Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

Teresa Dalle

Committee Member

Emily Thrush

Committee Member

Evelyn Fogle

Committee Member

Rebecca Adams


Intercultural communicative competence (ICC) is an essential part of instruction in the diverse English as a Foreign or Second Language classroom (EFL, ESL), but instructors may not have sufficient knowledge, skills, or tools to be able to promote ICC in their classes. The Saudi Arabia Ministry of Education's (MoE) policies on teaching English encourage students to be cross-culturally competent, yet various people, including students and parents, have demonstrated concerns regarding the inclusion of Western values, beliefs, and cultures into the EFL curriculum. Consequently, these differences lead to teachers facing various content and process barriers in the EFL classroom.Using Byrams Intercultural Model as a framework, this study explored Saudi EFL teachers ICC, with a focus on their beliefs about, reported cultural teaching practices of, and impediments to ICC teaching. The study used a mixed methods explanatory design, incorporating a narrative framework. Current Saudi teachers in university EFL classrooms provided 197 survey responses and 11 qualitative interviews. Analysis of the data included descriptive and correlation statistical procedures and descriptive and provisional coding. Findings indicate that teachers have a strong belief in integrating ICC in their teaching. However, their reported classroom practices revealed that ICC was not addressed systematically, and there were restrictions to discussing sensitive topics. Some of objectives within the dimensions of the model were preferred over others. Teachers favored raising awareness of home culture values and beliefs over those of the target culture. The research also identified external (content, hierarchical decision-making, and intergroup dynamics) and internal (conscious and unconscious) impediments to ICC. Implications of this study suggest that enriched teacher training programs, curricular support, and research exploring the pedagogical development of ICC in the context of Saudi Arabia are critical and timely given the countrys educational goals.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest