Intercultural Sensitivity Assessment of the Postgraduates Majoring in English: A Case Study of Guangxi Normal University

  •  Guangcun Zhao    


This study is using Chen and Starosta’s Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS hereafter) to assess the intercultural sensitivity (ICS hereafter) level of postgraduates of Grade 2016 majoring in English from the College of Foreign Studies in Guangxi Normal University (GXNU hereafter) and try to discover what individual factors, such as Work Experience, Work Types and so on, influence their ICS level. The research questions are: 1) what is the postgraduates’ ICS level like? 2) What individual factors influence the postgraduates’ ICS?

By analyzing the 102 copies of valid questionnaires, this study gets the following findings. 1) The subjects’ general ICS level is moderate for their mean ICS total score is 88.63, within the range of 80-100. 2) Among the five factors of ICS, the value of Respect for Cultural Difference is the highest while Interaction Confidence is the lowest. 3) Among the subjects’ individual factors, Work Experience, Having Friends from Different Cultures and Having Passed TEM8 exert significant influence on the subjects’ ICS level, while factors such as Work Types, IC Courses Offered during the Undergraduate Study, Working as Volunteers, and Work Length, have no significantly statistical effect on the subjects’ ICS level.

The above findings successfully answer the two research questions. Then, based on the subjects’ real situations, this study analyzes the underlying causes for the findings from two perspectives. Firstly, Chinese students are greatly affected by the collectivism-oriented cultural value. Secondly, the subjects lack chances of intercultural practice and experience. In the end, four tentative suggestions are put forward to improve the subjects’ ICS level and intercultural communication competence.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1925-4741
  • ISSN(Online): 1925-475X
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: quarterly

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