To What Extent Lebanese University Students Perceive Themselves as Intercultural Communicators

Conference: The Paris Conference on Education (PCE2022)
Title: To What Extent Lebanese University Students Perceive Themselves as Intercultural Communicators
Stream: Challenging & Preserving: Culture, Inter/Multiculturalism & Language
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Najwa Saba 'Ayon, Rafik Hariri University, Lebanon
Grasiella Harb, Rafik Hariri University, Lebanon


Globalization has removed all constrained borders and distances among business corporations. With this fundamental change, there has been an increasing demand for intercultural competent communicators to secure success in the 21st-century marketplace. In fact, Winstead (2021) states "as more and more company leaders prioritize diversity and inclusion in their workplaces", effective intercultural communication (IC) becomes a must in today's workplaces. However, some universities in Lebanon, if not all, seem not to have IC as a part of their curricula, or if they do, it is considered as an elective social science course students might take to fulfill a general requirement. As such, students may not become aware of the importance of developing intercultural communication skills. Hence, it becomes essential to find out about students’ perceptions of IC. To this end, the researchers aim to investigate the extent to which students in private Lebanese universities perceive themselves as culturally competent speakers and the strategies they follow to develop their intercultural communication competence (ICC). The theoretical framework used for this research is Byram’s model of intercultural competence (1997). Using a mixed-methods design, the researchers survey 200 participants conveniently sampled from different private Lebanese universities. The quantitative data is complemented with three focus groups of 5-7 participants. The collected data (still in progress) will be analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. The derived conclusions from both analyses will be triangulated. Based on the conclusions, the researchers will present recommendations to both the students and the higher education institutions to help students develop ICC.

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