Multicultural Competence As Indicator Of Communicative Leadership


The article reveals the essence of multicultural competence and the ways of its formation within the framework of intercultural dialogue. The axiological transformations the modern higher education system is going through are analyzed. It is emphasized that the pedagogical community is revising the methodological approach to the relationship between language, culture and personality. Multicultural competence is seen as an indicator of communicative leadership. The urgency and relevance of forming a personality with a strong motivation to dialogue interaction in the form of a multicultural and polymodal educational environment is explained. The risks of multicultural education and possible ways of overcoming them are described. Multicultural competence is assessed as instrumental pragmatic competence inherent in the integrative characteristic of the personality of a communicative leader who will work in the “person-person” and “person-group” systems, which determines the effectiveness of leadership and mediates the personal-intellectual, creative development of the country’s future professional elite. The article defines and describes the criteria, methods of diagnosis and control of students’ willingness to have active and effective professional engagement in the context of intercultural dialogue. The article presents the results of a pedagogical experiment, during which students had to demonstrate their ability to perform in the following speech positions: Author, Listener, Expert. A conclusion is made about the effectiveness of multicultural education in the development of multicultural competence.

Keywords: multicultural competence, multicultural education, intercultural interaction, communicative leadership


The modern world is undergoing value transformations unprecedented in scale and associated with intercultural ties intensification and educational boundaries expansion, which in turn corresponds to the change in the cultural and educational paradigm and building educational models in the mode of intercultural dialogue. The task to form polycultural competence is determined by the sociocultural need to actualize the dialogue style of interaction in the system of higher education. Today it is impossible to imagine a successful specialist not possessing the skills of communicative leadership. Therefore, the model of training the country’s intellectual elite requires a radical reassessment.

Multicultural competence as a derivative of multicultural education in the context of globalization concerning all systems of international interaction reflects its basic principles and priorities. A high degree of demand in the modern polymodal world of a personality with an active motivation for a dialogue style of professional interaction corresponds to the principle of dialogue and interaction of cultures. Multicultural competence, in turn, meets the requirements of personification of an individual, the demand for his or her creative freedom and self-worth (Akhmerova, Ziatdinova, Mukhamadeev, 2016). The irreducibility of professionally significant language training of students to a simplified modification of the classical university model obliges higher education to choose a contrasting principle of mastering the content of multicultural education as an important goal of training students with its focus on preserving basic cultural values and creating new ones. This, in its turn, is associated with the importance of theoretical substantiation of educational dialogue concept aimed at leadership formation as a promising integrative system that allows diversifying the content, forms and methods of work with regards to developing creative thinking, self-determined, ready for dialogue interaction of the linguistic personality of a future communicative leader (Krichevsky, 2007). Scientists distinguish the following risks of multicultural education a) ethnocultural lacunae; b) communicative shock associated with non-proficiency or weak proficiency of the language of the host country; c) interactive and perceptual aspects of intercultural interaction; d) difficulties associated with sociocultural, psychological adaptation in a new environment, etc. (Pope, Reynolds, Mueller, 2019). Undoubtedly, the problems of polycultural education and the formation of polycultural competence include, firstly, a weekly expressed state position in the activation and implementation of the principles of a polycultural aspect in higher education; secondly, the lack of sufficient awareness of scientific and pedagogical personnel, youth organizations about the possibility of participating in cultural, educational, scientific and methodological events organized in the format of intercultural dialogue; thirdly, the weak paradigmatic attitude of higher education to the introduction of an integrative, systematic approach to understanding the goals, content and methods of teaching the future professional elite of the country as communication leaders, etc. into programs, textbooks of information and advisory materials based on the logic of modern socio-economic and sociocultural development.

Problem Statement

The pedagogical community has not fully realized the prospect of active processes to revise the methodological transformations that occur in it dependently and independently of the will and desire of teachers. The problem of the relationship between language, culture, personality is not new, and with regards to the statement of R.M. Frumkina that at the end of the 19th century “a kind of dead end was opened: it turned out that in human science there was no place for the main thing that created man and his intellect, – culture ”(Frumkina, 1992), in linguistics, linguodidactics, linguoculturology, linguopsychology, the idea of the anthropocentricity of language and its ever-increasing role in the context of multicultural education was accepted as a key one.

Language began to be considered not only as a means of communication and an instrument of knowledge, but also as a cultural code of a nation. Whereas the language being the code of culture forms the personality, the method of teaching the Russian language and all speech studies has become very relevant for multicultural education (Martyanova, 2014). It is the Russian language that plays an essential role in the formation of a culture of dialogue as an alternative way of the individual’s existence and the development of his subjectivity in the educational space of Russian higher education.

Research Questions

The analysis of scientific works showed an insufficient level of theoretical elaboration of globalization in the linguocultural and pedagogical projection. Despite numerous scientific studies, scientists have not developed a common understanding of the nature and essence of the phenomenon “multicultural competence” in relation to the objective to form communicative leadership.

Multicultural competence can be rightfully attributed to pragmatic instrumental competence as an integrative quality of a communicative leader (Drygina, 2006) whose formation a) ensures the transfer of any situation of intercultural interaction to a humanistic, creative, sense-seeking level; b) characterized by the development of a certain set of personal and activity qualities; c) manifests itself in personal dialogical experience; d) develops within the framework of professional education and corporate activities; e) acts as an important characteristic and a necessary condition of communicative competence in the professions of “person-person” and “person-group” types, determining the effectiveness of leadership and mediating the personal-intellectual, creative development of a person.

Purpose of the Study

Generation of an anthropological and cultural approach in the philosophy of education helps to discover sociocultural problems, find ways of their practical solution based on ideas and principles that correspond to modern culture. The culturological approach to education enables to consider it not only as a translator of knowledge, skills and abilities “filtered by the state ideology”, but also as an invariant model of personality development, which plays a projectively creative role in any human life, and, consequently, in the fate of the state and culture.

The dialogical imperative of modern education is based not only on the principles of humanism, but also on the awareness of “non-self-sufficiency, the impossibility of the existence of one consciousness”: a person becomes himself only through the and with the help of the (Bakhtin, 1965). However, having declaratively proclaimed dialogue as a productive form of learning, the system of higher education, in fact, remains largely monologic. The consequence of this is a student’s aloofness from the educational process, which, of course, contradicts the ideology of polycultural education, whose postulate is to prepare the young generation for life in a polymodal environment. The law of “rejection of personality development” explains the reason for “updating the values of the Russian vocational education system”, which is “to change the goal of training”. Such a goal is not only to develop a set of knowledge, abilities and skills, but also a specialist’s personality (Balykhina, Abbasova, 2016).

In the process of implementing multicultural education, it is important to correctly determine the criteria, methods for diagnosing and monitoring students’ readiness for active and effective professional activity in a situation of uncertainty, which most often manifests itself in intercultural dialogue. The main ones are as follows:

  • adequate assessment of the dialogical experience of playing out speech positions being Author, Listener, Expert in a multicultural environment;
  • formation of pragmatic communicative knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for students for intercultural interaction with the representatives of different cultures;
  • development of reflexology skills as an indicator of an adequate emotional assessment of “one’s own” and “someone else’s” speech behavior.

The formation of multicultural competence actualizes the change in the social-role method of organizing the educational process, as well as the nature of the life of its subjects (Soter, 2016). The personality gets out of the industrial society control with its functional imperative of social structures. The social and cultural principle of dialogue, which is more adequate to human nature, is replacing it. Thus, V.S. Bibler, E.V. Bondarevskaya and many other authoritative scientists believe that the modern stage of human development is characterized by the fact that education is thought of in the context of personality self-determination, and this person not only appropriates culture but seeks to grow as a “person of culture” (Bibler, 1990). Pedagogical practice, which today is distinguished by the polyvariety of educational programs, teaching models, methods, concepts and theories needs to unite the paradigmatic plurality of ideas around caring for the subject of educational activity.

The scope of the article does not enable to fully reveal the psychological and pedagogical foundations of multicultural competence formation and communicative leadership development. Meanwhile, in the course of our experiment and generalization of its data on the basis of a questionnaire survey, we identified the pedagogical conditions of effective multicultural education, defining the following components as the dominant ones:

1) axiological or value-semantic component postulates the priority of universal human values, the attitude towards man as the highest earthly value;

2) cognitive or knowledge component reflects the totality of professional and socio-cultural competencies as well as knowledge, mastering and development of the spiritual world of a person;

3) activity-practical or operational-activity component characterizes the ability of students to work in a “person-person” system;

4) creative or demiurgeous component emphasizes a person’s readiness to create fundamentally new ideas that deviate from traditional or accepted patterns of thinking and activity, as well as a person’s ability to solve non-standard problems in a situation of uncertainty.

Research Methods

Basic research methods are as follows: analysis and synthesis, argumentation, modelling, questioning, testing, ranking, methods of assessment and self-assessment, reflexology, ascertaining and forming experiment.


When building a system for developing the multicultural competence of a communicative leader, we took into account that speech activity in a dialogue develops according to the following model: goal – intention – text – reaction (Cherkashina, 2019). The following groups were founded: the control group (CG) and the experimental group (EG). The experiment enabled to obtain data on the levels of the formation of language, speech and communication skills that underlie the development of polycultural competence.

For the purity of the experiment, we have identified the main criteria that determine the formation of the skills of a communicative leader to own polycultural competence and not violate the communicative balance in intercultural dialogue. We have identified the ability of students to speak in certain speech positions –. Moreover, the, according to Yu. Lotman, is not a third and specially appointed person. These are the and the in a dialogue situation, evaluating “their own” and “someone else’s” speech behavior. Thus, an experiment to assess the students’ abilities and skills to speak in a speech position included the following parameters:

1) possession of the emotional-volitional need to influence others with the help of words;

2) knowledge of the rules for constructing influential texts of various speech genres regarding the situation of communication and the addressee of speech;

3) possession of special language contact-fixing means;

4) willingness to be responsible for the planned impact at the level of self-reflection

Figure 1: Start of the experiment
Start of the experiment
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While mastering the dialogical style of interaction during the experiment, the students had to demonstrate their ability to speak in the position. Among the main criteria for the formation of skills included in the concept of students’ communicative competence at the listening stage, we checked the following:

1) fully understand the content and communicative intention of the speaker, including a subtext;

2) semantize language contact-establishing means;

3) define the boundaries of the known/unknown;

4) critically comprehend the main and secondary information;

5) navigate and implement communication tasks in accordance with the status of the addressee: keep a dialogue, develop the interlocutor’s thought, request and clarify actual and event information;

6) understand and evaluate the speaker’s speech behavior, status.

We have found that the ability to listen is more related to behavioral competence, which, along with linguistic, speech, communicative ones, is included in the structure of the professional multicultural competence of a communicative leader.

During the experiment, we found out that the least developed, but very relevant for the development of multicultural competence is the formation of students’ reflective skills and abilities to act from the position of an.

We would like to note that according to scientists, reflection as a specific human need, allows a student to comprehend personal educational activity and its product being the text. S. Yu. Stepanov denotes reflexopractics as the activity organized by a teacher about the student’s reflections on the degree of the planned speech impact on the addressee of speech, the identification of the degree of dialogue productivity. After analyzing the research of scientists on the development of the ability to direct “thought to thought”, we identified an algorithm for reflexive steps:

1) restore in memory what requires critical reflection;

2) analyze the success/failure of the plan and the degree of its implementation;

3) identify personal achievements, shortcomings, inconsistencies and try to find their causes;

4) understand the nature of success and think about how it can be preserved and increased;

5) identify what needs to be changed, improved and come up with how to do it more effectively;

6) have an emotional and volitional need to influence others with the help of words

We presented the results of the experiment in diagram 2.

Figure 2: Figure 02. The results of the experiment
Figure 02. The results of the experiment
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At the end of the experimental training, we offered the students from the EG and CG a questionnaire in order to clarify whether students have changed 1) their attitude to the format of training in a multicultural environment, in which education is not limited to the transfer of knowledge, skills and abilities; 2) attitude to “personal” and “someone else’s” speech; 3) attitude towards dialogue as an effective form of interaction; 4) attitude to the humane perception of representatives of another culture; 5) realizing the importance of mastering multicultural competence for a communicative leader; 6) whether students assess the interdependence of future career prospects and professional communicative competence.

The students’ answers show that they adequately assess the prospect of a dialogical form of interaction in the context of the expansion of globalization processes in the modern world and in the educational space. The results of the questionnaire are reflected in diagram No. 3:

Figure 3: The results of the questionnaire
The results of the questionnaire
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Communicative leadership is not only an integrative indicator of a person’s multicultural competence but also a demonstration of the level of development of a person’s general culture. Pluralism as a distinctive feature of polycultural and polymodal modern education professes dialogue as the main vector of shifting from the culture of dialogue to the dialogue of cultures. The culture, which is embedded in a person at the mental level, in the process of socialization is reflected in the totality of his skills to effectively interact with the help of speech. Culture is perceived through language, and language through culture. This formula implicitly reflects the essence of multicultural education and is endless like the educational process itself. An intensive search for the educational ideal of the new century convinces of the validity of Academician N.N. Moiseev’s statement “humanity has come to a threshold beyond which new knowledge and new morality, as well as new values are needed” (Moiseev, 1990). The unconditional values of modern higher education, in our opinion, include the mastery of multicultural competence by students.


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17 May 2021

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Cherkashina, T. T., Belgorodskyi, V. S., Dembitskyi, S. G., Chernova, I. V., Kuznecova, G. V., Budekhin, S. Y., Nechaeva, T. Y., & Panshina, K. I. (2021). Multicultural Competence As Indicator Of Communicative Leadership. In D. K. Bataev, S. A. Gapurov, A. D. Osmaev, V. K. Akaev, L. M. Idigova, M. R. Ovhadov, A. R. Salgiriev, & M. M. Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Knowledge, Man and Civilization - ISCKMC 2020, vol 107. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 2697-2705). European Publisher.