfahan, Iran


The present study aimed to investigate the attitudes and perceived nature of thinking and understanding towards intercultural communicative competence (ICC) among International English major students. Accordingly, this study employed the paradigm of a sequential mixed-method research, in which it comprised a qualitative phase followed by a quantitative phase. The participants of the first phase of the study were 30 undergraduate English major students in their third year at Isfahan Islamic Azad University in Iran; and the participants of the second phase of the study included 30 international ESL students in their first year at Gonzaga University (GU), in Washington, U.S. The analysis of narratives in the first phase of the study indicated that the participants had diverse attitudes towards intercultural encounters. The results of the statistical analyses of the second phase of the study showed that the most important individual difference variables directly influencing students’ intercultural communicative competence were their communication apprehension and their perceived communicative competence. This study also showed that students’ self-image as communicators were of utmost importance: if students believe they are good communicators in English, theyare more likely to be self-confident and are more likely to take part in intercultural encounters. Thus, instructors should help students achieve a realistic self-image about their performance in English and support them if they lack self-confidence.


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