The Links between Intercultural Communication Competence and Identity Construction in the University of Western Cape (UWC) Community

John Wankah Foncha, Sivakumar Sivasubramaniam


This paper is part of a longitudinal research in which we investigate the challenges to intercultural communication competence in the use of English as a second language (L2) at a tertiary institution; a higher education learning space characterized by diversity. The paper focuses on Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). It further looks at spatiality where movements (migration) account for the creation of new spaces and language trajectories that culminate in the construction of new identities. The paper makes use of an integrative model to determine where misunderstanding comes from in interactions. Finally, Author’s (2013) concept of integrated intercultural communication competence model is also used to signpost the central role of theorizing in this investigation. Our principal objectives of this portion of the ethnographic study wasto investigate/explore how an L2 or foreign language is used to construct identities among the diverse participants of the UWC community. The participants include students and staff from this institution. The main tools that we used for data collection were interviews, questionnaires and participant observation. The significance of such a study is to achieve/promote competence in intercultural communication and language learning where we see language learning could thrive as a social practice.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n10p376

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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