The globalization of economy and the development of China’s internationalization makes intercultural activities more and more frequent, which puts forward higher requirements and challenges for the growth of talents and the cultivation of intercultural competence. In recent years, the popularity of electronic devices and the rapid development of the Internet makes online reading become flourished. Some researches show that English news online reading can help readers enhance intercultural competence.
The research uses questionnaire to investigate 120 college students’ situation of English news online reading and ICC. The research uses SPSS 20.0 to analyze the collected data. In order to further explore and supplement the experimental result, the author interviews 10 college students about their situation of English news online reading and conducts the concrete analysis on how reading English news online influences ICC. The result of the research shows that there is a positive and significant correlation between English news online reading and four elements of ICC (intercultural cognition skill, knowledge about foreign culture, intercultural communication skill and intercultural awareness).
The research combines qualitative and quantitative research techniques to explore the influence of English news online reading on ICC. The significance is to emphasize the important function of English news online reading in cultivating college students’ ICC and practical significance in teaching.
Key Words: English news online reading; intercultural communication competence (ICC); college students
1 Introduction 1
2 Literature Review 3
2.1 Intercultural Communication Competence 3
2.2 English news online reading 5
3 Research Methodology 6
3.1 Research subject 6
3.2 Research method 7
3.2.1 Questionnaire 7
3.2.2 Interview 8
3.3 Data analysis 8
4 Result and Discussion 9
4.1 Current situation of English news reading 9
4.2 Descriptive statistics of English news online reading and ICC 10
4.3 Correlation analysis of English news online reading and ICC 11
4.4 The influence of reading English news online on ICC 13
4.4.1 The influence on intercultural cognition skill 13
4.4.2 The influence on knowledge about foreign culture 14
4.4.3 The influence on intercultural communication skill 15
4.4.4 The influence on intercultural awareness 17
5 Conclusion 19
Appendix A 22
Appendix B 25
Research on the Influence of English News Online Reading on College Students’ Intercultural Communication Competence
The rapid development of globalization promotes more frequent communication among different countries, different regions and different societies. In the process of communicating, intercultural activity plays a more and more significant role in the world. It is acknowledged that a successful international cooperation depends on good communication. For college students, intercultural competence should become a necessary ability. Intercultural communication competence (ICC) is an ability to conduct effective and appropriate communication with cross-cultural knowledge, skills, motivations and awareness in a particular communication environment. In recent years, the research on ICC has caused more and more attention among Chinese scholars. Only when college students have the ability to overcome culture obstacles in intercultural communication, can they adapt to the development and changes in the world better.
The booming of digital technology and popularity of smart phones facilitates the rapid development of online reading. The influence of online reading on English learning and intercultural communication has caused widespread attention and discussion. There has been a large number of researches on using electronic devices to learn English.
On the relationship between English news online reading and intercultural communication competence, Peng (2016) pointed out that cultural product plays an important role in cross-cultural indirect contact. The research uses Chinese college students’ intercultural communication competence evaluation scale (Wu, 2013) to explore the influence of reading English news online on college students’ ICC.
The significance of the research is to enlighten teachers to use English news online reading in education to help students foster their intercultural communication competence, and remind educators to bring online reading into class, which may also inspire students’ learning interest and English competence in reading, vocabulary and expression.
2 Literature Review
2.1 Intercultural Communication Competence
The foreign scholars’ research on intercultural competence began in the 1950s. They conducted extensive researches on intercultural competence from different perspectives and fields, and gradually formed a comparably consistent understanding of the connotation of intercultural competence. Deardorff (2004) found that the definition of intercultural competence by Byram (1997) got most approvals. The content is that some elements play important roles in effectively communicating and interacting with individuals from different cultures in specific intercultural environments, and they are knowledge about other foreign cultures, knowledge about domestic culture, intercultural communication skill, language communication skill, cognitive and interactive skill, attention and respect towards values, beliefs and behaviors of different cultures, critical culture awareness and self-awareness, etc. (Byram, 1997)
In terms of the composition of intercultural competence, Byram (1997) believed that intercultural competence consists of attitudes (curiosity and open mind), knowledge (foreign culture knowledge and domestic culture knowledge), interpretation/ association skills (the ability to interpret other cultural symbols and events), discovery/ interaction skills (intercultural communication skill, language communication skill), critical cultural awareness (attention and respect towards different cultures, behaviors, beliefs and self-awareness). Scholars represented by Byram proposed four dimensions of intercultural communication competence and they are knowledge, skill, attitude and consciousness. Some scholars believe that the motivation for effective cultural communication among people of different cultures are particularly essential in their intercultural competence. Based on Byram’s EU model, they used motivation instead of attitude to propose the three-dimensional intercultural competence model composed of knowledge, motivation and skill (Spitzberg, 1997; Samovar amp; Porter, 2004; Gudykunst, 2004; Spitzberg amp; Changnon, 2009). Other scholars, from the perspective of the development of intercultural competence, divided intercultural competence into three dimensions and they are consciousness, knowledge, and skills. They believed that the development of intercultural competence is the process of continuous learning in three dimensions (Bennett, 1993). In general, foreign scholars generally agree that ICC includes dimensions of capability like knowledge, skill, attitude and awareness (Wu, 2014).
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