Intercultural Communication; Ethnocentrism; Intercultural Sensitivity;
All rights retained by Bryant University and Yiran Dong
Because of globalization, internationalization and diversification, abetted by the rapid development of science and technology, geographic distance is becoming a less influential factor in communication. As more and more international students go to study in different countries all over the world, it is inevitable for native students to communicate and interact with those students from different cultural backgrounds. Under such circumstances, it is vital to understand the factors that contribute to students’ intercultural sensitivity and the impact of intercultural sensitivity on ethnocentrism and intercultural communication apprehension among Chinese students (in the case of this study) for the sake of developing their proficiency as intercultural communicators in college. Using Chinese university students who study English as their academic major and Chinese university students who are not majoring in English as the samples, the purpose of this study is to investigate the fundamental state of ethnocentrism and intercultural sensitivity among Chinese university students who major in English. The predictability of a measurement of intercultural sensitivity on students’ ethnocentrism and intercultural communication apprehension is also tested in the Chinese university education context. An online survey was conducted using the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS), the Generalized Ethnocentrism Scale (GENE) and the Personal Report of Intercultural Communication Apprehension (PRICA) to measure the three variables. The results indicated that intercultural sensitivity is negatively related with ethnocentrism and intercultural communication apprehension. Students majoring in English have higher levels of intercultural sensitivity, lower levels of ethnocentrism and lower levels of intercultural communication apprehension compared with students who do not major in English. Further discussion, limitations and suggestions for further researches are provided.