Developing Intercultural Sensitivity Through Interculturally-Laden Tasks: Male vs. Female Iranian EFL Learners

Document Type : Original Article


English Department, Maragheh Branch, Islamic Azad University, Maragheh, Iran


In recent decades, developing intercultural sensitivity is one of the formidable challenges in foreign language education. EFL learners require appropriate intercultural skills to interact more effectively in culturally diverse settings. This study aimed to examine the effectiveness of using interculturally-laden tasks in enhancing Iranian English language learner' intercultural sensitivity in Anzali, Iran. To this end, a sample of 44 intermediate EFL learners was selected through convenience sampling from a pool of 60 based on their performance on Quick Oxford Placement Test. The sample was then randomly assigned to a control group, with no intercultural training, and an experimental group receiving intercultural training during an eighteen-session treatment. Afterward, Chen and Starosta's intercultural sensitivity scale (ISS) and seven intercultural tasks were administered for two groups to evaluate their level of intercultural sensitivity prior to and after treatment implementation. The data collected through ISS was analyzed by conducting a multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA). Moreover, the data from intercultural tasks went through content analysis. The results manifested a notable enhancement of experimental groups' intercultural sensitivity under the definitions of Byram's ICC model. However, no significant difference between male and female learners' intercultural sensitivity was detected. Implications and suggestions for further research are discussed.


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