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Durham e-Theses
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Intercultural communication: the perceptions of university students learning Chinese as a foreign language in China

LIU, ZHAOYI (2019) Intercultural communication: the perceptions of university students learning Chinese as a foreign language in China. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This study investigates the ways learners of Chinese as a foreign language experience intercultural communication in China. The Chinese context and diversity of participants’ linguistic and cultural backgrounds have provided a unique setting while filling a gap in the research around intercultural experience in a Chinese university setting. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews, aiming to understand participants’ perceptions of intercultural communicative competence and identity.
This study found that participants were motivated to study Chinese and to engage in intercultural communication through their desire to improve career prospects and/or to integrate into the host Chinese community. These motivations developed, interacted and changed over time as documented in this thesis. Four main challenges arising from intercultural communication emerged from the study are: language issues, unfamiliarity with cultural practices, nonverbal communication and stereotypes. According to participants’ accounts, the success of intercultural communication and the development of intercultural communicative competence were influenced by their willingness to communicate and motivation, attitudes towards intercultural communication, language proficiency and the skill of discovery. Participants experienced intercultural communication as a process of negotiation and transformation in identity, during which they moved from positioning themselves or being positioned as an ‘outsider’ to gradually becoming an ‘insider’. This change was significantly influenced by their developing intercultural communicative competence.
By focusing on the experiences and perceptions of this under-researched group, international students of Chinese as a foreign language in China, this study contributes to the literature on intercultural communication and offers practical implications for educational institutions, foreign language education, and individuals in the context of China.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Education
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:04 Sep 2019 12:21

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