Welcome to Francis Academic Press

Frontiers in Educational Research, 2024, 7(3); doi: 10.25236/FER.2024.070303.

Exploring Debates in Intercultural Foreign Language Education in the Chinese Context


Jun Luo

Corresponding Author:
Jun Luo

Sino-German Institute of Design and Communication, Zhejiang Wanli University, Ningbo, China


In the world characterised by globalisation, internationalisation and multiculturalism, intercultural communication and intercultural conflicts have become part and parcel of people's daily lives. Thus, as a new direction of educational development advocated by most educational authorities, intercultural education emerges to facilitate mutual understanding and mediate conflicts in globalisation. As a teaching mode that combines language teaching with intercultural education, intercultural foreign language teaching is a significant direction of foreign language education development and the most effective intercultural education channel in the 21st century. This paper investigates the current practice and research of intercultural foreign language education, intending to identify problems existing in China. By analysing the definition, framework, and pedagogy of intercultural foreign language education, this paper aims to identify issues under debate and propose some challenges for future research and practice in China's intercultural foreign language education.


Intercultural Communicative Competence, Intercultural Education, Intercultural Foreign Language Education

Cite This Paper

Jun Luo. Exploring Debates in Intercultural Foreign Language Education in the Chinese Context. Frontiers in Educational Research (2024) Vol. 7, Issue 3: 14-20. https://doi.org/10.25236/FER.2024.070303.


[1] Byram, M. (1997). Teaching and assessing intercultural communicative competence. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

[2] Byram, M. (2008). From foreign language education to education for intercultural citizenship: Essays and reflections. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

[3] Byram, M. (2021). Teaching and assessing intercultural communicative competence: Revisited (2nd ed.). Blue Ridge Summit: Multilingual Matters.

[4] Byram, M. & Feng, A. (2004). Culture and language learning: teaching, research and scholarship. Language Teaching, 37(3), pp. 149-168

[5] Deardorff, D. K. (2006). Identification and assessment of intercultural competence as a student outcome of internationalization. Journal of Studies in International Education, 10 (3), pp. 241-266.

[6] Department of higher education, Ministry of Education (2007). The Chinese College English Curriculum Requirements (CECR). Beijing: foreign language teaching and Research Press (in Chinese).

[7] English section of the Steering Committee on foreign language teaching in colleges and universities (2000). Chinese English Syllabus for English Majors (CESEM). Beijing: foreign language teaching and Research Press (in Chinese).

[8] Fantini, A.E. (2009). Assessing intercultural competence. The SAGE handbook of intercultural competence, pp. 456-476.

[9] Feng, A. W. (2009). Identity, “acting interculturally” and aims for bilingual education: an example from China. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 30(4), pp. 283-296.

[10] Gao, Y. H. (1998). “Dao” and “Qi” of intercultural communicative competence. Language teaching and Research, 3, pp. 39-53 (in Chinese).

[11] Gu, X. L. (2017), The theoretical and practical model of intercultural communicative competence in foreign language teaching. Foreign Language World, 1, pp. 79-88 (in Chinese).

[12] Han, X. H. (2014). Cultivating College Students’ Intercultural Communicative Competence—From the Perspective of College English Teachers. Foreign Language Research, (3): 106-110. (in Chinese)

[13] Holmes, P. & Neill, G (2012) .Developing and evaluating intercultural competence: Ethnographies of intercultural encounters. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 36, 707-718.

[14] Hu, W. Z. (2013). How to position intercultural communicative competence in foreign language teaching. Foreign Languages (06), pp. 2-8 (in Chinese).

[15] Huang, W. H. (2015). An Empirical Study of Process-oriented Cultural Teaching and Intercultural Communication Competence Cultivation. Journal of PLA University of Foreign Languages, (1): pp. 51-58. (in Chinese)

[16] Liddicoat, A.J. and Scarino, A. (2013). Intercultural language teaching and learning. John Wiley & Sons.

[17] Liu, X. (2022). Foreign Intercultural Communication Research: Paradigms, Methods, and Implications. Foreign Language Teaching Theory and Practice, (2), 61-68.

[18] Ministry of Education of the People Republic of China. (2011). The English curriculum standard for Compulsory Education. Beijing: Beijing Normal University Press (in Chinese).

[19] Peng, R. Z., Fu, R. R & Wu, W. P. (2020). Research on theoretical and practical models of intercultural foreign language teaching in the new era. Foreign Language World (04), 45-53(in Chinese).

[20] Sun, Y. Z. (2016). Foreign language education and intercultural competence training. China Foreign Languages, 13 (03), pp.17-22 (in Chinese).

[21] Wang, L. (2012). Teaching objectives and assessing methods of intercultural communicative competence. In Zhuang, E. (Ed.), Intercultural teaching approach: Research and practices (pp. 56–64). Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press (in Chinese).

[22] Wiseman, R. L. (2001). Intercultural communication competence. In W. Gudykunst & B. Mody (Eds.), Handbook of international and intercultural communication. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. pp. 207–224

[23] Xu, L. S. (2000), Intercultural communicative competence, Foreign Language Teaching and Research, 7, pp. 17-21 (in Chinese)

[24] Yang, Y., & Zhuang, E. P. (2007). Constructing a framework for intercultural communicative competence in foreign language education. Foreign Language World, 4, pp. 13–21 (in Chinese).

[25] Zhang, H. L. (2012) Intercultural education oriented foreign language teaching: history, current situation and future. Foreign Language World, 12 (02), 2-7 (in Chinese).

[26] Zhang, H. L. (2018). A study on the evaluation of intercultural competence based on Contest: a case study of the SFLEP Shanghai Intercultural Competence Contest, Foreign Language World, 1, pp. 52-60 (in Chinese).

[27] Zhang, L. Y. & Chen, Y. (2012). Experimental Research on the Cultivating of Intercultural Qualities. Foreign Langue Research, (3): 129-131. (in Chinese)

[28] Zhong, H.& Fan, W. (2013). Theoretical framework for assessing intercultural communicative competence of Chinese college students. China Foreign Language Education, 3, pp.19–28 (in Chinese).

[29] Zhang, H., & Yao, C. (2020). Constructing an Integrated Model for the Development of Intercultural Competence in Chinese Students. Foreign Language World, (4), 35-44, 53 (in Chinese).

[30] Zhang, P. (2021). Bibliometric Analysis and Enlightenment of International Intercultural Foreign Language Teaching Research (2001–2020). Foreign Language Electronic Teaching, 0(3), 30-36, 5.

[31] Zhuang E. P. (2012). Intercultural Foreign Language Teaching. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press (in Chinese).