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Moving Towards Intercultural Communicative Competence and Intercultural Citizenship: Lessons from Second Language Acquisition and Language Pedagogy for the Communication Center

Kristen Foltz, Alyssia Miller De Rutte


Studies show English language learners (ELLs) experience increased communication apprehension and foreign language anxiety more than primary English speakers. Strategies to better assist ELLs with their public speaking skills are needed, especially within communication centers. One way is to better understand the intercultural aspects of the ELL student population on specific university campuses. Using foreign language pedagogy, this article explores best practices for communication center tutors working with ELL clients. Communication centers can use this information to assess traditional tutoring models and examine how their center meets the needs of this student population. The authors argue for an organizational structure of support and inclusivity, which may be achieved with a stronger emphasis on intercultural competency, including ways to address proficiency levels and practice cultural empathy. With proper support, communication consultants can achieve intercultural communicative competence and intercultural citizenship.


English language learners; intercultural communicative competence; best practice

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Communication Center Journal