Intercultural communicative competence, and its assessment: The CEFcult Helsinki higher education scenario

Pirjo Harjanne, Seppo Tella

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


    On facing an increasingly growing number of intercultural encounters and acknowledging that all communication in a foreign language is intercultural, we need a comprehensive concept to reflect on the holistic character of foreign language education, viz. intercultural communicative competence (ICC). In this article, we first discuss ICC through its two major competences: communicative (Byram: linguistic) and intercultural. Our analysis is based on Byram's model (2010), Common European Framework of Reference for Languages scales (CEFR 2001) and on the INCA project's intercultural competence scales. We argue that assessing ICC may be too multifaceted, context-specific and swiftly passing to be done objectively and overarchingly. We also contend that one's personal ICC is constantly evolving along with one's growing intercultural experiences, which makes assessing ICC a challenge. Assessing ICC is illustrated through the CEFcult Project's Helsinki Higher Education Scenario, complemented with some theoretical observations of piloting the scenario, difficulties facing ICC assessment and some solutions to them.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationKoulu ja oppiaineiden monet kulttuurit: Ainedidaktinen symposiumi Turussa 11.2.2011
    EditorsEija Yli-Panula, Kaarina Merenluoto, Arja Virta
    Number of pages14
    Place of PublicationHelsinki
    PublisherSuomen ainedidaktinen tutkimusseura ry
    Publication date2012
    ISBN (Print)978-952-5993-04-2
    ISBN (Electronic)978-952-5993-05-9
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

    Publication series

    NameAinedidaktisia tutkimuksia / Suomen ainedidaktisen tutkimusseuran julkaisuja
    ISSN (Print)1799-9596

    Fields of Science

    • 516 Educational sciences
    • Intercultural communicative competence (ICC); communicative competence (CC); intercultural competence (IC); intercultural speaker (IS); CEFcult project

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