Positive Attitudes Towards Other Cultures Are Essential For International Students

Positive Attitudes Towards Other Cultures Are Essential For International Students

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Previous research indicates that positive attitudes towards other cultures are essential for international students to achieve Intercultural Communicative Competence. Several of those positive attitudes include: respect, openness, curiosity and discovery (Deardoff, 2006). The notion of openness implies an individual’s willingness to take part in intercultural learning, while withholding judgements about people from other cultures. Furthermore, Furnham and Bochner’s (1982) study has shown that when a sojourner enters the host culture, he or she will experience a certain level of social difficulties. These difficulties are typically associated with international students’ personal ability to deal with situations such as frustration, stress, alienation, uncertainty and ambiguity (Furnham & Bochner, 1982). Therefore, the concept of curiosity and discovery suggests that tolerance towards these social difficulties during an intercultural encounter will help foreign students communicate more appropriately in their host countries. In addition, a great level of respect towards peoples’ cultural values is necessary for someone to be consider an effective intercultural communicator (Deardoff, 2006). Deardoff (2006) asserted that these attitudes are foundational to the further development of knowledge and skills needed to acquire ICC.
According to Redmond and Bunyi (1993) social decentering (empathy) is the most important component in building positive attitudes towards a new culture. Social decentering refers to one’s ability to utilize his or her existing “knowledge, understanding, and personal hypotheses” about general categories of people to communicate accordingly in a given situation. A few attributes of social decentering are: the abil...

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...ct the way they speak and present themselves in class. Moreover, the American education system encourages an interactive learning environment, unlike most Asian countries where students are not allowed or required to speak (chen, )
The next skill that has been highlighted in the existing literature on ICC, is the behavioral flexibility skill (Chen, ; Bochner & Kelly, 1974; Parks, 1976; Martin, 1987). According to Bochner and Kelly (1974), behavioral flexibility refers to a person’s ability to behave appropriately in diverse cultural settings. The notion of behavioral flexibility includes an individual’s ability to be accurate and flexible in processing cultural based information, to be flexible in selecting communication strategies in order to achieve personal goals, and to be flexible in the “response repertoire” (Park, p.16, 1976).

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