A survey on the intercultural communicative competence of ELT undergraduate students

Aylin Sevimel-Sahin
Keywords: communication, culture, English language teaching, intercultural communicative competence, undergraduate student


Intercultural communicative competence (ICC) is the ability to communicate effectively and appropriately with other cultures to negotiate meaning. A high level of ICC is required for a successful communication across numerous cultures. Since English has recently been accepted as the main intercultural communication language among different cultures, teaching/learning English has gained popularity. As long as learners master English and understand its cultural contexts, they are better at intercultural communication, which results from the ICC level. Hence, there is a relationship between the development of ICC and the development in the target language. Based on this idea, the current study aims to investigate the ICC levels of undergraduate English language teaching students to find out the effect of language competence on intercultural communicative competence, and also whether there is a change throughout the four-year teacher training program. A total of 238 first-year and fourth-year undergraduate ELT students were surveyed. The collected data revealed a high level of ICC regardless of study year. It also yielded a significant difference between first-year students’ ICC and fourth-year students’ ICC, which means mastering in English positively affects the ICC level. In accordance with the results, some implications were shared.