Assessing Intercultural Communication

How can I assess intercultural communication?

Your students can use the target language and their knowledge of culture to demonstrate their intercultural communicative competence, although this can be difficult to assess. As a starting point, you should write measurable objectives for intercultural communication and competence, prioritize specific aspects to assess based on your learning outcomes, and provide feedback on an ongoing basis throughout your course.

You can use the following strategies to plan for assessment of intercultural communication:

  • Embed intercultural communication into performance tasks and rubrics designed to assess communicative modes, including in IPAs. Use authentic tasks that present a variety of cultural practices, products, or perspectives and ask students to interact with these features.
  • Consider using multiple methods and tools, including self-report measures from your students. These may include surveys, journals, blogs, and portfolio assessments. These methods that can be useful when students have opportunities to interact with target language speakers and then reflect on those experiences.
  • For direct assessment of intercultural communicative competence, consider using scenario-based items that involve viewing videos or reading about situations and responding to questions about perspectives and potential responses.

To learn more about using digital simulations to assess intercultural, pragmatic, and interactional competence, see the IPIC Framework project from the Center for Applied Second Language Studies.