Intercultural Competence Of Multicultural Personality Of A Student


Russian educational system. The level of intercultural communication in Russia in general demonstrates an attentive attitude and interest in national languages and cultures of representatives either of "titular" or "non-titular" nationalities living in the territory of a particular region. Formation of intercultural competence is carried out in several directions. This acquaintance with the culture of a target language country occurs through a language acquirement and assimilating of behavior model of speakers of foreign culture, and also through development of personality under the influence of the native culture and culture of a target language country. At the present stage of its development, world education starts to actualize a dialogue context of cultures. The main goal of the dialogue of cultures is training not just of a qualified specialist, but also of a "man of culture", capable and ready to carry out interpersonal and intercultural communication. A multicultural linguistic personality possesses intercultural competence, which is a component of communicative competence, is capable to analyze cultural differences, and at the same time participates actively in the dialogue of cultures. It is concluded that active use of regional geographic and socio-cultural information is an important means to enhance integrative motivation of students and development of positive attitudes towards the target language country, and also promotes efficient formation of intercultural competence of students. Special attention is paid to specificity of languages and cultures in the South Russian region, and the inseparability of language and culture.

Keywords: Multi-ethnicityglobalizationmulticultural personalityintercultural competencelanguage training


The Russian Federation is one of the largest multiethnic states. According to statistics, there are 176 ethnic groups, nations, and nationalities living in Russia. At that, linguistic and cultural richness of Russia is determined by 160 languages. The Russian language serves as a language of international communication, and other languages of different Russian nationalities include 62 minority languages, which are recognized by speakers as both historical and cultural heritage.

Problem Statement

Globalization makes it necessary to form a “person who is able to lead active and effective life in multiethnic and multicultural environment, has high sense of understanding and respect of other cultures, is capable to live in peace and quiet with people of different nationalities, races, and believes” (Suprunova, 2013, p. 233); In the first instance, the problem of formation of a multicultural person able to find abilities to minimize misunderstandings in socio-cultural situations and show patience becomes urgentfor educational environment of a specified region.

In autonomous republics of the North Caucasus – subjects of the Russian Federation – the function of languages of “titular ethnic groups” was changed. A language of “titular nation” is used as an everyday language and a language of cultural communication of people in a specified territory. Government regulates conditions that provide representatives of different ethnic and cultural groupswith means of self-expression and self-fulfillment. In addition, issues of interethnic integration of people living in the multinational South–Russian region – the North Caucasus region – are addressed in practice. The all-Russian level of intercultural communication demonstrates an attentive attitude and interest in national languages and cultures of both “titular” and “non-titular” nationalities living on the territory of a specified region.

Polyethnicity is development and functioning of the secondary school educational system in metropolises and hinterlands with due regard to linguistic, cultural, and spiritual differences of multiethnic contingent of pupils.

In Russian educational environment, the Russian language and other national languages are functioning in the following way:

  • the Russian language acts as an official and educational language;

  • a native (non-Russian) language is considered as an official language of national state entities and educational language.

This correlation is determined by national characteristics of a region, socio-cultural circumstances of a given educational organization – school, lyceum, university, etc. “Some researchers consider that both native and non-native languages could act as independent subjects and at the same time as a means of teaching other subjects. The process of teaching could be completed either on the monolingual base (using one of the languages) or on the bilingual base (using both languages in teaching a specific subject)” (Redko, 2015, р.287).

Research Questions

The problem of multicultural and ethnocultural education becomes a special task of educational policy of the state. Appearing and resolving of this problem are determined by some facts:

  • Multinational population of the Russian Federation;

  • increasing quantity of labor migrants (2nd place in the world);

  • globalization.

At the present stage of its development the global education started actualizing the context of dialogue between cultures. The main goal of such dialogue is not only training of high qualified specialists, but also training of a “person of culture” who is ready and able to accomplish personal interaction and intercultural communication. A multicultural linguistic individual possessing intercultural competence, which becomes a component of communicative competence, is able to analyze culture varieties and differences and at the same time to take an active part in culture dialogue. Multiculture as an ability to understand a person of another culture, as a possibility to enrich its own culture becomes an imprescriptible characteristic of a linguistic individual, while also being an effective means to address negative tendencies of development of the modern world.

Deep knowledge about native speakers' world, culture of a target language country, native speakers' way of living, national character and mentality encourage an effective formation of intercultural competence during the process of teaching foreign/non-native language. In such a manner, the process of formation of intercultural competence in teaching languages rested on culturological content. Active using of cross-cultural and socio-cultural information is a very important instrument to increase pupils’ incentive and to develop favorability not only toward a target language but also toward a target language country. In substantive terms, this position can be implemented by the means of linguistic and cultural content of microtexts and microdialogues in oral and written speech. Development of intercultural competence is carried out in different directions. Firstly, it is acquaintance with culture of a target language country through language learning and catching on to behaviour model of foreign culture members, as well as personal development under influence of both native and foreign cultures.

Purpose of the Study

Formation and development of multicultural educational environment remains an actual target for education in Russia. It will be comfortable for a pupil or a student to be in such environment. This research is devoted to resolving of these problems.

Content of multicultural education includes the following components:

  • catching on to fundamental concepts, which determine the diversity of the world;

  • Development of emotional favorability toward various cultures;

  • Formation of skills that constitute behavioural culture of the world.

Being multicultural, educational environment is beyond territorial limits and understood as informational psychological social environment with pedagogical touch. Concept of a complicated multilevel environmental organization and self-organization serves as a link between simple empiric insight into educational institution (for example, educational environment of a multiethnic educational school) and insight into it as a whole system.

Research Methods

The main method of this research is analysis conditions of multicultural education in Russian schools, universities, and colleges. A review of existing possibilities of teaching foreign languages was made. As a rule, a teacher of a foreign/non-native language uses information of comparative nature to make the process of interconnected teaching more effective. It is necessary to organize active multicultural dialogue and effective communication among pupils and students.


The Russian state recognizes equal rights for preservation and development of all languages, warrants governmental support and protection to every language whether of its status or quantity of people speaking this language.

Modern educational environment increases manifold the level of personal freedom,

creating special conditions for realization of individual capability of disambiguation and conversion of grounds for effective co-operation, formation of individual educational line.

Polyethnicity is an objective part of the modern Russian society and it influences on the educational system of the state. It must be admitted that the modern education is one of the main governmental and social institutes responsible for development of the society, which prepares a certain person and the whole generation for “aboveethnic” reality (Shendrik, 2003).

A multicultural person, becoming a bilingual or multilingual person, adopts intercultural competence. Intercultural competence means an ability to perform communication in foreign/non-native language with due rerard to specific characteristics of national cultures, overcoming mentality stereotypes. Intercultural competence is a complex of knowledge and skills which enables an individual to evaluate properly a communicative situation, use effectively verbal and non-verbal media, and implement intentions in practice, control results of communicative intentions and communication through feedback(Miliuk, 2017); It should be noted that a language itself encapsulates possibilities to impress moral and ethic ideals. Fulfilling its “creating culture” function, a language is a universal code of ethnic morality.

According to up to date requirements of teaching methods, the process of teaching a foreign/non-native language as a means of communication between representatives of various nations and cultures is fulfilled in close connection with world-view learning and national culture of people speaking this foreign/non-native language. The difficulty in resolving of this problem is complicated by the fact that communication is not only a verbal process. Except of knowledge of a language, the efficiency of the process depends on many factors: conditions and culture of communication, etiquette, knowledge of non-verbal forms of expression, existence of deep background knowledge, and many others. Overcoming of a language barrier becomes insufficient to reach effective communication between people of different cultures. Special and additional efforts are made to overcome a cultural barrier. A language does not exist beyondand with out culture. In the first instance, a language does not function beyond social inherent volume of practical skills and ideas specific for the mode of life of a certain nation.

Formation of intercultural competence requires of all participants of the language learning process not only understanding of culture and “civilization” of a target language but also a teacher’s knowledge of cross-cultural background of pupils or students. A teacher should show respect and interest to history and culture of pupils or students. In this case comparative conceptualization of different phenomena makes it easier to get acquainted with national history, literature, geography of a target language country. The information, personally significant for students, appears, and their ability to express themselves in dialogues, intercultural communication, discussions on different facts, and demonstration of two and more cultures increases(Daver, 2011);

Nowadays, the strategic goal in the process of teaching a foreign language involves formation of a secondary language personality, possessing intercultural competence and able to reach a desired result on the base of co-understanding and social co-operation on international level. Development of intercultural competence of future interpreters/ translators in the course of their practical acquisition of a foreign language, complicity and special aspects of organizing of teaching as a process of co-learning of alanguage and culture process are an important part of a specialist training. Experience has shown that it is necessary to develop intercultural competence effectively in the process of direct intercultural contact or in a situation of interpersonal and intercultural communication.


Language and cultural variety is one of the most valuable elements of world and all-Russian cultural heritage, and at the same time it is a philosophy of intercultural social co-operation in any multicultural and multilingual society. One of consequences of multinationality is a plurality of value-based systems that are not reducible to the sameness of values common to all mankind. The difference of national values may cause inner imbalance in any multinational society, and can be mitigated by understanding and adoption of intercultural relation variety.

Effective formation of international competence in the course of the process of teaching languages is ensured conditional upon considering the nature of competence, aspects of its structure, and specific principles of its formation. Therefore, necessity to develop intercultural competence in the learning process is actualized to integrate students of higher educational institutions into the process of academic mobility. Moreover, orientation to a dialogue of cultures in the process of language learning is also intensively accomplished.


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30 April 2018

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Sociolinguistics, linguistics, semantics, discourse analysis, translation, interpretation

Cite this article as:

Mikheeva, T. (2018). Intercultural Competence Of Multicultural Personality Of A Student. In I. V. Denisova (Ed.), Word, Utterance, Text: Cognitive, Pragmatic and Cultural Aspects, vol 39. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 109-114). Future Academy.