Developing and validating a cultural competence test for students of Arabic as a second language

Ebtesam Orabi


Culture represents a very important element of foreign and second language education. Teaching culture in language classroom has attracted many teachers and researchers. However, there are currently very few assessment instruments for measuring the outcome of cultural teaching. The proposed study aims at developing a measurement to assess the cultural competence of learners of Arabic as a second language who have studied in Egypt. In order to determine the cultural characteristics that should be mastered by the students of Arabic as a second language, ALI teachers were interviewed to gather information about the way they integrate culture in their teaching program. In addition ALI teachers and students were interviewed to collect data to collect the required data for designing and developing the measurement. Data collected about situations of miscommunication and conflict between foreigners and Egyptians during their cross-cultural encounters as perceived by foreign students and Egyptian teachers, reflect students’ and teachers’ perception of cultural differences between Egyptian culture and the students’ own culture. Results of administrating this measure to ALI and CASA students are presented. This measurement may be useful to educators who wish to assess students’ cultural competence.