Next in the Research Methods in Intercultural Communication seminar series, Edinburgh Napier

This conference features alumnus Vivien Zhou 

You are warmly invited to the third in the seminar series Research Methods in Intercultural Communication, hosted by the Languages Group at Edinburgh Napier.

Wednesday 4th May, 3 – 4.30pmRoom 3/04, Edinburgh Napier Business School, Craiglockhart Campus, 219 Colinton Rd, Edinburgh EH14 1DJ – map here


3 pm: John O’Regan (UCL, Institute of Education)

Some reflections on method in intercultural communication education and training

In a world characterized by global flows of capital, technology, ideas, beliefs, information and people (Appadurai, 1990), intercultural communication and the development of intercultural competence have come to occupy a central place in discussions around global competitiveness, global citizenship, internationalization processes, multilingualism, multiculturalism, conflict resolution, counter-terrorism, and much else besides.  In this talk I give an overview of the ways in which method has informed intercultural communication education and training.  I posit that with the increased neoliberalization of knowledge around the world a divide has opened up between education and training orientations to intercultural communication.  Education, has tended to opt for a critical interpretivist epistemological position, and a more relativist relationship with the empirical, whereas training has opted for an essentialist or neo-essentialist position, and a more objectivist relationship with the empirical. With the predominance of a largely Anglo-American capitalist ontology underlying global intellectual practice, the critical interpretivist position has found itself steadily less valued. The (neo-)essentialist position on the other hand has found itself preferred.  In this talk I offer a reflective critique of these developments, in addition to providing an overview of the main orientations as they currently stand.


4 pm: Vivien Zhou (Edinburgh Napier) 

A dialogic reflection on the development of intercultural competence through education and training

 In this talk, I offer some reflections on intercultural competence development by presenting a dialogue between myself and some postgraduate students regarding their learning experiences on a module that addresses this theme. I first outline how this module supported students to explore intercultural competence both as practitioners committed to raising the intercultural awareness of the wider community and as individuals themselves participating in a globalising world characterised by cultural diversities. I then invite some students to share insights from their guided reflective journeys on this module, with particular reference to their experiential activity of delivering intercultural training in real-life settings. Through an academic-practitioner dialogue, I illustrate the possibilities for intercultural competence development afforded by training interventions and some accompanying ethical dilemmas. Through a tutor-student dialogue, I demonstrate how learners may respond to intellectual exercises informed by elements drawn from the field of intercultural communication education (e.g. intercultural praxis, hermeneutic reading of narrativised experiences) with scepticism and resistance, or embrace these exercises as a learning space for developing their intercultural competence. This dialogic reflection will inform a conclusion where I consider the opportunities and challenges when the intercultural competence agenda is approached from education and training perspectives simultaneously.

Free event. All welcome. Event contact: Natalia Bremner

 Next event in the series:

Fri 17th June, 3-5pm, Room 2/05, Craiglockhart Campus

Suresh Canagarajah (Pennsylvania State University) ‘The unit of analysis in multilingual interactions: Where do we draw the line?’

For more information about the series, please contact Mabel Victoria and Natalia Bremner

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