The concept of intercultural competences is contested although it is omnipresent in varied fields of research and practice. Its assessment is also questioned: How can it be done? By whom? When? Should assessment be summative or formative – or both? In order to be able to assess anything, learning and teaching objectives must be clear, coherent, and consistent. Yet intercultural competences are often polysemic and rely heavily on problematic concepts such as (national) culture and identity. Here we revisit the concept and reflect on its use for formative assessment within international teacher education. Having developed a Portfolio of Intercultural Competences (PIC) to be used by student teachers in an English-medium teacher education programme in Finland, we explain how the portfolio came to life (theory, methods) and how it can help develop students’ intercultural competences. We report on three components of the portfolio: the students’ reflexive and critical essays on five stories of meaningful and/or memorable intercultural encounters written during a course on multicultural education and focus group discussions amongst the students. We analyse the data with discursive pragmatics, a linguistic method which looks deeper into participants’ discourses.
Fields of Science
- 516 Educational sciences