عنوان مقاله [English]
Cultural Intelligence of Persian language teachers to non-Persian speakers is considered a very important factor in improving their teaching quality. Although plenty of studies have been conducted in the field of teachers’ cultural intelligence in Iranian schools, there is very little research on cultural intelligence of Persian teachers to non-Persian speakers. To fill this remarkable gap, the present study adopted a descriptive-correlational approach aimed to determine Persian language teachers’cultural intelligence level and investigate its predicting variables. The research sample included 30 Persian language teachers of Ferdowsi University Persian language teaching center in Mashhad who answered both Ang et al. (2007) cultural intelligence questionnaire and the predicting variables of cultural intelligence questionnaire based on Petrović (2011). The collected data were analyzed by SPSS for both inferential statistics (Pearson correlation Test and multivariable Regression) and descriptive indices too. The research findings showed Persian language teachers’ high level of cultural intelligence (higher than mean score 3). The highest score was reported for the motivational component (4.31) and the lowest one for the cognitive component (3.67). Regarding predicting variables, openness for intercultural learning is the most important variable ( t value=3.240). Other variables including importance of knowing other cultures, contact with people of other cultures and communication in foreign language were in the next ranks respectively. Reading of foreign literature (literature of other countries) was the least important variable (t value=0.080).
Cultural intelligence is a special form of intelligence that emphasizes a persons’ ability to understand, reason and function effectively in the culturally diverse situations. At the most general level, cultural intelligence is defined as the ability to adapt to new cultural contexts (Earley, 2002; Earley & Ang, 2003). Due to the expansion of Persian language and growing number of foreign students interested in learning it, Persian language teachers to non-Persian speakers need to develope cultural capabilities and competencies measured by cultural intelligence to create calm and peaceful atmosphere for language learners from different cultures in the same class. In this regard, cultural intelligence helps Persian language teachers to be sensitive across the cultures and communicate with learners of various cultures in the multicultural educational environments appropriately and therefore teach more effectively. According to Earley and Ang (2003) cultural intelligence consists of four components: metacognitive, cognitive, motivational and behavioral component. The metacognitive aspect of cultural intelligence reflects mental processes that individuals use to acquire and understand cultural knowledge .The cognitive aspect of cultural intelligence reflects knowledge of the norms, practices and conventions in different cultures acquired from education and personal experience. The motivational aspect of cultural intelligence reflects the capability to direct attention and energy toward learning about and functioning in situations characterised by cultural differences. The behavioural aspect of cultural intelligence reflects the capability to exhibit appropriate verbal and nonverbal actions when interacting with people from different cultures. The instrumentation for measuring cultural intelligence and its components is the questionnaire of 20 items designed by Ang et al. (2007). Although some studies have been conducted in the field of cultural intelligence of non-Persian language learners, few addressed the Persian language teachers’ cultural intelligence. The guiding study was that of Petrović (2011) in Serbia which determined the cultural intelligence level of 107 elementary school teachers in 4 cities of Serbia and examined 8 predicting variables to recognize the most effective ones as the predictors of cultural intelligence. The study confirmed the high level of teachers’cultural intelligence. The most and the least important variables were enjoyment of intercultural communicationsand the importance of knowing other cultures respectively. Then, the present research was aimed to measure cultural intelligence of Persian language teachers to non-Persian speakers and investigate its predicting variables. 30 Persian language teachers from Ferdowsi University Persian language teaching center in Mashhad, by teaching background span from one to over ten years, were asked to answer two questionnaires translated into Persian and modified based on the present teaching context. The first one was adapted from Ang et al. (2007) cultural intelligence questionnaire including 20 items designed on a five Likert scales from completely disagree to completely agree and measured four cultural intelligence components: metacognitive (items 1-4), cognitive (items 5-10), motivational (items 11-15) and behavioral component (items 16-20). Teachers were exposed to Petrović (2011) predicting variables questionnaire of 3 Likert scales, from low to high, too. Predicting variables questionnaire contains 8 predicting variables as follows: contact with the people from other cultures, communication in foreign language, reading of foreign literature, watching TV travel shows, importance of knowing other cultures, considering multicultural composition of the class as challenge, openness for intercultural learning and enjoyment of intercultural communications. For analyzing the data, SPSS provided both inferential statistics (Pearson correlation Test and Multivariable Regression) and descriptive statistics on components of cultural intelligence and its predicting variables for Persian language teachers to non-Persian speakers. The results demonstrated that the mean scores underpinning teachers’ cultural intelligence components were above 3. The highest and the lowest score were reported for the motivational component (M=4.31) and the cognitive component (M=3.67) respectively. Pearson correlation Test results indicated that the relationship between cultural intelligence components and the predicting variables was statistically significant. The effect of these variables on the cultural intelligence was studied by conducting multivariable Regression. As a result, the most important variable was openness for intercultural learning. Other variables such as importance of knowing other cultures, contact with people of other cultures and communication in foreign language were in the next ranks respectively. However, reading foreign literature has obtained the least importance. The results of data collected in this study suggested Persian languag teachers’ high level of the cultural intelligence. The two variables including contact with people of other cultures and openness for intercultural learningwere placed among the important variables, as the same reported by Petrović (2011), while no evidence of conformity was found for the most important variable for predicting cultural intelligence in the present study, that is, openness for intercultural learning, The latter point may allude to the fact that Persian language teachers are aware that in addition to sufficient knowledge about language skills, cultural capabilities especially more cultural familiarity with various cultures are required to teach effectively, deal with the learners of different cultures and answer their needs and questions appropriately. To conclude, it is necessary to draw the teachers’ attention to improve their teaching pedagogy and cultural capabilities. This can be accomplished if teachers are encouraged to intercultural learning and using multicultural classes as their learning resources in teacher training courses (TTC) targeted at teaching Persian language to non-Persian speakers.