Assignment: Intercultural Competence Frameworks and Tools

The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.
– Confucius (550–479 BC), Chinese teacher, editor, politician

The image depicts tools in a toolbox.In order to get a job done right the first time, a professional accesses the appropriate tools before beginning a project. The job of communicating in intercultural situations requires many tools. These tools and frameworks will assist you in understanding and interpreting other cultures for positive, productive relationship building and successful interaction.

To begin to understand your level of intercultural competence and areas in which you need to improve, you need to be able to evaluate your current behaviors and reactions to intercultural situations. The Behavioral Assessment Scale for Intercultural Competence (BASIC) and description-interpretation-evaluation (D-I-E) are two evaluative tools that you can use in any situation to gain insight into your own behaviors, reactions, and perceptions. This Assignment is an opportunity to practice using evaluative tools in communication situations and will help you improve your intercultural competence.

To prepare for this Assignment:

  • Review the BASIC and D-I-E frameworks in Chapter 3 of the course text.
  • Bring to mind an example of an intercultural interaction you had with someone whose behavior was annoying or offensive to you. How did you react? What did you think to yourself? Why? Is this a common reaction for you in an intercultural situation?
  • Consider possible alternative interpretations for this person’s behavior in this situation. Use the D-I-E framework to help you.
  • Think about your own behavior during this interaction. How much intercultural competence did you demonstrate? Use the BASIC dimensions to help you.

Submit a 2- page paper with four parts in which you:

  • Part 1: Briefly, and as objectively as possible, describe the intercultural interaction with someone whose behavior was annoying or offensive to you that you thought of in the “To prepare” section.
  • Part 2: Describe the situation using the D-I-E framework. Report on the alternative interpretations and evaluations that emerged from this activity. Explain what new insight this gives you into the situation and your reaction to it.
  • Part 3: Using the BASIC dimensions, evaluate your behaviors during this interaction and explain what this evaluation reveals about your intercultural interactions.
  • Part 4: Conclude with an explanation of how this exercise would help you prepare for an international job assignment.
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