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Are advanced language learners as multiculturally effective as we think they are?

Alexandra Rosiers (UGent) and June Eyckmans (UGent)
(2018)
Author
Organization
Abstract
Advanced language learners are often assumed to be well-versed in intercultural or multicultural communication, especially when they reach higher levels of language acquisition that involve the development of pragmatic competence. This is hardly surprising as those studying languages at an advanced level not seldom have the ambition to either work or live in a multicultural environment. Whether they are being trained to become a language teacher, a communications expert, a translator or an interpreter, these types of students are expected to operate successfully within a (new) cultural environment and feel at ease within that environment, i.e. be multicultural effective (van der Zee & van Oudenhoven 2000). Consequently, as far as multicultural effectiveness is concerned, we could expect university language majors to outshine their peers who have chosen a course that does not have a strong focus on languages and multiculturality. In this contribution we will verify this hypothesis. To that end we will compare two age-matched groups of university students at Bachelor level. The first group consists of 47 students of Applied Language Studies, a programme specifically designed to increase students’ intercultural sensitivity and prepare them for a professional life as a translator, interpreter or communications specialist. The second group consists of 46 participants enrolled in STEM-oriented university courses such as Physical Therapy, Industrial Science and Pharmaceutical Science. Both groups filled out the Multicultural Personality Questionnaire - Short Form (MPQ-SF; van der Zee, van Oudenhoven, Ponterotto & Fietzer 2013); a self-report tool which gauges five personality dimensions: Cultural Empathy, Social Initiative, Emotional Stability, Flexibility, and Open-mindedness. An independent samples t-test failed to distinguish differences between the two groups. In this contribution, we will examine this seemingly surprising result further.

Citation

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Chicago
Rosiers, Alexandra, and June Eyckmans. 2018. “Are Advanced Language Learners as Multiculturally Effective as We Think They Are?” In .
APA
Rosiers, A., & Eyckmans, J. (2018). Are advanced language learners as multiculturally effective as we think they are? Presented at the Individual differences in second language learning and teaching II: The individual and the context.
Vancouver
1.
Rosiers A, Eyckmans J. Are advanced language learners as multiculturally effective as we think they are? 2018.
MLA
Rosiers, Alexandra, and June Eyckmans. “Are Advanced Language Learners as Multiculturally Effective as We Think They Are?” 2018. Print.
@inproceedings{8625132,
  abstract     = {Advanced language learners are often assumed to be well-versed in intercultural or multicultural communication, especially when they reach higher levels of language acquisition that involve the development of pragmatic competence. This is hardly surprising as those studying languages at an advanced level not seldom have the ambition to either work or live in a multicultural environment. Whether they are being trained to become a language teacher, a communications expert, a translator or an interpreter, these types of students are expected to operate successfully within a (new) cultural environment and feel at ease within that environment, i.e. be multicultural effective (van der Zee & van Oudenhoven 2000). Consequently, as far as multicultural effectiveness is concerned, we could expect university language majors to outshine their peers who have chosen a course that does not have a strong focus on languages and multiculturality. In this contribution we will verify this hypothesis. To that end we will compare two age-matched groups of university students at Bachelor level. The first group consists of 47 students of Applied Language Studies, a programme specifically designed to increase students’ intercultural sensitivity and prepare them for a professional life as a translator, interpreter or communications specialist. The second group consists of 46 participants enrolled in STEM-oriented university courses such as Physical Therapy, Industrial Science and Pharmaceutical Science. Both groups filled out the Multicultural Personality Questionnaire - Short Form (MPQ-SF; van der Zee, van Oudenhoven, Ponterotto & Fietzer 2013); a self-report tool which gauges five personality dimensions: Cultural Empathy, Social Initiative, Emotional Stability, Flexibility, and Open-mindedness. An independent samples t-test failed to distinguish differences between the two groups. In this contribution, we will examine this seemingly surprising result further.},
  author       = {Rosiers, Alexandra and Eyckmans, June},
  location     = {Konin, Poland},
  title        = {Are advanced language learners as multiculturally effective as we think they are?},
  year         = {2018},
}