Connecting with culturally diverse others The case of Malaysian students’ social interactions on campus

Syarizan Dalib (1) , Minah Harun (2) , Norhafezah Yusof (3) , Mohd Khairie Ahmad (4)
(1) Universiti Utara Malaysia , Malaysia
(2) Universiti Utara Malaysia , Malaysia
(3) Universiti Utara Malaysia , Malaysia
(4) Universiti Utara Malaysia , Malaysia


Connecting with culturally diverse individuals require in-depth understanding and knowledge of intercultural competence. This paper focuses on the Malaysian students’ intercultural competence in the Malaysian campus to gain insights into their social interaction. Specifically, we highlight the Malaysian students’ reflection of intercultural competence based on their encounters with the international students in the Malaysian university environment. Using a qualitative approach, we collect data from in-depth interviews with the selected Malaysian undergraduate students from three universities in Northern Malaysia. The findings draw attention to two emerging themes: self-other awareness and interlingual communication strategies. The paper contributes to enhancing awareness of self and other, and language-related accommodation strategies in embracing intercultural communication.

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Syarizan Dalib
(Primary Contact)
Minah Harun
Norhafezah Yusof
Mohd Khairie Ahmad
Author Biographies

Syarizan Dalib, Universiti Utara Malaysia

Syarizan Dalib (PhD in Communication, UUM) is a Senior Lecturer at School of Multimedia Technology and Communication, College of Arts & Sciences, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Sintok, 06010, Kedah, Malaysia. She completed her doctoral study in 2014 and her PhD work focuses on intercultural competence from a non-Western perspective. Her research interests include intercultural communication, communication competence, ethnicity, identity and phenomenology. She has a keen interest on studying how intercultural competence and identity plays out in everyday interaction in non-Western settings.

Minah Harun, Universiti Utara Malaysia

Minah Harun (PhD in Communication, Ohio) is senior lecturer at the School of Education and Modern Languages, College of Arts and Sciences, Universiti Utara Malaysia. Currently, she teaches Discourse Analysis which is one of the courses under Masters of Applied Linguistics. Previously, she was the Director of UUM Press (2010-2014) and UUM Language Centre (2008-2010). She received her Master of Applied Linguistics for Language Teaching (with distinction) from University of Southampton and Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in English Language Teaching from St. Mary’s College, UK. She is a life member of Editors Association Malaysia. Her current interests include interpersonal communication, interethnic communication, discourse analysis, hospitality language and learner difficulties. Her publication includes “Hospitality Language as a Professional Skill” in English for Specific Purposes Journal (2003), which she co-authored with George M. Blue (University of Southampton).

Norhafezah Yusof, Universiti Utara Malaysia

Norhafezah Yusof is currently an Associate Professor in Department of Communication, School of Multimedia Technology and Communication, UUM. She is appointed as a communication expert for Malaysian Qualification Agency. Her research interests include culture, religion, education, management and media. She has published numerous papers in both local and international journals.

Mohd Khairie Ahmad, Universiti Utara Malaysia

Mohd Khairie Ahmad received his bachelor degree in Public Administration from Universiti Utara Malaysia in 1997 and Master of Arts in Communication from Universiti Sains Malaysia in 1999. He obtained his PhD in Communication from the University of Queensland, Australia. His research and scholarly efforts includes Communication and Media for Social Change, Health Communication, Political Communication and Communication Management. He is currently a Senior Lecturer at the School of Multimedia Technology & Communication, Universiti Utara Malaysia.

Dalib, S., Harun, M., Yusof, N., & Ahmad, M. K. (2019). Connecting with culturally diverse others The case of Malaysian students’ social interactions on campus. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 19(1).

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