Papers from the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology Conferences

Publication Date

2014

Abstract

This empirical study goes a long way in determining the psychometric variables that predict individual differences in terms of the degree of success in both cultural adaptation and foreign language acquisition (FLA). Ever since Schumann (1978) introduced his Acculturation Model, the most well-known attempt to link cultural adaptation with FLA, a number of empirical studies have sought to determine these psychometric variables with mixed results due to the wide variation in the research methodologies applied in terms of learning targets, achievement measures, types of treatment, etc. (D.rnyei, 2005). This study overcomes the weaknesses of many previous studies. The experiment involved 86 Chinese students studying at a major private Japanese university in Japan. The 16 psychometric scales of the Kozai Group’s Global Competency Inventory (GCI), a validated psychometric instrument for measuring psychological traits affecting success in cultural adaptation, were employed as independent variables. The dependent variable was “Japanese Ability” in terms of oral/aural performance measured by six native Japanese raters reviewing video-recorded individual structured interviews conducted in Japanese with the Chinese students by a Japanese native speaker. Out of the 16 GCI psychometric scales, 14 demonstrated highly significant associations with the “Japanese Ability” of the Chinese students participating in the study. The results are very promising in elucidating the psychological traits modulating both cultural adaptation and foreign language acquisition.

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