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Academic Paper

Title: Assessing intercultural capability in learning languages: Some issues and considerations
Author: Angela Scarino
Institution: University of South Australia
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Language Acquisition
Abstract: Teachers of languages, as well as educators in general and employers, increasingly recognise the importance of developing intercultural capability. This recognition, however, brings the question of how this is evidenced as an outcome of learning. The assessment of this capability poses a range of theoretical and practical challenges. I begin with a description of languages learning within an intercultural orientation and a model for understanding assessment. I then discuss issues of conceptualising and defining the construct, as integral to the process of assessment. Next, I consider issues in eliciting intercultural capability in a proposed framework that includes assessment as both communicative performance (elicited in ‘critical moments’) and meta-awareness (elicited in commentaries). To conclude, I discuss issues related to identifying and judging evidence of the development of the intercultural capability and warranting the inferences made about students' developing understanding. The discussion is based on the experience of ongoing studies investigating the assessment of the intercultural capability in learning languages and in international education.


This article appears IN Language Teaching Vol. 42, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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