Date of this Version


Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Details

Published version

Malczewska-Webb, B. (2014). Cultural and intercultural awareness of international students at an Australian university. In A. Lyda & K. Szczesniak (Eds.), Awareness in Action: The Role of Consciousness in Language Acquisition (pp. 225-239). Switzerland: Springer International Publishing

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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014




The aims of this chapter are to examine the issues concerning cultural and intercultural awareness of international students at an Australian university. First, the chapter explores the multidimensional nature of linguistic and cultural awareness and focuses on the distinction between cultural and intercultural awareness (Liddicoat and Scarino 2009). The data was collated from the survey administered to one hundred international students who responded to open questions investigating their international experience of studying and living in Australia. The analysis of the data addressed different criteria including the indicators of the development of cultural and intercultural awareness, deficit and surplus aspects of the students’ experience and student linguistic and cultural background. Research outcomes suggested that overall the students built a rich repertoire of facts about the second language and culture which contributed to the development of cultural awareness. However, the evidence for the development of intercultural awareness was very limited. This pointed to the fact that student participation in the international experience does not warranty the attainment of the ultimate goal of the international education, the development of the intercultural competence. The chapter stresses the importance of the systematic focused tasks assisting students in becoming intercultural beings. Further, the development of cultural and intercultural awareness and the themes in students’ remarks are examined from the perspective of student cultural and linguistic background. The conclusions refer to the complexity of students’ international experience and point to the dynamic nature of students in transition.



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