Intercultural sensitivity in the online multicultural community: Indonesian students’ experiences

Febi Puspitasari, Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta, Indonesia


The online social network facilitates excessive opportunities for intercultural communication in the online multicultural community. Occasionally, intercultural communication possibly results in misunderstanding, confusion, or stereotypes. Intercultural sensitivity, therefore, is necessary to respond to probable issues in online intercultural communication based on Indonesian students’ experiences. This narrative study portrayed the development of intercultural sensitivity in the online multicultural setting. The data were compiled from narrative reports and recordings and then analyzed based on Hunter’s analysis of the narrative. It reveals the development of intercultural sensitivity in the themes of 1) embracing a phonemic variation of English, 2) developing mutual strategies to understand the language, 3) celebrating small similarities, and 4) self-control to listen respectfully. The findings are primarily meant for intercultural education. The study also suggests the use of an authentic intercultural setting for English language learners to develop their intercultural sensitivity and bring the discussions after practice in the classroom.


ELT; intercultural communication; intercultural sensitivity; digitally mediated learning; narrative inquiry

Full Text:



Almutairi, M. (2021). Towards Critique: The Place of Culture in English Language Teaching. International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature, 10(2), 28–32.

Anum, V., Shaibu, G., & Okeme, P. (2021). Intercultural Communication as a Tool for Relationship building among Groups in a Multi-Ethnic System. SAU Journal of Management and Social Sciences, 6(Number 1 June, 2021), 220–228.

Bada, E. (2000). Culture in ELT. Cukurova University Journal of Social Sciences, 6, 100–110.

Bennet, M. J. (1993). Toward Ethnocentrism: A Developmental Approach to Training for Intercultural Sensitivity. In Paige R.M. (Ed.), Education for the Intercultural Yarmouth (pp. 21–71). Intercultural Press.

Bennett, M. (1986). A developmental approach to training for intercultural sensitivity. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 10, 179–195.

Betz, H. G. (1992). Postmodernism and the New Middle Class. Theory, Culture & Society, 9(2), 93–114.

Bhawuk, D. P., & Brislin, R. (1992). The measurement of intercultural sensitivity using the concepts of individualism and collectivism. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 16(4), 413–436.

Byram, M. (1997). Teaching and assessing intercultural communicative competence. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Clandinin, D.J. (2006). Narrative inquiry: A methodology for studying lived experience. Research Studies in Music Education, 27, 44–54. Multilingual Matters.

Catalano, T., & Barriga, A. (2021). Shaping the teaching and learning of intercultural communication through virtual mobility. Intercultural Communication Education, 4(1), 75–89.

Chen, G. M., & Starosta, W. J. (2000). The development and validation of the intercultural sensitivity scale. Human Communication, 3, 1–15.

Chen, G.-M., & Starosta, W. J. (1997). A review of the concept of intercultural sensitivity. Human Communication, 1, 1–16.

Chen, G. M., & Starosta, W. J. (1996). Intercultural Communication Competence A Synthesis. Communication Yearbook, 19, 353–384.

Clubhouse User Statistics. (2022). Think Impact. is still a growing,users being members of Clubhouse.

Connelly, F. M., & Clandinin, D. J. (2006). Narrative Inquiry: A Methodology for Studying Lived Experience. Research Studies in Music Education, 27, 44–54.

Coste, D., & Cavalli, M. (2015). Education, Mobility, Otherness the Mediation Functions of Schools.

Dollah, S., Abduh, A., & Ahmad, T. (2017). Intercultural sensitivity in english department students of an indonesian higher education institution. International Journal of Language Education, 1 No. 2(2), 38–43.

Fatalaki, J. A. (2015). Intercultural Sensitivity and Its Implications in Language Teaching. Journal for Studies in Management and Planning, 01(11), 24–31.

Foronda, C. L. (2008). A Concept Analysis of Cultural Sensitivity. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 19(3), 207–212.

Goral, Mira & Conner, P. (2013). Language Disorders in Multilingual and Multicultural Populations. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics., 33, 128–161.

Gorski, P. C. (2008). Good intentions are not enough: a decolonizing intercultural education. Intercultural Education, 19(6), 515–525.

Harvest, E. (2004). Ten steps toward cultural sensitivity.

Hodges, J.M., Gore, J. S. (2019). Social Connections and Well-Being: With Whom Do You Identify and Why? Psychological Studies, 64, 436–446.

Holt, G. M. (2002). Critical citizens for an intercultural world: Foreign language education as cultural politics. Multilingual Matters.

House, J. (2012). Teaching Oral Skills in English as a Lingua Franca. In W. A. Alsagoff, L., McKay, S. L., Hu, G., & Renandya (Ed.), Principles and Practices For Teaching English As An International Language (pp. 186–205). Routledge.

Hunter, S. V. (2010). Analysing and representing narrative data: The long and winding road. Current Narratives, 1(2), 44–54.

Jacobone, V., & Moro, G. (2015). Evaluating the impact of the Erasmus programme: skills and European identity. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 40(2), 309–328.

Kim, J. (2020). International students’ intercultural sensitivity in their academic socialisation to a non-English-speaking higher education: a Korean case study. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 44(7), 939–955.

Li, C., Ip, H. H. S., Wong, Y. M., & Lam, W. S. (2020). An empirical study on using virtual reality for enhancing the youth’s intercultural sensitivity in Hong Kong. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 36(5), 625–635.

Lucas, J. (2003). Intercultural Communication for International Programs: An Experientially-Based Course Design. Journal of Research in International Education., 2, 301–314.

Moradi, E., & Zargham, G. (2019). Intercultural sensitivity: A comparative study among Business English Undergraduate Learners in two Countries of Iran and China. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 6(3), 134–146.

Nelson, C. L., Proshina, Z., & Davis, D. R. (2020). The Handbook of World Englishes (2nd ed.). Malden: Blackwell. (2nd ed.). Blackwell.

Rodríguez-Izquierdo, R. M. (2018). Sensibilidad intercultural de los estudiantes universitarios: Medición del constructo y su relación con los programas de movilidad internacional. Cultura y Educacion, 30(1), 177–204.

Ruby, D. (2022). Clubhouse Statistics 2022 — (Facts & Figures). Demand Sage.

Strielkowski, W. (2021). The Clubhouse Phenomenon: Do We Need Another Social Network? Preprint.

Szmigiera, M. (2022). The most spoken languages worldwide in 2022. Statistica.

Tamam, E., & Krauss, S. E. (2017). Ethnic-related diversity engagement differences in intercultural sensitivity among Malaysian undergraduate students. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 22(2), 137–150.

Van Hook, C. W. (2000). Preparing Teachers for the Diverse Classroom: A Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity. Eric, 69–72.

Vande Berg, M., Paige, M., & Hemming Lou, K. (2016). Student learning abroad: what our students are learning, what they’re not, and what we can do about it. Sterling.

Wilczynska, Agnieszka & Januszek, Maciej & Bargiel-Matusiewicz, K. (2015). The Need of Belonging and Sense of Belonging versus Effectiveness of Coping. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 46(1), 72–81.

Zimmerman, J. L., & Dickerson, V. C. (1996). If problems talked: Narrative therapy in action. Guilford Press.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2023 Febi Puspitasari

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Our Journal indexed by:


 Creative Commons License
LingTera is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at

View My Stats