Digital Intervention in Intercultural Communicative Competence Development with Non-profit Community Organization

Yuchen Liu

1:30 pm – 2:00 pm (Room 232)



Due to global disruptions caused by the pandemic, English Language Learners (ELLs)
have less contact with authentic language and cultural environment and lack exposure to use
English for real-life communication in communities (Toscu and Erten, 2020; Garrett-Rucks,
2016). This situation has increased the demand for technology-based teaching and learning tools,providing more virtual opportunities to connect ELLs with authentic language and cultural learning environment within communities (Byram, Holmes, & Savvides, 2013). Thus, our research team has been developing an innovative digital storytelling-based application called Context Culture, specifically tailored for ELLs learning needs within local communities, aiming to provide an open space for language practice, intercultural communication, and cultural learning.

The community partner invited to engage in this project is a non-profit organization
locates within Iowa City called Open Heartland. Our partnership will provide school supplies,
stable internet access, and free use of our developed app. Our overall community impacts are a) to support the community families in different types of schooling related to language and culture education, b) to cater the families and their children’s learning needs, c) to help with filling learning gaps, and d) to advocate and foster friendship as immigrant families navigating their lives in Iowa.

Two research questions will be investigated: a) To what extent do the application (Context Culture) and instructional practices quantitatively improve the families’ (place in the
community) Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC) and learning outcomes?; b) How
do the qualitative findings (retrieved from interviews) provide a rich understanding/evaluation of the quantitative experimental results (from the application and instructional practices) and
enhance community engagement and learning experience?

Our research team will conduct rigorous and complete mixed methods experimental
designs. We will obtain permissions from IRB and voluntary research participants. Data
collection procedures will be conducted through observations, questionnaire/survey (i.e.,
Intercultural Development Inventory), focus group and/or individual semi-structured interviews.

IDI, as a quantitative measurement, will be applied as pre-assessment/post-evaluation of the
project’s impact on validity and reliability. As a qualitative measurement, semi-structured
interviews will be conducted throughout the research to evaluate the project’s impact on
credibility and trustworthiness (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2018).