DEGLOBALIZATION: MODEL, MEASUREMENT ANDCOUNTERMEASURESFORZHENGZHOU CITY’S UNDERGRADUATE ENGLISH MAJORS’INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION COMPETENCE

Author: YAN BING

Issue: 2023-2024

Abstract:

The last decade has seen a rapid development of the trend toward deglobalization, which gives rise to protectionism, populism and extremism. For China, the dilemma where ever-growing needs for international interaction in a barrier-ridden world is becoming increasingly obvious. Zhengzhou city is an important node city of the “Belt and Road Initiative”, therefore, undergraduate English majors are burdened with the responsibility to step up China’s effort in international exchanges and be inter-culturally competent . This study aims at providing sound countermeasures based on questionnaire survey and quantitative analysis.

A questionnaire containing 55 items in 5 dimensions is designed based on existing Intercultural Communication Competence (ICC) surveys. It is then submitted to 6 experts, by whose advice, the questionnaire is revised into 48 items in 4 dimensions. 351 undergraduate English majors from 4 Zhengzhou-based universities participated in the questionnaire survey. The validity and reliability test showed a KMO of 0.968 and the Cronbach α of 0.980, which guarantee good validity and reliability. Also, the CFA shows a Std. Estimate over 0.7, indicating all the items have strong correlation.

Through descriptive analysis, it is found:

The ICC median is 160.44, transformed to a scale of 5, it is 3.34, meaning The ICC of students just surpasses “partially achieved” level, developing toward “well achieved”.

Through differential study, it is found:

1. There is no notable difference between the high, middle, low records and not attending group, which means the TEM-4 is not effective in evaluating students’ ICC.

2. The English subject record of students’ College Entrance Examination, however, is a strong indicator with notable differences in 26 items and the higher the score is, the higher ICC is. This means the exam has taken the factor of ICC into consideration.

3. First and second tier university students are more inter-culturally competent than those of the third tiers in 26 items, indicating there is gap of teaching effectiveness among the tiers;

4. Students who have participated in IC activities are more competent in 27 items.

5. The year students are in has no notable difference in relation to ICC except 5 items, indicating freshmen’s ICC are slightly higher.

6. Concerning gender, ICC is notably different in 10 items, with males’ higher than females.

7. As for learning IC knowledge from other courses, difference are notable in 45 items , suggesting input from other courses can greatly enhance students ICC.

8. Surprisingly, students who have learned the course of IC show no notable difference to those who haven’t, indicating the IC course must undergo major reform.

To conclude, the major factors leading to different ICC are participation in IC activities, learning IC from other courses, College Entrance Examination, tier of university, while TEM-4, gender, year in college, and whether or not learning IC course exert no notable influence on students’ ICC.

In terms of countermeasures, first, on the level of government, College Entrance Examination and TEM4/TEM8 should increase the assessment of ICC in the tests to give students more impetus. Second, on the level of university authorities, efforts should be made to borrow first tier university’s good experience of teaching. Also, reconsideration should be made on the design of IC course to realign the course’s objectives with the ICC model and highlights the training of competence rather than explaining theories. In the meantime, the IC course should cooperate with other courses to ensure enough knowledge, attitude, skills and crisis management input. On the level of teachers, each student group should at least has one male student. Moreover, college is an important period of value transformation. Proper value and attitude guidance should be provided accordingly. Finally, it’s also imperative for teachers to actively engage in academic exchanges with first tier universities to update their knowledge and awareness.

Keywords: Deglobalization, ICC, model, countermeasures