Novice vs. Seasoned Iranian EFL Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices about Intercultural Communicative Competence

Elmira Shirazi, Sajad Shafiee


Intercultural communication competence (ICC) is assumed to be necessary subcomponent of the overall L2 competence inasmuch as intercultural communication is opt to failure or even adverse consequences in case misunderstanding arises between the culturally-heterogeneous interlocutors. Taking the preponderant role of the ICC into account, the current study sought to examine the perceptions and classroom practices of novice and seasoned EFL teachers in Iran to find out whether there were discrepancies between the two groups of participants regarding their perceptions and practices, and whether the perceptions of the teachers in each group were translated into action through their classroom practices or not. To this end, 152 English teachers who were at work in three language institutes in Isfahan, Iran, were asked to fill out two questionnaires, one on the beliefs about ICC and the other on the teachers’ ICC practices. Descriptive statistics such as frequencies and mean scores, as well as Man-Whitney U test and Pearson correlation were employed to analyze the data and come up with the following results: (a) in terms of the attitude, knowledge, skills, importance, and relevance subsections of the Teachers Beliefs towards ICC Questionnaire, the ostensibly marked differences between the novice and seasoned teachers failed to reach statistical significance, (b) although there were statistically significant differences between the activities that novice and seasoned teachers utilized, and between the extent to which they familiarized and addressed ICC in their classes, the other subsections of the Teachers’ ICC Practices, including time, supplementary materials, and barrier subsections, did not unveil statistically significant differences between the two groups of teachers under investigation, and (c) there were strong positive relationships between the beliefs and practices of both novice (r = 67) and seasoned (r = 74) teachers. Implications of the study ensued the discussion of the results.


intercultural communicative competence; beliefs; practices; novice; seasoned; EFL teachers

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