Portland State University. Department of Applied Linguistics.
Marjorie S. Terdal
Date of Award
Master of Arts (M.A.) in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Teaching English as a Second Language
1 online resource (ix, 112 p.)
Foreign study, Intercultural communication, Multiculturalism -- Psychological aspects, Adjustment (Psychology)
With growing recognition of the duality of language and culture, the TESOL profession is placing increasing emphasis on the importance of understanding intercultural dynamics in the second language classroom. Currently, however, there is a lack of empirical information and measurement instruments to aid understanding within the field of cross-cultural communication. In response to this lack of instrumentation, Kelley and Meyers (1993) recently created the Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory (CCAI), a 5 0-item, self-perception inventory designed to measure cross-cultural adaptability through a total score and four contributing dimensions: Emotional Resilience, Flexibility/Openness, Perceptual Acuity and Personal Autonomy. The two primary purposes of this study were: (1) to add to a limited empirical base by studying the effect of four independent variables--host culture contact, cultural distance, second language proficiency, and length of previous experience abroad--on the dependent variable of cross-cultural adaptability; (2) to explore the possibility of using the CCAI for cross-cultural training in the TESOL profession. Two hundred and forty-five college/university students from two schools participated in the study. Subjects were selected based on location and length of previous cross-cultural experience abroad. Twenty-eight subjects with academic minors in TESOL were also specifically selected. The statistical methodology of this study differed from that of Kelley and Meyers in its treatment of the CCAI Likert scale data as ordinal rather than interval data. After creating an index based on rank scores, one-way analysis of variance and Pearson's correlation coefficient were used for statistical analysis. Overall, the four primary variables of the study were shown to be significantly related to self-perceptions of cross-cultural adaptability. Of the four, cultural distance showed the weakest relationship. One scale, Personal Autonomy, stood out for consistently different results than those of the other three scales. Results were also discussed for TESOL vs. non-TESOL minors, age, gender, and satisfaction with sojourn abroad.
King, Heidi C., "Study Abroad and Self-perceptions of Cross-Cultural Adaptability" (1996). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 5285.