Monikielinen ja kulttuurienvälinen osaaminen

Multilingual and intercultural communication competence (MICC) (Kokkonen & Natri, August 2020)


We see multilingual and intercultural communication competence (MICC) as an interpretation of an individual’s communicative and interactive linguistic and semiotic repertoires and resources that enable action in diverse situations and contexts. Furthermore, it is a motivation and ability to participate appropriately and effectively in intercultural and multilingual contexts, situations and relationships. Multilingual and intercultural communication competence evolves as a continuous process. It is situational and contextual and based on interaction.


Underlying assumptions:

  • MICC is processual. This means that it is “a lifelong developmental process or way of ‘becoming’ and ‘being’; it is not a one-off act of achievement or acquisition.” (Blair 2017, 112; see also Deardorff 2006).
  • MICC is both appropriate and effective not forgetting the ethical aspects of communication. Appropriateness means a perceived fitness or the legitimacy of an interaction partner’s behavior in a given social context and relationship (Spitzberg and Cupach, 2002). Effectiveness in turn, refers to how interaction partners are able to achieve preferred or desired outcomes of social interaction (Spitzberg and Cupach, 2002). In addition to these two also ethicality, meaning the communicator’s ability and willingness to take moral responsibility and behave in a way that does not insult others or create distrust, is also strongly connected to intercultural communication competence (Spitzberg and Cupach, 2002; Wilson and Sabee, 2003).
  • MICC is situational and contextual. This means that the same behavior can be perceived as an appropriate expression of competence in one context but is subject to negative evaluation in another (Dusi et al. 2014). In another words, the process of enhancing competence “can involve gains and losses in competence over both time and cultural space” (Blair 2017, 112).
  • Elements of MICC include attitudes/motivational factors, knowledge and skills, which are all interrelated.


  • Blair, S. G. (2017). Mapping Intercultural Competence. Aligning goals, outcomes, evidence, rubrics, and assessment. In Darla K. Deardorff & Lily A. Arasaratnam – Smith (Eds.) Intercultural Competence in Higher Education: International Approaches, Assessment and Application, (pp.) 110–123. Routledge.
  • Deardoff, D.K. (2006). Identification and Assessment of Intercultural Competence as a Student Outcome of Internationalization. Journal of Studies in International Education, 10 (3) 241267.
  • Dusi, P., Messetti, G., & Steinbach, M. (2014) Skills, Attitudes, Relational Abilities & Reflexivity: Competences for a Multicultural Society. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 112 (2014) 538–547.
  • Spitzberg, B. H. &. Cupach, W.R. (2002). Interpersonal Skills. In M.K. Knapp & J.R. Daly (Eds.), Handbook of Interpersonal Communication (pp. 564611). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Wilson, S. R., & Sabee, C. M. (2003). Explicating communicative competence as a theoretical term. In J. O. Greene & B. R. Burleson (Eds.), Handbook of communication and social interaction skills (pp. 3–50). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.