Undergraduates and Intercultural Communication Competence: Creating a Plan for Performance

By Annette Madlock.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Some studies indicate that students develop intercultural communication competence through interaction in multicultural classrooms. However, what happens when classrooms are predominately homogenous and student exposure to other cultures is limited to media representations? It is not uncommon to find this situation still existing on some college campuses in the United States of America, where students have never come in contact with individuals different from themselves, beyond service industry workers, if any contact is made at all. The idea of establishing a significant relationship with someone culturally different is not given any thought. As an instructor of color how does one get students to move beyond their comfort zone and take action to meet individuals that are culturally different outside of the classroom? This paper describes the results of a textual analysis using grounded theory of student writing as they reflect on how to develop and implement effective communication strategies with individuals culturally and ethnically different from themselves outside of the classroom. The results of which might also be used to transform thinking about the diverse community surrounding the university and influence future decision-making on issues of social justice and human equality.

Keywords: Intercultural Communication Competence, Undergraduates, Grounded Theory, Multicultural Classroom, Textual Analysis

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 11, pp.399-406. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.198MB).

Dr. Annette Madlock

Assistant Professor, Basic Course Director, Communication, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, Connticut, USA

Dr. Annette Madlock (Assistant Professor and Director of the Basic Courses) holds an A.A. in Administration from Milwaukee Area Technical College, a B.A. in Organizational Management and an M.A. in Communication, both from Bethel University, and a Ph.D. in Human Communication from Howard University. While attending Howard she also served as an Assistant Coach for both the Policy Debate and Speech teams and has worked with students to establish teams at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU). Her primary areas of specialization are Intercultural Communication and Rhetoric with current research emphasis on identity, African-American communication dynamics, white privilege, and women’s studies. As director of the all university required courses in public speaking and professional presentation Dr. Madlock teaches courses in the area and provides direction to 15 part-time faculty. She has made strong efforts to maintain consistency and excellence in the communication curriculum through assessment of student outcomes in all sections of the public speaking, culture and ethics courses. Before teaching at the college level and coming to SCSU Dr. Madlock spent several years working in the corporate sector.

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