Cross-cultural competence and cultural intelligence of the teacher

Cross-cultural competence will be formed based on the developed cultural intelligence. Concept of cultural intelligence was first developed by P. Earley, I. E. Mosakowsky. Cultural intelligence means the competence to efficiently cooperate with the representatives of different cultures, to identify unfamiliar and multiple-valued treated signals, to receive necessary knowledge about cultural features, to foresee consequences of words and actions after communication with representatives of other cultures and to act in this context in a constructive way. Earley and Ang defined “cultural intelligence” as “a person’s capability for successful adaptation to new cultural settings, that is, for unfamiliar settings attributable to cultural context”. In accordance with the definition of researchers cultural intelligence is a capability to understand unfamiliar contexts and to fit into them . From our point of view genesis of the cross-cultural competence consists of the developed cultural intelligence, adequate self-analysis, social analysis and management of interpersonal relationships.

Reflection of actual experience and renewal of “databank” (feedback) also can be added. The effectively developed cultural intelligence is the very component of the individual which gives an opportunity to quickly adapt to conditions of polycultural entropy. There is no point to mention that for teachers (tutors) working in the polycultural environment the development of the cultural intelligence is one of obligatory components of the professional individuality. From our point of view against the background of the structural approach to training in cross-cultural environment, developed cultural intelligence will give an opportunity to determine individual and cultural features of the trainee (cultural and cognitive profile of the individual) and to model the right educational pathway for the trainee with the relevant style of training, adequate methods and educational content.

Cultural intelligence is multidimensional aspect which consists from four constructs, including metacognitive, cognitive, motivational and behavioral (actively-related) elements, which compose a basic model of cultural intelligence:

  1. Motivational component (motive).
  2. Cognitive component (knowledge).
  3. Metacognitive component (strategy).
  4. Activity-related/behavioral component (action).

Metacognitive element of cultural intelligence reflects the individual’s mental capability to acquire and understand cultural knowledge . Relevant abilities include planning, regulating, monitoring, and revising mental models of cultural norms . Cognitive element reflects general knowledge and knowledge structures about norms, practices, and conventions in different cultures . Motivational aspect reflects the capability to direct and sustain attention and energy toward learning about and functioning in situations characterized by cultural differences (Ang et al., 2007). And behavioral one reflects the capability to exhibit appropriate verbal and nonverbal actions when interacting with people from different cultural backgrounds (Ang et al., 2007). Thus, teachers should be able to understand cultural constructs, know their students’ cultural norms and values, aim to constructive knowledge transfer and interactions with them and develop own cultural competence.

In the environment of educational cross-culture it is important to consider:

  • Functions of cultural intelligence.
  • Development methods of cultural intelligence.
  • Measuring methods of cultural intelligence.
  • Cultural intelligence and its functional role in the educational process.

We introduce the model of cultural and relevant intelligence of the teacher (Model «CRIT») as follows:


Cognitive – emotional and operational components of educational communication
Style of training Style of teaching
Understanding of general specifics of cognitive activity of representatives of different cultural groups
Organization of educational content
Organization of educational methods
Specifics of pedagogical discourse
Features of materials
Reflection and structural feedback


One of efficient methods of development of cultural and relevant intelligence of the teacher is an intercultural training.

From our point of view for the quickest adaptation of teachers it will be useful to apply cultural assimilator directed to the adaptation for training in the virtual polycultural environment.

Intercultural competence of the teacher (tutor) working with the polycultural auditorium shall be formed taking into account:

  • Psychological and didactical problems in the cross-cultural context;
  • Culturological specifics of ergonomic design of electronic workbooks and environments;
  • National specifics of the educational content;
  • National specifics of forms of educational communication and types of discourses.

Other technologies for the development of cultural intelligence.

  1. Simulation games

At the moment in educational practices of many countries virtual environments and simulators are used for modeling situations

of inter-cultural communications to work out relevant communicational competences. This technology gives an opportunity to get

into the virtual world, to choose its own icon and to communicate in real-time. In different cultures people differently regard

virtual worlds. In the western concept of edutainment this technology elicited the response and went viral. E. Ogan (Ogan, 2009)

explored the role of virtual environments (Croquelandia, ATL, SecondChina, TLCTS, BiLAT, VECTOR) in the formation of

cultural competence and cultural adaptation. These environments use 3D technology of video games for simulation of new

cultural reality including architectural row, street scenario, clothes, culture, communication, emotions. These virtual

environments can be very useful for cultural adaptation. Many examples can be made for training of cognitive basics of work with

another culture, practical adaptivity, adequate cooperation with representatives of other cultures.

  1. Seminars and workshops related to inter-cultural communication, role-playing games, trainings and cases.


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