Effects of Intercultural Competence and Social Contact on Speech Act Production in a Chinese Study Abroad Context

Naoko Taguchi, Feng Xiao, Shuai Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigated the effects of intercultural competence and amount of social contact in the development of pragmatic knowledge. All these variables were time-varying variables and measured twice over a 3-month study abroad. Participants were 109 American college students studying Chinese in a semester study-abroad program in Beijing. Using Kelley & Meyers's (1995) instrument, intercultural competence—defined as one's potential to succeed in intercultural adjustment—was measured by 4 factors: emotional resilience, flexibility/openness, perceptual acuity, and personal autonomy. A survey was used to assess the amount of time spent on a variety of social activities in Chinese. Pragmatic knowledge was measured with a spoken task, which assessed participants’ ability to produce speech acts (k = 24). Latent Growth Curve Modeling showed that cross-cultural adaptability and social contact, when combined, explained 26% of pragmatic gains. Cross-cultural adaptability had no significant direct effect to speech acts gains: It had indirect effects through social contact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)775-796
Number of pages22
JournalModern Language Journal
Volume100
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • intercultural competence
  • L2 Chinese
  • pragmatic competence
  • social contact
  • study abroad

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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