Interacting With Competence: A Validation Study of the Self-Efficacy in Intercultural Communication Scale-Short Form

Self-efficacy encompasses the professional and personal language goals of learners as their progress depends upon a strong motivation to put practical language skills to use when the real world requires it. Intercultural communication and effectiveness are of interest to the professional and personal language goals of learners as their progress depends upon a strong motivation to put practical language skills to use when the real world requires it. Studying or working abroad and engaging in intercultural training are two such contexts that bind research in learner characteristics between applied linguistics and positive psychology as they provide a substrate of concrete interactions, transformative experiences characterized by opportunities for changes in self-concept, negotiations with values and authenticity, and forms of interpersonal development underwritten by intercultural communication as an ability. A tool to capture this domain-specific intercultural communication was previously developed with sojourner educational professionals for use among English speaking populations. However, the original study lacked confirmatory analyses of internal and external validity that would clarify model identification and applicability for research that deals with intercultural communication competence across populations with diverse sample characteristics. A total of 876 teachers (M age = 37.48, SD = 10.81) and 266 university students (M age = 19.48, SD = 0.74) in Japan responded to items from the SEIC instrument. Acceptable model fit was supported for the eight-item short form. Metric invariance was observed for individuals from a sample of sojourning English language teachers similar to the original validation and a nationwide survey of Japanese teachers of English, offering indications of cross-cultural validity. Degrees of equivalence were also found for the Japanese items as extending fitness for use to students from two universities in Japan. Concurrent validity was supported for SEIC measured by the scale with intercultural effectiveness competencies and speaking and listening self-efficacy constructs used in classroom contexts. Together, this study offers a tool of valid indicators for researchers and practitioners who aim to observe self-efficacy in positive education, intercultural training, or international programs that intersect with language learning and intercultural communication.

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