Vol 44 No 3 (2014): Special issue
Articles

Developing the Intercultural Competence of Graduate Students

Nanda Dimitrov
Western University
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Debra L. Dawson
Western University
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Karyn C. Olsen
Western University
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Ken N. Meadows
Western University
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Published December 31, 2014

Abstract

This study explores how teaching development programs may facilitate the development of intercultural competence in graduate students and prepare them for communicating effectively in the global workplace after graduation. First, we describe the concept of intercultural teaching competence and examine the skills that graduate students may need to cultivate in order to communicate effectively in culturally diverse settings. Then, we discuss the findings of our qualitative study on the impact of teaching development programs enhanced with intercultural communication components. As a result of training, participants became more aware of cultural and disciplinary differences in communication, were able to adapt their communication style to audiences with different levels of background knowledge, and felt more prepared for interpersonal interactions across cultures with undergraduates. Finally, participants were able to transfer the skills learned to other areas of graduate study and used effective intercultural communication strategies when interacting with globally diverse peers and faculty supervisors.

 

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