Incorporating Intercultural Communication Skills into Taiwanese University EFL Classrooms

Guy Matthews


Teaching intercultural communication to Taiwanese university EFL students is crucial in preparing them to navigate the complexities of a globalized world. This article explores the challenges faced by Taiwanese EFL students in developing intercultural communication skills and provides strategies for effectively addressing these challenges. The article begins by discussing the limited exposure to authentic cultural contexts that Taiwanese EFL students often encounter and the implications for their intercultural competence (Chen & Starosta, 2000). It then highlights the tendency to prioritize language proficiency over cultural understanding in EFL programs, emphasizing the importance of integrating cultural content into language lessons (Kramsch, 1993). Additionally, the cultural differences in communication styles between Taiwanese culture and English-speaking countries are examined, underscoring the need for explicit instruction on cultural communication norms and strategies (Hofstede, 1980). The article also provides a theoretical overview, incorporating the Intercultural Communication Competence Model, Cultural Dimensions Framework, Communication Accommodation Theory, and Face Negotiation Theory to inform instructional practices (Byram, 1997; Giles, 1973; Ting-Toomey, 1994). Furthermore, it explores the significance of incorporating self-awareness and reflective practices in fostering intercultural competence (Lustig & Koester, 2013). The article concludes by emphasizing the importance of developing cultural awareness, empathy, and effective communication skills in Taiwanese EFL students to enable them to engage with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds. By addressing the challenges and utilizing appropriate teaching strategies, educators can facilitate the development of intercultural communication skills among Taiwanese EFL students, equipping them for successful intercultural interactions in an interconnected world.



Intercultural, Language Teaching, EFL, Taiwan

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