A study on advanced EFL learners’ intercultural encounters

Judit Dombi (1)
(1) Institute of English Studies, University of Pécs, Hungary, Hungary


There is an increasing conviction that foreign language teaching should focus not only on making students achieve native-like proficiency but on enabling them to function as competent communicators in situations involving speakers of diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Real-life experiences are of utmost importance in forming language learners’ intercultural awareness and competences. This study explores advanced Hungarian EFL learners’ accounts of their intercultural encounters and their opportunities for meeting speakers of other languages. The study follows the qualitative research paradigm, the detailed, contextualized quotes aim to provide thick description of participants’ experiences. Data were collected through a short background questionnaire and a qualitative data collection instrument employing stimulated recall: students were requested to write narrative accounts of their previous intercultural encounters. Findings reveal that although participants had limited opportunities for meeting native speakers of English, the language of intercultural interactions was almost exclusively English, even if only non-native speakers were involved. Results also show that there are enormous differences between students’ opportunities to acquaint with members of different cultures, which highlights the influence of learners’ socioeconomic backgrounds on their studies.

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Judit Dombi
dombi.judit@pte.hu (Primary Contact)
Author Biography

Judit Dombi, Institute of English Studies, University of Pécs, Hungary

Judit Dombi is an assistant professor in the Department of English Linguistics at the University of Pécs where she teaches courses in the fields of intercultural communication, linguistics and applied linguistics. Her research interests include intercultural pragmatics, the development of intercultural communicative competence, individual differences in language learning, study/residence abroad and English as a lingua franca.

Dombi, J. (2016). A study on advanced EFL learners’ intercultural encounters. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 16(3), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.36923/jicc.v16i3.724

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