Student Reflections on Intercultural Communicative Competence: A Case Study of EFL Islamic Higher Education Students in Kendari


Intercultural competence is required in all walks of life. This paper aimed to investigate how the EFL students in an Islamic higher education institution in South East Sulawesi reflect on their intercultural communicative competence. Using reflective journals, the students revealed a range of examples of how they develop their intercultural competence. The participants perceived the significance of intercultural competence in communication. Through critical reflection, they stated that intercultural competence helps them to behave and communicate appropriately in many different intercultural contexts. It is hoped that these findings can be used to shape lecturers’ awareness of the importance in being more reflective in their teaching.

Keywords: Intercultural communicative competence; EFL students; Islamic higher education; reflection

[1] M. M. Alaei and F. Nosrati, “Research into EFL teachers’ intercultural communicative competence and intercultural sensitivity,” Intercult. Commun. Res., 2018, doi: 10.1080/17475759.2018.1424020.

[2] P. Ngai and S. Janusch, “Intercultural communication training for English language teachers: A case study of an immersion program for South Korean Teachers,” Intercult. Commun. Res., vol. 44, no. 4, 2015, doi: 10.1080/17475759.2015.1081853.

[3] K. Piątkowska, “From cultural knowledge to intercultural communicative competence: Changing perspectives on the role of culture in foreign language teaching,” Intercult. Educ., 2015, doi: 10.1080/14675986.2015.1092674.

[4] L. Sercu, “The foreign language and intercultural competence teacher: The acquisition of new professional identity,” Intercult. Educ., vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 55–72, 2006.

[5] S. Valiandes, L. Neophytou, and C. Hajisoteriou, “Establishing a framework for blending intercultural education with differentiated instruction,” Intercult. Educ., 2018, doi: 10.1080/14675986.2018.1441706.

[6] M. Byram, A. Nichols, and D. Stevens, Developing intercultural competence in practice. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, 2001.

[7] M. J. Bennett, Education for the intercultural experience. Yarmouth: Intercultural Press, 1993.

[8] M. Byram, Teaching and assessing intercultural communicative competence. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, 1997.

[9] W. Xu and K. Zammit, “Applying thematic analysis to education: A hybrid approach to interpreting data in practitioner research,” Int. J. Qual. Methods, vol. 19, 2020, doi: 10.1177/1609406920918810.

[10] M. Byram, B. Gribkova, and H. Starkey, Developing the intercultural dimension in language teaching. Strasbourg: Council of Europe, 2002.

[11] J. A. A. Valencia, “Language views on social networking sites for language learning: The case of Busuu,” Comput. Assist. Lang. Learn., vol. 29, no. 5, pp. 853–867, 2016, doi: 10.1080/09588221.2015.1069361.

[12] P. Gruba and C. Clark, Social networking for language education. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

[13] M. Dooly and R. Sadler, “Filling in the gaps: Linking theory and practice through telecollaboration in teacher education,” ReCALL, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 4–29, 2013.

[14] N. Hockly, “Online intercultural exchanges,” ELT J., vol. 69, no. 1, pp. 81–85, 2015.

[15] L. Lee and A. Markey, “A study of learners’ perceptions of online intercultural exchange through Web 2.0 technologies,” ReCALL, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 281–297, 2014.

[16] R. O’Dowd, “Online foreign language interaction: Moving from the periphery to the core of foreign language education,” Lang. Teach., vol. 44, no. 3, pp. 368–380, 2011.

[17] E. Ozdemir, “Promoting EFL learners’ intercultural communication effectiveness: A focus on Facebook,” in Computer Assisted Language Learning, 2017.