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Byram's model of Intercultural Communicative Competence 

Byram's model of Intercultural Communicative Competence 

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The CEFcult Project provides an online environment that enables self-, peer-and expert evaluation of spoken language proficiency and intercultural communicative competence in professional communication. By combining the CEFR scales for language proficiency with the INCA rating scales for intercultural competence the project has translated the conce...

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... of intercultural competence is a profoundly complex task since, as summarized by Deardorff (2006, p.242), in the past 30 years even a definition of intercultural competence has not been fully agreed among scholars. However, her earlier study ( Deardorff 2004, p. 194) points out that a generic definition commonly accepted by intercultural scholars defines it as “the ability to communicate effectively and appropriately in intercultural situations based on one’s intercultural knowledge, skills, and attitudes”. Deardorff research (2006, p. 255-257) resulted in two innovative, static and dynamic , models of intercultural competence illustrating a cyclic and complex nature of its acquisition. However, she also noticed that among educators Byram’s definition is regarded as highly suitable for pedagogical purposes. Byram defines intercultural competence as “Knowledge of others; knowledge of self; skills to interpret and relate; skills to discover and/or to interact; valuing others’ values, beliefs, and behaviors; and relativizing one’s self. Linguistic competence plays a key role (...)” (Byram in Deardorff 2006, p. 248). In Byram’s model (Byram 2009, p. 323) presented in Figure 1 below, Intercultural Communicative Competence is composed of two closely related areas including communicative competence, and intercultural competence. The communicative competence consists of linguistic competence, sociolinguistic competence, and discourse competence. Intercultural competence consists of three components ( knowledge, skills and attitudes ) and is supplemented by five values: (1) intercultural attitudes, (2) knowledge, (3) skills of interpreting and relating, (4) skills of discovery and interaction, (5) critical cultural awareness (Byram et al. 2002, pp. 11-13). These five major intercultural competences are strongly interrelated. Byram argues that “the basis of intercultural competence is in the attitudes of the person interacting with people of another culture.” Without this basic competence, the other four cannot truly develop. The Byram’s model of intercultural communicative competence has been adopted for the execution of the CEFcult project due to a number of reasons. First of all, it sees the development of intercultural communicative competence, as a combination of communicative competence and intercultural competence, both of which are fully supported in the CEFcult learning platform. Moreover, it fits well within recent Deardorff’s models mentioned above, but is less complex and therefore easier to implement in practical assessment conditions. Finally, it is widespread in the European context and has formed the basis for the majority of work currently published by the Council of Europe on intercultural competence, including the assessment scales of intercultural competence defined in the INCA scales that have been implemented in the CEFcult assessment ...

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