Distance learners of German and intercultural competence

Baumann, Uwe and Shelley, Monica (2006). Distance learners of German and intercultural competence. Open Learning, 21(3) pp. 191–204.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02680510600953153

Abstract

The article describes a research project undertaken with advanced adult learners of German at a distance at The Open University, United Kingdom. Their gains in intercultural competence were investigated by looking at how far the students met the prescribed learning outcomes, their knowledge items, language skills, attitudes towards Germans and their assessment results. The findings show that this particular group of learners felt that they had achieved the different requirements of the stated learning outcomes to a surprisingly high level and demonstrated a high level of intercultural competence. In addition, these learners were able to articulate their opinions of commonly held attitudes and stereotypical views about Germans and offered reflective insights into why their personal attitudes differed in many respects from more commonly held views.
Keywords: Distance language learning; Learning outcomes; Intercultural competence

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