Intercultural sensitivity: A comparative study among Business English Undergraduate Learners in two Countries of Iran and China

Elahe Moradi, Zargham Ghabanchi

Abstract


One of the major aspects of intercultural communication competence is intercultural sensitivity which is gaining increasing attention in different disciplines. Intercultural sensitivity is important because it reduces cultural barriers between people interacting from different cultures. This paper focuses on the importance of intercultural sensitivity and shares the results of a comparative study on the intercultural sensitivity among two countries of Iran and China.  For this purpose, 40 Iranian and 40 Chinese male and female undergraduate Business English students completed the intercultural sensitivity questionnaire comprising five factors with 24 items developed by Chen and Starosta (2000). The results showed that in all five dimensions of the intercultural sensitivity including “Interaction Engagement”, “Respect for Cultural Differences”, “Interaction Confidence”, “Interaction Enjoyment”, and “Interaction Attentiveness”, Iranian participants had greater scores compared to Chinese participants. For both countries by increasing the age, the scores of all five dimensions of intercultural sensitivity increased too. Also, the results indicated that both Iranian and Chinese male participants had greater level of intercultural sensitivity in dimensions of “Interaction Engagement”, “Respect for Cultural Differences”, and “”Interaction Confidence” compared to female ones. However, gender did not have any impact on two intercultural sensitivity dimensions of “Interaction Enjoyment” and “Interaction Attentiveness”.   


Keywords


China, Intercultural dimensions, Intercultural sensitivity, Iran, Undergraduate Business English students.

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.29333/ejecs/278

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