Virtual reality for developing intercultural communication competence in Mandarin as a Foreign language

DeWitt, Dorothy and Chan, Suet Fong and Loban, Rhett (2022) Virtual reality for developing intercultural communication competence in Mandarin as a Foreign language. ETR&D-Educational Technology Research and Development, 70 (2). pp. 615-638. ISSN 1042-1629, DOI

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Intercultural communicative competence (ICC) is the ability to interact and communicate appropriately with people from different cultures. The lack of ICC among non-native speakers has resulted in misunderstandings during interactions. Although Malaysia is a multicultural country, there has not been much emphasis in developing ICC in the curriculum. Students in higher education institutions have low levels of ICC. This is also true among students taking Mandarin as a Foreign Language (MFL) in Malaysian polytechnics. Virtual reality (VR) can engage students in the cognitive and affective domains. There is a potential for using VR to improve students' ICC, particularly when students are engaged in producing their own immersive VR environments. Hence, a quasi-experimental research was designed to determine whether utilizing and developing VR environments related to Chinese culture could improve the level of ICC among students. The participants were 31 students enrolled in a MFL course at a polytechnic. The findings indicated a significant increase in the measures of ICC after the implementation and was verified from student feedback through surveys and interviews. VR has the potential for improving ICC levels as it could be used to develop positive attitudes towards another culture. Further studies could be done to investigate whether VR could be used to develop ICC and engage other Malaysian students. ICC is important and needed for cross-cultural collaborations and interactions to promote respect and compassion for other cultures in a community.

Item Type: Article
Funders: None
Uncontrolled Keywords: Virtual reality; Intercultural communicative competence; Cultural competence; Instructional design; Affective domain
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Divisions: Faculty of Education
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2023 03:19
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 03:19

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