In the higher education market, the cross-border flow of international students has become increasingly apparent. For Australia, China has been a major student source and most of these students have been enrolled in the higher education sector. Such a phenomenon has rendered the innovation of higher education management necessary, and its socio-cultural influence has attracted attention from the Australian government. This study suggests that international students’ intercultural communicative competence (ICC) deficits could influence their self-perceptions thus compromising their ability to communicate with peers. Using a qualitative research approach, the study explores the extent to which China’s College English influences Chinese international students’ intercultural performance and unpacks the reasons for their behaviours. An autoethnography of a Chinese international student was provided to indicate that the experience from both home and host countries would constitute a habitual thinking pattern that could exert an enduring impact on individuals. Via critically engaging with Byram and Morgan’s three dimensions of ICC and Byram’s model of ICC, the participant’s ICC was analysed, and her conceptions of culture and language were discovered. This study advocates more meaningful explorations about English curricula and highlights the need for forming a caring and humane society and tapping the value of international students in the era of globalisation.


Chinese international student, intercultural communicative competence (ICC), China’s English education, College English Curriculum (CEC), autoethnography

Author Bio(s)

Yuqi Lin is researching the globalization and internationalization of higher education. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to yuqilin.alison@gmail.com.

Dr. Hongzhi Zhang is a lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Monash University. His main research interests lie in educational equity, education policy, Asia study, and curriculum and pedagogy, his research about “Asia as Method” is innovative and influential. Hongzhi has evolved different research projects in the last three years. He is currently leading a research project Internationalization of Australian Independent Schools: The Influences of Confucian Heritage Culture on Pedagogy.


Acknowledgment: We would like to express our sincere appreciation to the editor of The Qualitative Report and anonymous reviewers for their careful reading of the manuscript and their insightful comments and suggestions.

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