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Assessing intercultural competence: a framework for systematic test development in foreign language education and beyond

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The importance of intercultural competence is being increasingly recognized by educators and employers alike. Both in the professional and educational domain, ways are being sought to assess whether or not people have actually acquired intercultural competence. In this paper, a framework is presented for the systematic development of assessment tools. The paper first addresses the question of why the assessment of intercultural competence is important. Secondly, basic definitions and foundations regarding intercultural competence are outlined, and the implications for the assessment of intercultural competence are discussed. Thirdly, a framework for the assessment of test quality is presented, and a number of criteria that affect the quality of tools for assessing intercultural competence are discussed. Finally, the framework is applied to two existing approaches to the assessment of intercultural competence commonly used in foreign language education.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: K.U. Leuven Belgium

Publication date: March 1, 2004

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