Intercultural competence as part of a Finnish as a second language educator’s skillset
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Societies are becoming increasingly diverse, due to migration and globalization (Jokikokko, 2010). Hence, individuals will have increasing interactions with those from countries and cultures that are outside their own. Intercultural competence, the skillset needed to effectively communicate in a multicultural environment is one of the more sought after and increasingly needed skillset educators, who work in multicultural environments must possess. The aim of this study is to explore and better understand Finnish as second language educators’ practice and understanding of intercultural competence. There were two participants in this study and in-depth interviews, as well as classroom observations conducted by the researcher. The questions of how intercultural competence is presented in the classroom and the understanding of intercultural competence by the educators were analyzed, with key extracts taken out. Using Byram’s model of intercultural competence, it is found that educators do practice successful intercultural communication in the Finnish as a second language classroom. The practice of intercultural competence was chosen and analyzed using Byram’s model. Additionally, the complexities of the multicultural background of students is concluded and put forward as a challenge for the educators to create a successful curriculum and integration into society. Accordingly, suggestions on how to incorporate students understanding and beliefs of intercultural competence are put forward for future research that is conducted. ...
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