Research: Reflection & Intercultural Competence Development

Intercultural competence (ICC) is considered very important in today’s globalised world. Reflection or reflective activities are often used as methods to facilitate the development of such competence in the context of higher education (such as learning journals, reflection assignments, etc.). However, there is no broadly shared understanding of reflection and its relation to ICC and its development. We address this gap by discussing concepts of reflection and their constitutional elements (levels, content, process, and outcomes).

Moreover, we present prominent ICC models (Cultural Intelligence, Multicultural Personality) and discusses how they explicitly and implicitly relate to reflection. Based on these insights, we introduce reflection about intercultural experiences (RIE) as an integral component of ICC and its development.

We define RIE as the context specific ability to engage in reflection about intercultural experiences, which can become visible in different qualities and results in a form of learning.

In addition to the theoretical discussion, practical implications of RIE in higher education are investigated with empirical methods. An interview and analysis guideline to assess RIE will be develop. Additionally, RIE results will be compared with established ICC assessment instruments (Cultural Intelligence Scale, Multicultural Personality Questionnaire) during a longitudinal study.