Investigating Intercultural Communication Sensitivity of First and Fourth Grade ELT Learners.

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Bursa Uludağ University, EĞİTİM FAKÜLTESİ, YABANCI DİLLER EĞİTİMİ, Turkey

Approval Date: 2021

Thesis Language: English

Student: Emin Gürkan

Supervisor: Çiğdem Karatepe




Over the last decades, the world has become a global village with the effect of developing technology and communication opportunities, and this intercultural communication has increased the importance of the concept of sensitivity as never before. However, when the literature is examined, the number of studies focusing intercultural communication sensitivity levels of ELT teachers, who are more exposed to cultural concepts, is limited in relation to variables such as watching TV series, overseas experience and playing online games. Therefore, the objective of the current study is to investigate pre-service ELT teachers’ intercultural communication sensitivity depending on these variables.  The universe of the study comprises 210 freshmen and seniors; 114 of whom are freshmen, and 96 of whom are seniors at ELT departments in Turkey. In this particular study, a mixed-method design is provided with quantitative and qualitative data. To obtain quantitative data, an Intercultural Communicate Sensitivity Scale designed by Chen and Starosta is administered. This scale includes five sub-dimensions involving interaction engagement, respect of cultural differences, interaction confidence, interaction enjoyment, and interaction attentiveness. Obtained results from the data indicate that intercultural communication sensitivity levels of seniors is higher compared to freshmen. It has been revealed that there is a positive correlation between time spent for watching foreign TV series and ICS level of pre-service ELT teachers.  These results underline that the level of ICS can be improved by taking trend educational paradigms into consideration to provide better culturally-loaded learning environments for ELT departments in Turkey.

Key words: culture, intercultural communication, communication sensitivity, English language teachers, intercultural competence