"To be the person who is not the native speaker". Interculturality as empathy in cross-cultural experiences abroad




Palabras clave:

Cross-cultural experience, study-abroad, cultural empathy, interculturality, communicative competence


While inter/cross-cultural learning continues as a paramount and central topic of discussion in the foreign language teaching, the current debate on intercultural communicative competence as a goal for cross-cultural experiences has gained complexity as a result of critical considerations on interculturality and language learning. Although the literature on intercultural learning is long and verbose within the scope of study-abroad, there is still much to see and explore in the lived experience of sojourners to comprehend intercultural experiences and language learning/teaching practices abroad.  This qualitative case study examined 32 students’ reflective essays with Atlas.ti for text mining and codification. Results suggest that empathy was the most salient feature to understand language, people, and culture. The lived experience of the person who is not a native speaker helped Lee University students to put themselves in someone else's position. In this vein, the role of language was pivotal to engage in the resignification of differences/similarities between cultures. This study contributes to the growing literature on the power of cross-cultural experiences for internationalization and decolonization.


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Cómo citar

Steffanell , A., & Méndez-Rivera , P. (2024). "To be the person who is not the native speaker". Interculturality as empathy in cross-cultural experiences abroad . Ñemitỹrã, 6(1), 18–35. https://doi.org/10.47133/NEMITYRA20240601-A2



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