Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Bayley, Jonathan (Education)


Foreign language instruction.




As a result of globalisation, the increasing communication among people from different language and cultural backgrounds makes intercultural competence teaching a significant objective for second and foreign language (L2) education. This study aims to gain an insight into the teacher knowledge of Chinese university English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers regarding their intercultural competence teaching: to what extent they would like to and are academically prepared to support this new objective of language teaching, and whether or not their current beliefs about and cultural teaching practices are directed towards students' acquisition of intercultural competence? A mixed methods research design shaped within a narrative framework was employed to inquire how Chinese university EFL teachers experience and narrate their educational experience with respect to intercultural competence teaching. Quantitative data were collected through a survey from 201 Chinese university EFL teachers. Among them, eight teachers participated in the follow-up interviews. The findings of this study suggest that participating teachers' perceived cultural teaching objectives reflect various aspects of an intercultural perspective toward cultural teaching. The most commonly shared objective is to promote the acquisition of a body of cultural knowledge. Though most of the teachers recognize the importance of cultural teaching, both cultural teaching in the broad sense and intercultural competence teaching have not yet become an important component or a regular focus in their EFL classes. Most of the time, teachers follow the traditional teacher-centered approach of cultural teaching. Teachers' intercultural competence and their beliefs about cultural teaching were found to have an impact on their teaching practice. How participating teachers developed their established beliefs and teaching practices regarding intercultural competence teaching was also discussed within a three-dimensional narrative space. The findings have pointed to a need for in-service teacher training program which particularly focuses on intercultural competence teaching. Teachers need a curriculum and teaching materials that support cultural teaching and assist them in cultural integration in terms of cultural content and instructional pedagogies.