Fostering Intercultural Competence Through Virtual Exchange in Japanese Higher Education


This research project investigates the experiences of Japanese university students who participate in virtual exchange programs and how students’ intercultural competence enhances after the participation of a program. Intercultural competence is emerging as a significant educational skill in Japanese higher education, yet most intercultural competence frameworks have been developed by Western scholars with Western perspectives and often do not include other cultural views of intercultural competence. Moreover, intercultural competence frameworks have been designed on an assumption that interactions are carried out in physical contexts and do not yet appear to have been applied to online context. This research project, therefore, aims to examine the potentials of “virtual exchanges” to support the development of intercultural competence focusing on Japanese university students. The key research design tools are a self-inventory assessment, the Cultural Intelligence Scale (CQS) and semi-structured interviews. The results of CQS are processed with SPSS and conducted statistical analysis of paired data. Interview data is used for inductive thematic analysis. Both quantitative and qualitative data are then cross analysed. This paper will showcase preliminary results gained from a virtual exchange program, IVEProject. Statistical analysis from pre-and post-survey showed that among four capabilities from CQS -metacognitive, cognitive, behavioural, and motivational - the cognitive capability showed the most significant change. Based on qualitative data, some significance themes were identified which are often not prioritised in the dominant intercultural competence frameworks. Although further analysis is required to substantiate findings from surveys and interviews, the data revealed that virtual exchange experiences had a positive impact on students’ development of intercultural competence.

Author Information
Yoko Matsumoto, Monash University, Australia

Paper Information
Conference: WorldCALL2023
Stream: Collaborative Learning and Telecollaboration / Virtual Exchange

This paper is part of the WorldCALL2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Matsumoto Y. (2024) Fostering Intercultural Competence Through Virtual Exchange in Japanese Higher Education ISSN: 2759-1182 – WorldCALL2023: Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon