Volume 4, Issue 3 December 2021, pp. 213–233 Download PDF

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Exploring students’ perceptions about intercultural communication education: Rethinking the design and facilitation of a course in Japan

Todd Allen https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4958-31931

1 Kansai University, JAPAN tjallen@kansai-u.ac.jp

DOI: https://doi.org/10.29140/ice.v4n3.475


Researchers and intercultural educators have put forward various theoretical principles and pedagogical ideas related to the design and implementation of intercultural communication (IC) courses. Recently, researchers have called for curriculum development to include students’ voices about their intercultural communication education (ICE). This paper reports on a study which examined 42 students’ perceptions of an intercultural communication course taught over one semester at a university in Japan, focusing in particular on motivations for students’ intercultural learning and their strategies for maintaining or further developing their IC competence upon completing their studies. Students were also asked to consider the significance of ICE in terms of their life experiences. Survey results revealed that participants enrolled in the IC course to reflect on their study abroad experiences, develop tangible skills for their vocations, and effectively manage IC interactions. They also claimed that learning about perceptions and IC transitions contributed to their understanding of their own experiences and broader intercultural issues. The study contributes to understanding of what students who choose to enrol in an IC course potentially seek from such a course in this context and how they interpret its significance in terms of their own goals and anticipated life trajectories. It also offers some implications for the design of future IC courses.


© Todd Allen

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Suggested citation

Allen, T. J. (2021). Exploring students’ perceptions about intercultural communication education: Rethinking the design and facilitation of a course in Japan. Intercultural Communication Education, 4(3), 213–233. https://doi.org/10.29140/ice.v4n3.475

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