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Intercultural Competences Across The School Curriculum 


1. "Intercultural Competence is the necessary precondition for an adequate, successful and mutually satisfactory communication, encounter and cooperation between people from different cultures."

Alexander Thomas, development of intercultural competence- contributions of Psychology (1996) 


2. "IC "involves the knowledge, motivation, and skills to interact effectively and appropriately with members of different cultures"


 Wiseman   2003  

3. "Intercultural competence "means that a student understands a variety of significant cultural experiences and/or achievements of individuals who are identified by ethnicity, race, religion, gender, physical/mental disability, or sexual orientation; the cultural history of various social groups within a society; the interrelations between dominant and non-dominant cultures, either in the United States or elsewhere, and the dynamics of difference."

                                                                                                                                            Penn State

4. "Intercultural Competence is the ability to negotiate cultural meanings and to execute appropriately effective communication behaviours that recognize the interactants' multiple identities in a specific environment. There are 3 perspectives:

  • ·         Affective or Intercultural sensitivity - to acknowledge and respect cultural differences

  • ·         Cognitive or intercultural awareness - self-awareness of one's own personal cultural

          identity and understanding how cultures vary 

  • ·         Behavioural or intercultural adroitness - message skills, knowledge of appropriate self-

          disclosure, behavioural flexibility, interaction management and social skills"


                                                                                         Guo-Ming and William J. Starosta (1996) 

5. "Intercultural Competence is the fundamental acceptance of people who are different to oneself outside one's own culture/the ability to interact with them in a genuinely constructive manner which is free of negative attitude (e.g. prejudice, defensiveness, apathy, aggression etc.)/the ability to create a synthesis, something which is neither "mine" nor "yours", but which is genuinely new and would not have been possible had we not combined our different backgrounds and approaches."


                                                                                    By Anna SCHMID, UBS AG, Financial Services Group, Zürich



"Earley (2006) is another who calls for the abandonment of the values-based typology of culture and would explore cultural differences through a construct called "cultural intelligence", which "focuses on understanding an individual's capacity to adapt to varying cultural settings based on facets of cognitive and meta-cognitive processing, motivational mechanisms, and behavioural adaptation"




Multicultural competency is defined as “the awareness, knowledge, and skills necessary to work effectively and ethically across cultural differences.”

Multicultural Awareness: Awareness of how peoples’ attitudes, beliefs, values, assumptions, and self-awareness affect the ways they interact with those who are culturally different from themselves.


Multicultural Knowledge: Having an informed understanding of cultures that are different from ones own culture, including knowledge of their histories, traditions, values, practices, etc.


Multicultural Skills: Skills that individuals use to engage in effective and meaningful interactions with those who are from different cultural backgrounds than their own.





Source: Pope, R. and Reynolds, A. (1997). "Student Affairs Core Competencies: Integrating Multicultural Awareness, Knowledge, and Skills." Journal of College Student Development, 38, 266-277.
















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