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Intercultural sensitivity of English language teachers in Algeria, Cogent Education

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Intercultural sensitivity of English language teachers in Algeria, Cogent Education

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This paper examines English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers' inter-cultural sensitivity (IS) in Algeria. Specifically, it investigates IS level and demographic differences among EFL teachers. Data is gathered quantitatively from a sample of 182 Algerian EFL teachers from middle schools, secondary schools, and universities. Chen and Starosa's (2000) intercultural sensitivity scale (ISS) is used for data collection. Data entry was carried out with the use of Statistics Packages for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 23. The analysis of the results has put forward some interesting findings. The results demonstrate that among the components of IS the mean value of interaction engagement is the highest, respect for other cultures is the second highest, whereas interaction confidence, interaction enjoyment and interaction attentiveness are relatively the lowest. The findings show significant differences among female and male teachers in the interaction enjoyment dimension, i.e., female EFL teachers have more interaction enjoyment than male teachers. However, the study reveals no significant differences among ABOUT THE AUTHORS The study focus was around intercultural sensitivity level and demographic differences among EFL teachers in Algeria.The study is significant to anybody who wants to discover how EFL teachers approach intercultural com-petency.The teachers (n =182) are from Saida province middle schools, secondary schools, and university, Algeria.EFL teachers in Saida support more interaction engagement and respect for the English language culture. Teachers are not confident to interact with learners from different cultures and do not put much effort in interacting with them.Teachers highlight the importance of IS as an orientation to understanding how to interact among culturesGender influences teachers' interaction enjoyment, whereas the level of education, teaching experience, and teaching level do not affect the intercultural sensitivity of EFL teachers .The study assists the Algerian government , instructional stakeholders, and instructors broaden their understanding of IS and develop better programs and tactics to impact it. Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 license. the education levels, teaching experiences, and teaching levels of EFL teachers in IS. The suggestion is directed to teachers to find good ways to establish a productive environment that promotes their IS level.
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Cogent Education
ISSN: (Print) (Online) Journal homepage: https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/oaed20
Intercultural sensitivity of English language
teachers in Algeria
Azzeddine Boudouaia, Khin Wint War Htun, Abdo Hasan Al-Qadri, Yams
Saroh & Abderrazak Beddiaf |
To cite this article: Azzeddine Boudouaia, Khin Wint War Htun, Abdo Hasan Al-Qadri, Yams
Saroh & Abderrazak Beddiaf | (2022) Intercultural sensitivity of English language teachers in
Algeria, Cogent Education, 9:1, 2042034, DOI: 10.1080/2331186X.2022.2042034
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/2331186X.2022.2042034
© 2022 The Author(s). This open access
article is distributed under a Creative
Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 license.
Published online: 18 Feb 2022.
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TEACHER EDUCATION & DEVELOPMENT | RESEARCH ARTICLE
Intercultural sensitivity of English language
teachers in Algeria
Azzeddine Boudouaia
1
, Khin Wint War Htun
2
, Abdo Hasan Al-Qadri
3
*, Yams Saroh
2
and
Abderrazak Beddiaf
4
Abstract: This paper examines English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers’ inter-
cultural sensitivity (IS) in Algeria. Specifically, it investigates IS level and demo-
graphic differences among EFL teachers. Data is gathered quantitatively from
a sample of 182 Algerian EFL teachers from middle schools, secondary schools, and
universities. Chen and Starosa’s (2000) intercultural sensitivity scale (ISS) is used for
data collection. Data entry was carried out with the use of Statistics Packages for
the Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 23. The analysis of the results has put
forward some interesting findings. The results demonstrate that among the com-
ponents of IS the mean value of interaction engagement is the highest, respect for
other cultures is the second highest, whereas interaction confidence, interaction
enjoyment and interaction attentiveness are relatively the lowest. The findings
show significant differences among female and male teachers in the interaction
enjoyment dimension, i.e., female EFL teachers have more interaction enjoyment
than male teachers. However, the study reveals no significant differences among
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Azzeddine Boudouaia is a PhD student at the
School of Education in Central China Normal
University, China. He received his Master’s
degree in Didactics of EFL from Djillali Liabes
University, Algeria. His research focuses on cur-
riculum design and implementation, EFL
instruction and learning, and teachers’ educa-
tion.
Khin Wint War Htun is a PhD student at the
School of Education in Central China Normal
University, China. Her research interests include
curriculum studies, teacher education, and
pedagogy.
Yams Saroh is currently pursuing PhD at the
School of Education in Central China Normal
University, majoring in Curriculum and Teaching
Methodology. Her research interests include
curriculum, teaching method, EFL, ELT, and
higher education.
Abdo Hasan Al-Qadriis an Assistant Professor
at Xi’an Eurasia University, China. His research
focuses on education and psychology.
Abderrazak Beddiaf; studied foreign lan-
guages and Politics; Magister in Linguistics, cur-
rently pursuing his PhD; lecturer at University. He
has some research works related to English
teaching and linguistics.
PUBLIC INTEREST STATEMENT
The study focus was around intercultural sen-
sitivity level and demographic differences
among EFL teachers in Algeria.The study is
significant to anybody who wants to discover
how EFL teachers approach intercultural com-
petency.The teachers (n =182) are from Saida
province middle schools, secondary schools,
and university, Algeria.EFL teachers in Saida
support more interaction engagement and
respect for the English language culture.
Teachers are not confident to interact with
learners from different cultures and do not put
much effort in interacting with them.Teachers
highlight the importance of IS as an orientation
to understanding how to interact among
culturesGender influences teachers’ interaction
enjoyment, whereas the level of education,
teaching experience, and teaching level do not
affect the intercultural sensitivity of EFL tea-
chers.The study assists the Algerian govern-
ment, instructional stakeholders, and
instructors broaden their understanding of IS
and develop better programs and tactics to
impact it.
Boudouaia et al., Cogent Education (2022), 9: 2042034
https://doi.org/10.1080/2331186X.2022.2042034
Page 1 of 13
Received: 03 October 2021
Accepted: 25 January 2022
*Corresponding author: Abdo Hasan
AL-Qadri, School of Humanities and
Education, Xi’an Eurasia University,
Xi’an City, Shaanxi Province, China
E-mail: lubna23112015@outlook.
com
Reviewing editor:
Fan Fang, Department of Foreign
Languages and Literature, College of
Liberal Arts, Shantou University,
Guangdong Province, China
Additional information is available at
the end of the article
© 2022 The Author(s). This open access article is distributed under a Creative Commons
Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 license.
the education levels, teaching experiences, and teaching levels of EFL teachers in IS.
The suggestion is directed to teachers to find good ways to establish a productive
environment that promotes their IS level.
Subjects: Teachers & Teacher Education; Continuing Professional Development; Language
Teaching & Learning
Keywords: Intercultural sensitivity; interaction; EFL; teachers; Chen and Starosa’sscale
1. Introduction
In the context of globalisation, classrooms become loaded with students from diverse cultures, and
this necessitates a change and development of teachers’ teaching skills. In regards with this issue, IS
becomes one of the essential skills that teachers have to be equipped with within multicultural
classrooms because it is claimed to consolidate and secure interaction with speakers from different
cultures. IS means being mindful to notice others, being eager to learn about other cultures and alter
one’s behaviour based on cultural differences (Bhawuk & Brislin, 1992). When EFL teachers are
regarded as key players in implementing teaching objectives, they are expected to have cultural
awareness, eagerness to learn about other cultures and also have positive attitudes towards students
from different cultures. Thus, it is obvious that most of the worldwide modern education systems spot
the light on the IS as a critical theme and orientation to help teachers with different gender,
experiences, backgrounds, and levels go for communication level development.
Algeria is not out of considerations. The education policy makers in Algeria realized that IS is
beneficial for education as it helps abolish communication obstacles between people from differ-
ent cultures and allow them to get tolerance and respect towards different cultures, traditions,
beliefs and behaviours. IS is significant for the Algerian education system because it is closely
connected with policymakers and teachers search for better fulfillment of communication applica-
tion.Algeria is the largest country in Africa and the Arab world that covers an area of almost
2.4 million km
2
. It has a population of approximately 43.8 million people in 2020; nearly 99% of
them are of Berber origin and the greatest majority of them are Muslims. Arabic and Tamazight are
the two official languages. The education system is centralized and divided into four levels: Primary
level, middle level, secondary level, and University level. Besides, the Algerian education system is
a multilingual system that includes teaching two official mother tongues: Arabic and Tamazight,
and foreign languages: French from the primary school, English from middle school, and other
languages from secondary school. In this regard, the government and policymakers felt the need
to emphasize IS as the core stone for teachers of different experiences, background, and levels to
grasp, accept, and appreciate cultural differences (Kuusisto et al., 2016).
The Algerian EFL teachers, in turn, are doing their best to build IS mainly by considering the
diversity of languages and tolerate cultural diversity when teaching English. The Algerian EFL
teachers emphasize communication as an entryway to put their instruction in the possible right
route for accomplishment. They understand that IS is crucial for teaching practices as it involves
the characteristics of self-esteem, self-monitoring, open-mindedness, empathy, interaction invol-
vement, and non-judgmental attitudes (Chen & Starosta, 1997) which lead to directing, regulating,
and easing practices in classrooms. In light of that, through our examination of literature pertain-
ing to the subject of our paper, we found that the IS of EFL teachers has been examined in
different countries(J.-S. Park, 2013; Mellizo, 2017, 2019; Sarwari & Abdul Wahab, 2017;
Spinthourakis et al., 2009; Tamam, 2010). However, cross-national experiences of EFL teachers,
who possess cultural knowledge and norms towards the target language, have not been suffi-
ciently researched in Algerian settings. From this angle, this research attempts to bridge the gap by
investigating Algerian EFL teachers’ IS.
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(1) What is the level of intercultural sensitivity of EFL middle, secondary, and university teachers
in Algeria as measured by Chen and Starosta’s Model of ISS?
(2) Is there any significant difference in EFL teachers’ intercultural sensitivity in terms of gender,
levels of education, years of teaching experience, and teaching levels?
Regarding the research questions, this study is expected to be significant as it may contribute in
assisting EFL teachers in Algeria to understand IS. Simultaneously, the findings are expected to
help Algerian education policymakers, school principals, and teachers in the diagnosis of possible
feebleness and strengths of EFL teachers’ IS; therefore, creating programs and strategies to
advance it. The findings are also expected to give foundation for proper support for Algerian EFL
teachers’ academic teaching; further, it may help foster their level of IS.
2. Literature review
Teaching English as a foreign language does not mean just teaching how to speak English, it is
rather about guiding the learners to approach its culture, values, and ways of life from a linguistic
perspective. For that, EFL teachers can present a sustained source by accepting differences among
cultures. EFL teachers are expected to have an open mind that can lead them to have a high IS
level, which can help their students engage in a multicultural context. Atay et al. (2009, p. 124)
asserted that “the intercultural dimension in the teaching of foreign languages has become one of
the most special concerns for teachers and researchers in the field,” because it may lead to the
creation of communication with people of different cultures (Baker, 2012; Halualani, 2010; Trytten
et al., 2012; Young & Schartner, 2014). Certainly, the importance of IS lies in the ability to bring
discrimination and performance of relevant cultural differences and practising intercultural com-
municative competence (Hammer et al., 2003).
The common feature of virtually worldwide curricular includes the teaching in multicultural
classrooms. It becomes a need for teachers to have a multicultural outlook to behave as inter-
cultural teachers who favour and respect interaction with all students without cultural bias (Major,
2012). It puts teachers in front of starting the job by embracing different ideas and points of view
and having creativity and flexibility. In this respect, the multicultural teacher should be educated
about being humanistic, fair, patient, and respectful to different views. All of these behaviours and
features are involved under the umbrella of IS. Bhawuk and Brislin (1992) refer to this for teachers
in today’s schools when they acknowledge IS contribution in envisaging an effective teacher who
can work with students of a different culture.
In short, Bhawuk and Brislin (1992) summarised IS as being “effective in another culture people
must be interested in other cultures, be sensitive enough to notice cultural differences, and then
also be willing to modify their behaviour as an indication of respect for the people of other
cultures.” Taylor (1994) considered IS as an emotional dimension of intercultural communicative
competence, which basically mirrored empathy and respect for different cultures. Bennett (2004)
viewed IS in the people’s interest, sensitivity in cultural differences, and willingness to modify
people’s behaviour. Chen and Starosta (1997) related IS to the emotional or affective aspect of
intercultural communication and comprises self-concept, open-mindedness, non-judgmental atti-
tudes, and social relaxation (Matveev, 2017). Chen and Starosta (1998) asserted that IS is “an
active desire to motivate, understand, appreciate, and accept differences among cultures”. IS is
amalgamated with emotions and feelings the individual supports towards cultural differences by
having a sense of tolerance and respect to others.
Teachers’ IS has been a topic of discussion among researchers (; Alaei & Nosrati, 2018; Arcagok &
Yılmaz, 2020; Karanikola & Balias, 2015; Kim et al., 2017; Segura Robles & Parra Gonzalez, 2019;
Tabatadze & Gorgadze, 2014; Yurtseven & Sertel, 2015). Alaei and Nosrati (2018) investigated EFL
Iranian teachers’ IS. The researchers opted for LinkedIn professional network to select participants.
The sample consists of 167 private language institutes teachers teaching in different cities in the
Boudouaia et al., Cogent Education (2022), 9: 2042034
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country. The data were collected online using Chen and Starosta (2000) survey model. The findings
demonstrated high levels of IS among the participants. More specifically, the perspectives of the
participants showed that they are good in respecting the different cultures and interaction enjoyment
compared to interaction attentiveness, engagement, and confidence.
Furthermore, Yurtseven and Sertel (2015) explored pre-service teachers’ IS and their practices.
By applying the ISS of Chen and Starosta (2000), the researchers did not find a significant variance
in pre-service teachers’ IS levels based on gender, the state of going abroad, nationality, and
having foreign friends. Likely, Segura Robles and Parra Gonzalez (2019) investigated teachers’ IS
levels in Spain. The sample includes two hundred and thirty-six teachers from Ceuta and Melilla
cities. The Chen and Starosta’s survey (Chen & Starosta, 2000) was used to gather the relevant
data. The results advocated higher levels in IS among the participants, in which interaction
enjoyment and attentiveness were perceived to be the highest adopted dimensions. The results
also showed that gender differences exist only in interaction enjoyment which indicates that
gender has an influence on teachers’ interaction enjoyment.
In Turkey, Arcagok and Yılmaz (2020) also examined the IS of pre-service English language
tutors in Turkey. The study involves ninety pre-service teachers from the Department of English
Language Teaching, Faculty of Education, Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Turkey. The research-
ers used ISS model of Chen and Starosta (2000) and semi-structure interview to obtain data from
the participants. The results exposed that the participants have intercultural sensitivity and feel at
ease with it. The researchers concluded that there is awareness among the participants regarding
living and coping with different cultures where respect and interaction fall into place. The study
also showed that the participants’ IS does not have any relationship with their gender, which
means that female and male teachers understand and perceive IS similarly. In addition, M. Park
(2006) explored EFL pre-service teachers’ IS in Korea and any significant differences based on
a teaching level, i.e., primary and secondary levels. The analysis showed that teaching does not
affect the participants’ IS since no significant mean difference appeared Kazazoğlu and Ece (2021)
investigated EFL teachers’ IS in Turkey. Interview, focus group discussion, and Chen and Starosta
(2000) model was adopted. The findings demonstrated that EFL teachers proficient in more than
two languages possessed confidence in interaction. The study also presented that teaching
experience affects and cultivates EFL teachers’ IS. Nonetheless, Bayles (2009) investigated the IS
of 233 elementary teachers working in five bilingual schools in Texas. The researcher did not find
any effect of teaching experience on the participants.
Moreover, In Georgia, Tabatadze and Gorgadze (2014) applied Bennett’s Development Model of IS
(DMIS) to measure IS of 395 primary school teachers. The model survey includes five stages: (1) denial
of difference; (2) defence of difference; (3) minimization of difference; (4) acceptance of difference;
and (5) adaptation/integration to difference. The findings demonstrated that the participants are still
in the ethnocentric stage of IS. 68.8% of them are in the ethnocentric stage, while 31.2% in the ethno
relative stage. Karanikola and Balias (2015) undertook a quantitative study about teachers’ IS
towards learners from a cultural minority in Aitoloakarnania, Greece. Bennett’s Development Model
of IS (DMIS) was also adopted to collect the data from 318 teachers. The results displayed that
teachers are at the first stage of ethno relative stages of Bennett’s Model, mainly at the acceptance
stage. This reflects their acceptance, respect, and openness towards cultural diversity. The findings
also indicated that the participants’ IS was not affected by gender and level of education. Whereas,
experience with foreign pupils appears to influence teachers’ IS through allowing teachers to cope
with issues related to denial and defence.
Within the field of applied linguistics and language education, there exist various models of IS.
The most common referenced of all relates to Chen and Starosta model of IS (Chen & Starosta,
2000). The development and validation of the scale of intercultural sensitivity were conducted in
three stages. First, a pre-study was administered to make items that illustrate conceptual
meaning of IS. Then, the scale was tested by exploratory factor analysis. Finally, the concurrent
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validity of the instrument was assessed (Fritz et al., 2002). The scale, therefore, encompasses
twenty-four items distributed among five dimensions: (a) interaction engagement, (b) respect for
cultural differences, (c) interaction confidence, (d) interaction enjoyment, and (e) interaction
attentiveness. Interaction engagement refers to the feeling of individuals regarding participation
in an intercultural communication. Respect for cultural differences denotes how an individual
undertakes orientation and tolerance to different cultures. Interaction confidence is defined as
the confidence of the individual in the intercultural context. Interaction enjoyment refers to
individual standpoints and perspectives, either positive or negative, vis-à-vis communicating
with others of different cultures. Interaction attentiveness revolves around the efforts made
by the individual to understand what is going on in the intercultural interaction. This model
serves as a basic framework for investigating teachers’ IS because it constitutes a model of more
specific view which relates to three aspects of communication, i.e., affective, cognitive, and
behavioural, but with more focus on the affective side. These aspects are more applied by EFL
teachers in Algeria. Hence, the model serves as a basic framework to explain and measure
intercultural sensitivity of teachers who teach foreign languages and are affected by foreign
cultures.
3. Materials and methods
This study establishes the scientific and systematic process of the quantitative method in the form of
a survey. The study population was English Language teachers from middle schools, secondary
schools, and universities in Algeria. Prior to data collection, preparations were made to get approval
from schools and universities in Algeria through the Ministry of education. Once approval has been
granted, the study’s main objective was clearly explained to teachers participants. All participants
were requested to grant consent for the use of their data in this study. It was also emphasized that all
data would be kept confidential and would not be divulged apart from the purposes of this study.
To analyse the teachers’ IS, Chen and Starosta (2000) ISS was adopted. The four-point Likert
scale questionnaire contained 24 items addressing the following five dimensions: Interaction
Engagement (7 items), Respect for Cultural Differences (6 items), Interaction Confidence (5
items), Interaction Enjoyment (3 items), and Interaction Attentiveness (3 items). The response
categories of each statement were in an ascending order of weighting: strongly, disagree, agree
and strongly agree.
Because the participants were English language teachers, the questionnaire was in English. It was
designed using Google Forms and distributed online to 765 EFL teachers from June 2019 to
February 2020 to get the maximum number of participants in different cities. Unfortunately, the
researchers could not complete the study according to the above date due to COVID-19 crisis circum-
stances. Nonetheless, the researchers were able to implement the study in only Saida city, Algeria,
because the situation in this city fitted due to the Algerian Ministry of Health report. Only 182 teachers
filled the questionnaire; these are taken as the participants of the study using random sampling.
The study involves 62 male teachers (34.07%) and 120 female teachers (65.93%); 55 teachers
have Bachelor degree (30.22%), 96 teachers have Master degree (52.75 %), 6 teachers have
Magister degree (3.30%), and 25havePhD degree (13.73 %). Besides, 87teachers have 1 to
3 years of teaching experience (47.80%), 29have 4 to 6 years (15.94 %),18have 7 to 9 years
(9.89 %),and 48havemore than 10 years of teaching experience (26.37 %). Regarding school level,
102 were middle school teachers, 49 secondary school teachers and 31 university teachers.
After collecting the data, data entry was carried out using Statistics Packages for the Social
Sciences (SPSS) software version 23. As the data entry was one of the essential processes in this
study, it was carried out with particular attention to obtain valid results. Finally, data analysis and
interpretation were conducted. To find out the mean-differences, t-test and ANOVA were used as
will be presented in the next section. The mean, standard deviation, maximum, and minimum
scores for EFL teachers’ IS level were calculated. An independent sample t-test was used to
Boudouaia et al., Cogent Education (2022), 9: 2042034
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Page 5 of 13
investigate whether there is a significant difference between male and female teachers’ IS. One
way ANOVA was also conducted to investigate significant differences among EFL teachers’ IS in
terms of levels of education, years of teaching experience and teaching levels.
The factorial validity was tested for the research tool. The KMO value acquired in this study (0.83)
is greater than the values suggested in the literature. The significance of the Chi-square statistics
obtained at the end of the BST displayed the normal distribution of the data with multiple
variables. BST is established to be significant (X
2
= 1031**; p ≤ .001). These results demonstrated
that the ISS is appropriate for factor analysis (Hair et al., 2014),indicating that factor analysis could
be carried out when the KMO value is greater than 0.6 (Field, 2009). The most probable number of
variables to match the data is five. Initial EFA with Eigen values for 24 items revealed a five-factor
structure. Results showed that the first factor consisted of 7 items whose factor loads ranged
between 0.47 and 0.75, the second factor consisted of 6 items whose factor loads ranged between
0.49 and 0.67, the third factor consisted of 5 items whose factor loads ranged between 0.48 and
0.63, the fourth factor consisted of 3 items whose factor loads ranged between 0.46and 0.53, and
the fifth factor consisted of 3 items whose factor loads ranged between 0.50and 0.65. The
communalities values of items ranged between 0.43 and 0.68. The research instrument items
have been confirmed by CFA and all loading values came higher than 0.50 and all factor loadings
were statistically significant at p < .01. On the other hand, Cronbach’s Alpha was tested for
defining the reliability of IS subscales in the whole sample and was 0.83, 0.75, 0.81, 0.79 and
0.73 respectively. In line with Hair et al. (2014), the validation of the current study tool is
acceptable and qualifies for implementation.
4. Results
4.1. Mean and standard deviation of IS of EFL teachers in Algeria
By using the descriptive procedure with the data obtained from the questionnaire, the IS of the 182
EFL teachers in Algeria can be estimated. The questionnaire was divided into five subscales:
“Interaction Engagement”, “Respect for Cultural Differences”, “Interaction Confidence”,
“Interaction Enjoyment” and “Interaction Attentiveness”. In terms of descriptive statistics, the
minimum and maximum scores, mean and standard deviation of these five subscales are pre-
sented in the table below.
Table 1 showed that the mean value of interaction engagement is the highest and that of
interaction attentiveness is the lowest. From the result, it can be said that EFL teachers have high
IS in interaction engagement but low IS in interaction attentiveness.
5. Mean comparison by gender
To find the difference between male and female EFL teachers’ IS, descriptive analysis was con-
ducted. The means and standard deviations of the 62 male and 120 female teachers are described
in Table 2.
The table reveals that the mean scores of male EFL teachers are higher than that of female
EFL teachers in interaction engagement, respect for cultural differences, interaction confidence
and interaction enjoyment, whereas the mean scores of female EFL teachers were higher in
interaction attentiveness than that of male EFL teachers. Therefore, in order to examine
whether or not these differences were statistically significant, the independent sample t-test
was conducted.
According to the result of the t-test (Table 3), there is gender difference in the interaction
enjoyment of IS, but not in the other sub-scales. Therefore, it can be concluded that female
teachers have more interaction enjoyment in IS than male teachers.
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6. Mean comparison of EFL Teachers’ IS in accordance with their levels of education
In order to find out whether the EFL teachers’ IS was different with regard to their level of
education, descriptive analysis was conducted. In this study, teachers’ levels of education were
divided into four groups: Bachelor degree holders, Master degree holders, Magister degree holders
and PhD degree holders. To make detailed investigation on teachers’ IS by their levels of education,
ANOVA was conducted.
The results of table 4 shows that teachers with PhD degree have the highest mean scores and
teachers with Master degree holders have the lowest mean scores in IS. Visual presentation of
these findings is presented in the following figure.
To find out whether there is any significant difference among levels of education in IS, one way
analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted.
According to table 5, ANOVA result revealed that there was no significant difference in teachers’
IS in regards of their levels of education.
7. Mean comparison of EFL Teachers’ IS by their years of teaching experience
In order to find out whether the EFL teachers’ IS is different with regard to their years of teaching
experience, descriptive analysis was conducted. In this study, teachers’ teaching experiences were
divided into four groups: 1–3 years, 4–6 years, 7–9 years, and 10 years and above. To make
detailed investigation on teachers’ IS by their teaching experience, statistical analysis was
conducted.
Table 1. Level of EFL Teachers’ IS
Variables Number Min Max Mean Std. Deviation
Interaction
Engagement
182 18.00 28.00 24.3187 2.11221
Respect for
Cultural
Differences
182 16.00 27.00 23.4890 2.09640
Interaction
Confidence
182 10.00 21.00 16.9945 2.29700
Interaction
Enjoyment
182 8.00 15.00 12.4615 1.70995
Interaction
Attentiveness
182 5.00 12.00 9.6319 1.38328
Table 2. Comparison of EFL Teachers’ IS by gender
Variables Gender Number Mean Std. Deviation
Interaction
Engagement
Female 120 24.3167 2.11828
Male 62 24.3226 2.11764
Respect for Cultural
Differences
Female 120 23.4500 2.12962
Male 62 23.5645 2.04555
Interaction
Confidence
Female 120 16.7417 2.42361
Male 62 17.4839 1.95643
Interaction
Enjoyment
Female 120 12.1667 1.81651
Male 62 13.0323 1.31782
Interaction
Attentiveness
Female 120 9.6583 1.43484
Male 62 9.5806 1.28737
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Table 3. Independent sample t-test of gender differences in EFL Teachers’ IS
Variables t Df P
Interaction Engagement .083 135.301 .934
Respect for Cultural
Differences
−.372 139.196 .711
Interaction Confidence .380 122.653 .705
Interaction Enjoyment 3.646* 159.890 .000
Interaction Attentiveness .371 135.762 .711
Note: * The mean difference is significant at 0.01 level.
Table 4. EFL Teachers’ IS in accordance with their levels of education
Variable Levels of
Education
Number Mean Standard
Deviation
Intercultural
Sensitivity
Bachelor 55 87.4182 5.27640
Master 96 86.1042 5.17174
Magister 6 86.5000 3.56371
PhD 25 88.8800 4.17652
Table 5. Comparison of EFL Teachers’ IS by levels of education
Variables Sum of
Squares
Df Mean
Squares
F P
Intercultural
Sensitivity
Between
Groups
174.536 3 58.179 2.288 .080
Within
Groups
4526.480 178 25.430
Table 6. EFL Teachers’ IS by their years of teaching experience
Variable Teaching
Experience
Number Mean Standard
Deviation
Intercultural
Sensitivity
1–3 87 86.0115 5.22404
4–6 29 87.5862 4.74731
7–9 18 87.8889 4.60037
10 and above 48 87.7083 5.11967
Table 7. Comparison of EFL Teachers’ IS by Their Teaching Experience
Variables Sum of
Squares
Df Mean
Squares
F P
Intercultural
Sensitivity
Between
Groups
131.299 3 43.766 1.705 .168
Within
Groups
4569.717 178 25.673
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The results of table 6 indicate that the mean scores of teachers who have teaching experience of
7–9 years are the highest and those of teachers having teaching experience of 1–3 years are the
lowest. To find out whether or not there is any significant difference among EFL teachers’ teaching
experience in IS, one way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was applied.
According to table 7, ANOVA results reveal that there is no significant difference in teaching
experience of EFL teachers.
8. Mean Comparison of EFL Teachers’ IS by their teaching level
In order to find out whether the EFL teachers’ IS is different in accordance with the levels at which
they are teaching, descriptive analysis was conducted. In this study, teachers’ teaching levels were
divided into three groups: Middle level, secondary level and university level. To make detailed
investigation on teachers’ IS by their teaching level, ANOVA was conducted.
From the result of table 8, it can be concluded that the EFL teachers teaching at the secondary
school level have the highest mean scores and those teaching at middle school level have the
lowest. To explore whether or not there is any significant difference in IS among EFL teachers’
teaching experience, one way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was implemented.
According to table 9, ANOVA results reveal that there is no significant difference among teaching
levels of EFL teacher’s in IS.
9. Discussion
This study aimed to look at the IS of EFL teachers in Algeria. The findings show that among the IS
components, interaction engagement has the greatest mean value, followed by respect for other
cultures, and interaction confidence, interaction enjoyment, and interaction attentiveness have
the lowest mean values. There are substantial differences between female and male EFL teachers
in the interaction enjoyment dimension, with female EFL teachers having higher interaction
enjoyment than male EFL teachers. However, there are no significant differences in EFL teachers’
education levels, teaching experiences, or teaching levels in IS.
Regarding the statistical analysis, among IS components, the mean value of interaction engage-
ment is the highest, which indicates teachers’ participation in intercultural communication. The
results show that teachers are positive about and open-minded towards the English language
culture, and they practise culturally responsive teaching in the classrooms. The mean value of
Table 8. EFL Teachers’ IS by their teaching level
Variable Teaching Level Number Mean Standard
Deviation
Intercultural
Sensitivity
Middle school 102 86.1471 5.17495
Secondary school 49 87.8776 4.50293
University 31 87.8065 5.45539
Table 9. Comparison of EFL Teachers’ IS by Their Teaching Level
Variables Sum of
Squares
Df Mean
Squares
F P
Intercultural
Sensitivity
Between
Groups
130.118 2 65.059 2.548 .081
Within
Groups
4570.898 179 25.536
Boudouaia et al., Cogent Education (2022), 9: 2042034
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respect for other cultures is the second highest, and it is concerned with teachers’ attitudes
towards multiculturalism in the classroom. According to the results, teachers have a positive
attitude towards English language culture. The mean values of interaction confidence, interaction
enjoyment and interaction attentiveness are relatively low. To some degree, the results are similar
to the study of Genç and Boynukara (2017), in which higher scores were remarked in the dimen-
sions of respect for cultural differences and interaction engagement, and the lowest score on
interaction attentiveness and interaction enjoyment. In this vein, it can be argued that since
Turkey and Algeria are similar in different dimensions, including religion and way of life and
attribution of English as a foreign language, the two studies results consider respect for cultural
differences and interaction engagement as the highest dimensions of IS. It is not enough for
teachers to only be aware about with different cultures, but they are expected to have
a confidence and communication skills.
Next, independent sample t-test and one way ANOVA were applied to examine the differences
among demographic characteristics such as gender, levels of education, years of teaching experi-
ences and the levels of teaching. Concerning gender differences, out of 182 participants in this study,
the number of male teachers is 62, and that of female teachers is 120. In terms of independent t-test,
there is a significant difference in the subscale of interaction enjoyment by gender (p < 0.01). It is
found that female English language teachers have more interaction enjoyment in IS than male
teachers. However, there are no significant differences in other subscales such as interaction engage-
ment, respect for cultural differences, interaction confidence, and interaction attentiveness by gen-
der. This result confirms Segura Robles and Parra Gonzalez (2019) findings in which interaction
enjoyment was found to have a significant difference. This result points to the issue that Algerian
female teachers change their willingness and behaviour in accordance with the context they are in.
Thus, having a high level in interaction enjoyment for females is the product of the influence of
eagerness and willingness in state of “becoming” and “not was”.
Regarding levels of education in this study, teachers’ levels of education were divided into four
groups: Bachelor degree holders, Master degree holders, Magister degree holders and PhD degree
holders. According to the results of One Way ANOVA, there are no significant differences among
the levels of education of English language teachers in Algeria. However, it is found that teachers
with PhD degree have the highest mean scores, and teachers with master degree holders have the
lowest mean scores in IS. Similar results are reported by Bayles (2009), whose participants did not
show significant differences in education level. In this respect, EFL teachers in Algeria are the
voices and the knowledge that show English language culture; hence, practice and background
cannot be simply put-off from having IS. These are caught within the two ideologies of exercising
power in transmitting English language culture and having IS.
Furthermore, teachers’ teaching experiences were divided into four groups: 1–3 years, 4–6 years,
7–9 years and 10 years and above. The ANOVA results revealed no significant differences in the
teaching experience of EFL teachers. However, there are a bit non-significantly differences favour
teachers who have a teaching experience of 7–9 years than those who have 1–3 years of
experience by the mean score of each category. These findings are similar to those of Bayles
(2009), who did not identify significant differences in terms of years of teaching experience. IS is
not influenced by teaching experience, which denotes a concentration upon teachers’ interperso-
nal responses throughout their career to a foreign culture. They do make concerted efforts to
achieve a considerable level of “involvement”.
Apropos levels of teaching, levels were divided into three groups: middle, secondary, and
university. The statistical results demonstrated that secondary school teachers have the highest
mean scores, and those teaching at the middle school level have the lowest. However, ANOVA
results revealed no significant difference based on teaching levels of EFL teachers in IS. These
findings contradicts those of M. Park (2006), in which the analysis showed that teaching level does
not affect the participants’ EFL pre-service teachers IS in Korea.
Boudouaia et al., Cogent Education (2022), 9: 2042034
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Page 10 of 13
10. Conclusion
The current study, which was designed to look into the IS of Algerian EFL teachers, came up
with some startling findings. The results demonstrate that the ISS showed satisfactory rate of
validity and reliability. All subscales (Interaction Engagement, Respect for Cultural
Differences, Interaction Confidence, Interaction Enjoyment and Interaction Attentiveness)
show improvements in both internal consistency reliability and validity. Thus, the five-factor
model developed by Chen and Starosta (2000) seems to be a generic model that is culture-
free for the Algerian context. Besides, they have high scores in interaction engagement and
respect for the English language culture and low scores in interaction confidence, interaction
enjoyment and interaction attentiveness. This denotes that EFL teachers in Algeria support
more interaction engagement and respect for the English language culture.
In addition, it is also found that teachers’ IS is not affected by demographic variables,
including levels of education, teaching experience, and teaching level. Studying the effects of
education level and teaching experience on IS of EFL teachers may play a crucial role in
considering them as new variables in professional development and training programs. Also,
investigating the effect of teaching level on EFL teachers’ IS may bring enormous contribu-
tions in organizing EFL teaching process (Rengi & Polat, 2014). However, the results advo-
cated the effect of gender on IS, especially on interaction enjoyment. Gender is found to play
a significant role because it revolves around differentiation from the sort of activity in which
masculinity/femininity does not refer to gender inequalities, but rather, it focuses on differ-
entiation on the basis of activity. For example, masculine cultures focus on earnings,
advancements, and assertiveness at work. In contrast, feminine cultures seek personal
relationship goals such as getting along with co-workers and superiors and working in
friendly environments (Morales, 2017). Hence considering the role of gender in IS might
provide a base for needs analysis of weaknesses and strengths of males and females in
teaching.
The results of the current study will be of interest to anyone who is keen to be familiar with
how EFL teachers perceive intercultural competence. Besides, teachers are required to rethink
how to establish a productive environment that fosters their level of respect for cultural
differences, interaction confidence, interaction enjoyment, and interaction attentiveness. Our
hopes are that this study may stand as a contribution to the literature of education in
general and that of EFL instruction in particular. To the best of our knowledge, this study is
the first of its kind that investigated Algerian English language teachers’ IS. Hence, taking the
current study results into account may aid the Algerian government, instructional stake-
holders, and tutors in expanding the understanding of IS and finding better programs and
strategies to improve it positively.
Like other studies, this study is subject to some limitations. The study was subjected to 182
EFL teachers. Hence, this study is unlikely to give a complete picture of EFL teachers’ IS in
Algeria. Further, the research findings cannot be generalized to all Algerian EFL teachers
because only few participants were involved. To counter the limitations, the study trust-
worthiness has not been enhanced by using one research instrument, i.e., survey. This latter
may not picture well the IS. In this respect, some research suggestions on the topic could be
made for the researchers. First, a similar study could be designed for learners and other
agents, including principals, to identify their perspectives. Next, it is recommended that
further studies will involve larger numbers of participants from Algeria. Then, interviews
and classroom observations will be more effective in further studies to gain more insights
on the topic.
Acknowledgements
The authors would like to thank Prof. Nacif Labed and
Mr. Abd El Karim Talbi from Algeria for taking time and
effort necessary to revise the manuscript.
Funding
This research did not receive any specific grant from fund-
ing agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit
sectors.
Boudouaia et al., Cogent Education (2022), 9: 2042034
https://doi.org/10.1080/2331186X.2022.2042034
Page 11 of 13
Author details
Azzeddine Boudouaia
1
ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6919-7732
Khin Wint War Htun
2
ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0320-5522
Abdo Hasan Al-Qadri
3
E-mail: lubna23112015@outlook.com
ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9276-6534
Yams Saroh
2
Abderrazak Beddiaf
4
1
School of Education, Central China Normal University,
Wuhan, Hubei, China.
2
Central China Normal University, Wuhan, Hubei, China.
3
School of Humanities and Education, Xi’an Eurasia
University, Xi’an City, Shaanxi Province, China.
4
Oran 2 University, Oran, Algeria/ University of Navara,
Navara, Spain.
Disclosure statement
No potential conflict of interest was reported by the
author(s).
Citation information
Cite this article as: Intercultural sensitivity of English lan-
guage teachers in Algeria, Azzeddine Boudouaia, Khin
Wint War Htun, Abdo Hasan Al-Qadri, Yams Saroh &
Abderrazak Beddiaf, Cogent Education (2022), 9: 2042034.
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In today’s globalized world, individuals need to be interculturally competent and sensitive to communicate successfully with people from different societies. EFL teachers as key players of language education should themselves be interculturally competent and sensitive to be able to develop their learners’ intercultural communicative competence (ICC) and intercultural sensitivity (IS). The present study aimed to explore Iranian EFL teachers’ levels of ICC and IS and the possible relationship between their ICC and IS. A total of 167 EFL teachers completed the ICC questionnaire and IS scale. The results of descriptive statistics revealed that Iranian EFL teachers enjoyed high levels of ICC and IS. The results of correlational analysis revealed that there were significant relationships between different components of ICC and IS except for the relationship between knowledge dimension of ICC and respecting other cultures and interaction enjoyment dimensions of IS. Finally, the implications of the study as well as suggestions for further research were presented to complement the findings of this research.
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This study examined experience with multicultural contact and the intercultural sensitivity of majority adolescents in South Korean society, one that is rapidly shifting toward a more multicultural environment. It also analyzed the influence of these multicultural experiences on intercultural sensitivity. The results of the analysis revealed a statistical difference in intercultural sensitivity depending on the status of multicultural contact experience, with such experience holding significant influence on all aspects of intercultural sensitivity. In particular, the number of acquaintances from multicultural families and indirect contact through mass media had a positive influence on all areas of intercultural sensitivity. This result highlights the importance of undergoing various types of contact experiences in daily life, including indirect contact.
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The purpose of this mixed methods study was to explore levels of intercultural sensitivity in a sample of fourth to eighth grade students in the United States (n = 162). Intercultural sensitivity was conceptualised through Bennett’s Developmental Model of Sensitivity, and assessed through the Adapted Intercultural Sensitivity Index. Follow-up interviews provided additional information regarding the views and understandings of individual student participants. Quantitative data analysis indicated many early adolescents in this sample were accepting of cultural difference. However, subsequent qualitative data analysis suggested this acceptance was largely hypothetical, due to the participants’ perceived isolation from diversity. The implications of these findings are discussed.
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Due to the globalization and interconnectedness of people from different cultures, intercultural competence is a prerequisite to communicating effectively across different cultures. The Intercultural Sensitivity Inventory (ICSI) measures a person’s ability to modify behavior in culturally appropriate ways when coming into contact with diverse cultures. The ICSI is a measurement based on the concepts of individualism and collectivism. The majority of research on intercultural competence and intercultural sensitivity (ICS) has primarily focused on adult populations in business, international education exchange programs, and adult third culture kids (ATCKs). However, such research involving high school students attending an international school outside of the United States is scant. The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the differences in intercultural sensitivity (ICS) among Third Culture Kids (TCKs). Specifically, this study assessed the differences in ICS among the independent variables of gender and participant’s passport country. Additionally, the study examined the difference in ICS between Korean females and non-Korean females. The ICSI was used to measure the participants’ ICS. The sample consists of 139 international high school students. The independent samples t-test revealed no statistically significant in ICS among males and females, as well as Korean females and non-Korean females. However, the results revealed a statistically significant difference between Korean and non-Korean students. Korean students scored lowered on the ICSI than their counterparts.