The purpose of this paper is to analyze how Intercultural Communication is a necessary course for students to learn how to communicate in a healthy, tolerant and respectful manner when pursuing higher education, for miscommunication can result from ethnocentric behavior when dealing with people from various cultural backgrounds.Design/methodology/approachA survey method of research was adopted and questionnaires were administered to two sets of students: those who have taken Intercultural Communications and those who have not. A total of 192 valid responses from students were received from the School of Basic Sciences and Humanities, German Jordanian University. The first survey falls under the nominal analysis of a dichotomous questionnaire, and the results were measured with Cronbach’s α to test the reliability of the its consistency. The second questionnaire’s items were uni-dimensional, and so the Guttman chart was used to conduct students’ comprehension of global communication.FindingsThe results of this study have shown that the first questionnaire has a strong consistency (0.86); students have successfully understood the dynamics of cross-cultural communication, and used that knowledge to aid and prepare them for future careers. As for students who have not taken IC, they have answered the second questionnaire with great confidence in the first category of personal expectations, but fluctuated in their answers when answering the category of self-development and cultural appreciation. ZPD1 and ZPD2 have proven that students need their teacher to learn new knowledge and insights which they can gain from an IC course.Research limitations/implicationsApart from the valuable contributions of the study, this study is performed at one public university, and the students, despite their diverse cultural backgrounds and majors, restrict the findings of this research from generalizing the results. Hence, future studies in this area are deeply encouraged, especially when comparing between private and public universities, and how IC is interrelated to other courses in the humanities; moreover, IC as an academic course can bridge the gap between student–teacher relationships.Originality/valueThe scarcity of a diverse course that teaches intercultural skills in communication has become a growing necessity in this day and age, especially in the Middle East and particularly in Jordan. Due to globalization and informatization, Jordanian students are constantly exposed to cultural and religious differences, and to have them engage in a healthy, well-respected conversation is the core aim of this paper, for tolerance and understanding are constantly on high demand. Students learn these skills in IC, and this course reflects how essential a course like this can play a great role in a student’s development.
Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 13, 2020
Keywords: Jordan; Higher education; Social sciences; German Jordanian University; Intercultural Communications; Student development