Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

pp 1618-1620

Intercultural Learning

  • H. Chad LaneAffiliated withInstitute for Creative Technologies, University of Southern California Email author 

Synonyms

Intercultural development; Intercultural skill acquisition; Intercultural transformation

Definition

Intercultural learning refers to the acquisition of knowledge and skills that support the ability of learners to both understand culture and interact with people from cultures different from their own. It is developmental in the sense that learners advance through stages of progressively more sophisticated levels of understanding. This understanding includes that of different cultures as well as their own. Specifically, to develop cultural awareness, it is important for a learner to have this sense of cultural self-awareness, which will form the basis for comparisons that are inevitably made by the learner. Intercultural training can be designed to be culture specific by dealing with a single target culture, such as Japanese, or culture general by focusing on universally applicable skills, such as perspective taking and active listening. Development of intercultur ...

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