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Intercultural Competence

Concepts, Challenges, Evaluations


Edited By Arnd Witte and Theo Harden

This book explores the idea of ‘intercultural competence’, which, despite its current popularity across various discourses, has remained a vague and oscillating concept. Interculture lacks a universal definition and ‘competence’ is not only a cognitive construct but also includes psychological traits such as attitudes, affective aspects and constructions of identity. The essays in this volume approach the complexity of the concept from a number of different angles. These include theoretical models for defining the concept of ‘intercultural competence’, outlining paths for future research; application of the concept in the teaching and learning of foreign languages, cultures and literatures; exploration of institutional and sociocultural influences on mediating intercultural competence; and analysis of the concept’s impact on such diverse contexts as international business, religious constructs and notions of selfhood and identity. The volume develops a broad range of perspectives on intercultural competence, providing stimulating new ideas, reflections and models around this important concept.


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Acknowledgements xi


Acknowledgements We would like to express our gratitude to The National University of Ireland Maynooth for the generous financial and logistic support we received when hosting the conference on Intercultural Competence: Concepts – Chal- lenges – Evaluations in September 2010. We would also like to thank The National University of Ireland for funding this volume by providing a pub- lication grant, and last but not least, our thanks go to Suzanne O’Connor for her thorough proof-reading of the manuscript. — Theo Harden and Arnd Witte Brasília and Maynooth, July 2011

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