Developing intercultural competence in college business English students : A study of innovative teaching in China

Yuting MU*, Baohua YU*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the increasing need to develop students' intercultural competence in China, the relationship between the approaches used to teach the English language and the cultivation of students' intercultural competence remains largely under-researched. Based on Byram's intercultural model and the intercultural language teaching framework, using action research we developed and implemented new teaching approaches to cultivate intercultural competence among students using a quasi-experimental design that combined qualitative and quantitative methods. Two classes of undergraduate students majoring in Business English were randomly selected, with one being assigned as the treatment group (n = 33) and the other as the control group (n = 32). The primary data consisted of questionnaires, journals, and interviews. After participating in a three-month intercultural speaking course where the treatment group students were guided through an intercultural learning process of noticing, comparing, and reflecting, findings revealed that they developed intercultural competence regarding their attitudes, knowledge, skills, and awareness. Implications for facilitating students' intercultural competence are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101747
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Early online date26 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Intercultural competence
  • Language teaching
  • Intercultural language teaching approach
  • Classroom teaching


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