Developing All -Round Education DARE +


Definition of cluster of competences and identification of levels

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Intercultural competence is the competence to perceive, be curious about, open to and respectful of cultures, including one`s own; to be able to understand, express and appreciate different values and norms, ways of thinking, practices and behaviours and to engage with others by initiating or being receptive to a constructive exchange.

Competence Indicator

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3


Shows interest in above-the-waterline aspects of other cultures, but is not actively seeking to learn more. Is not interested in below-the-waterline aspects of other cultures.

Is interested in only one other culture or a limited number of other cultures (that all have in common something that is perceived as valuable/attractive)

Actively seeks opportunities to explore above-the-waterline aspects of other cultures. When offered an explanation about below-the-surface aspects of other cultures, embraces this learning opportunity. Is interested in many different cultures, but not in every different culture.

Actively seeks to explore both above-the-waterline and below-the-waterline aspects of different cultures. Is interested in any cultures, no matter how different or similar to the familiar one(s).


Considers certain cultures to be more interesting, more prestigious or better than others. Respects attitudes, opinions and actions of representatives of such cultures, but not others.

Admits that theoretically all cultures deserve respect, yet cannot help feeling and showing that representatives and/or aspects of certain cultures deserve more respect than others.

Demonstrates respect towards representatives and/or any aspects of any culture in the world. Values and appreciates cultural differences.

Cultural Awareness

(awareness of cultural conditioning of self and others)

Can recognize manifestations of cultural conditioning of representatives of other cultures.

Can recognize manifestations of cultural conditioning of representatives of one’s own and of other cultures.

While involved in an interaction with representatives of different cultures, can identify manifestations of cultural conditioning of oneself and others in own and others’ actions, attitudes, and opinions.

Knowing how to learn about a culture and further develop own IC

Speaks (and thinks) of cultures as devoid of any internal structure, which means that that there is no “way” or “means” of learning about cultures, and such learning happens randomly, when it does. Has never thought that IC might need to be developed or believes that it comes naturally with spending time abroad or with representatives of other cultures.

Can explain the culture iceberg model, name and illustrate dimensions of cultures (Hofstede’s, GLOBE’s, or others) and apply this knowledge to learning about the culture(s) of interest. Conscious of not knowing how to develop own IC, and seeks external help (through reading about IC (development) or attending training(s).

Demonstrates capacity for purposeful and planned comparative cultural learning.

Can identify the developmental stage of own ideas, actions and attitudes according to the Bennett’s model.

Demonstrates capacity of setting developmental goals and pursuing the goals set.

Capacity to see from more than one perspective

Always sees things from own cultural perspective (either because is not familiar with/aware of other possible perspectives or due to not considering them valid/important enough).

If prompted about an aspect of culture which he/she is familiar with in at least two cultures, can explain how representatives of the (two) different cultures are likely to see a phenomenon related to this cultural aspect. Easily forgets about the existence of multiple perspectives, when involved in interaction.

Can see things from more than one perspective, both “theoretically” (see level 2) and in practice. “Makes space” for possible (hypothesized) different perspectives even in new intercultural situations (related to cultural aspects with which he/she is not familiar and for all the cultures involved).


Acts guided by imagining what him/herself would feel in the circumstances.

Conscious of others potentially experiencing different feelings. Would try guessing what the other might feel and either give up or act on a guess.

Capable of discovering the other’s feelings (through asking, observing and interpreting or making use of prior knowledge) and acting accordingly.

Choosing an appropriate and effective behavior in different cultural contexts

Always follows the supposed dos and don’ts learned in relation to a familiar foreign culture. If they do not work (or if in intercultural situations for which no dos and don’ts have been learned) behaves as if dealing with representatives of own culture. May feel frustrated and blame the other if the interaction is not successful. Does not think in terms of appropriateness of own behaviour.

Adapts his/her behaviour to that of the representative of a different culture, on the basis of the verbal and nonverbal signs observed. May feel frustrated if the interaction is not successful and will blame own lack of Intercultural competence (own inability to choose appropriate behaviour). Might discuss unsuccessful interactions later on with persons who have not been involved in the incident in question.

Modifies own behaviour depending on the verbal and nonverbal signs perceived and prior knowledge applicable to the intercultural situation at hand. Able to ask for confirmation of the appropriateness of chosen behaviour and to signal when interaction becomes incompatible with own cultural values. Deals with perceived cultural misunderstandings immediately, during the interaction itself, so as to permit both the cultural other and him/herself to achieve the desired goals in a mutually acceptable way.