Constructs of ICC

Renzhong Peng's picture

ICC is often described with a variety of traits in at least five dimensions, and may be viewed as a developmental process. Each of these areas is summarised below. The information is taken from the article: A Central Concern: Developing Intercultural Competence by Alvino E. Fantini, where the five dimensions are explored in greater detail.
Intercultural abilities are often evidenced through behavioral manifestations or traits. Commonly cited attributes include: respect, empathy, flexibility, patience, interest, curiosity, openness, motivation, a sense of humor, tolerance for ambiguity, and a willingness to suspend judgment, among others. That is, when describing the profile of an interculturally successful individual, these are among the most commonly mentioned descriptors (see e.g., Kealey 1990, p. 5; Kohls 1979, p. 72) and are often found in cross-cultural inventories as well (e.g., Kelley and Meyers 1992).
In this construct of ICC, there are also five dimensions. These are awareness, attitudes, skills, knowledge (A+ASK), and proficiency in the host tongue. It is important to note that awareness appears to be of a different order from the other three. Many interculturalists see awareness (of self and others) as the keystone on which effective and appropriate interactions depend. Writers from various disciplines have long been intrigued with awareness and explored its role further. Stevens (1971), Curle (1972), and Gattegno (1976), among others, cite awareness as the most powerful dimension of the A+ASK quartet. The important works of Paulo Freire (1970, 1973, 1998) reinforce this thinking and, as a result, the Portuguese word “concientização” (signifying “critical consciousness” or “awareness”) is now internationally recognized. Freire reinforces this notion with several other important observations (1970, 1973, 1998):
• “concientização” is awareness of selfhood
• “concientização” is a critical look at the self in a social situation
• it can produce a transformation of the self and of one’s relation to others
• it can lead to dealing critically and creatively with reality (and fantasy)
• it is the most important task of education.
A Developmental Process
While acknowledging that contact and experience with people of other languages and cultures in a positive setting provide excellent opportunities to provoke and foster ICC development, it is also clear that once the process has begun, ICC development is an on-going lifelong process.
YOGA form (“Your Objectives, Guidelines, and Assessment”)
The YOGA form is used to assess intercultural competence (Fantini 1995, 1999) that addresses areas of A+ASK plus language proficiency at four developmental levels. The term “YOGA” stands for “Your Objectives, Guidelines, and Assessment” form. This form may be used as a self-evaluation guide. It is designed to help examine the development of an individuals intercultural communicative competence