Course：Intercultural Communicative Competence
summer semester 2015
Topic for an essay ：Intercultural competence: general or specific?
Name： Choi Tsz Yan Fanny （exchange student)
University: Lingnan University
Is it possible to acquire a general intercultural competence or is intercultural competence always a culture specific construct? To answer this question, the definition of intercultural competence should be clarified. However, there are so many discussion on the definition of intercultural competence. Therefore, I would like to talk about various definition and models of intercultural competence. Then I will compare the two statements by Jürgen Bolten and Stefanie Rathje.
The definition of intercultural competence
First of all, I would like to state that there are controversial debate about the definition and the models of intercultural competence，but every definition has its own limitation, so I just want to give some examples to show the complexity of intercultural competence. “a complex of abilities needed to perform effectively and appropriately when interacting with others who are linguistically and culturally different from oneself.” 1 This definition shows that the competence is different kind of abilities that need to acquired and if you have that kind of ability, you can communicate with others effectively. However, I think this definition is too brief that cannot shows what exactly what kind of abilities need to be equipped.
The models of intercultural competence
“ Howard Hamilton, Richardson, and Shuford (1998) formulated a relatively typical conative listing of competence components (Figure 1.1). In the attitudes (i.e., motivation) component, interculturally competent interactants are expected to value their own group, the basic equality of groups, multicentrism, risk taking, and the role of cross-cultural interactions on quality of life.”2
This model shows that intercultural...