DEVELOPING INTERCULTURAL BUSINESS COMPETENCE VIA TEAM LEARNING IN POST-PANDEMIC ERA
To become successfully competitive in the globalised post-COVID 19 virtual business world, the engineering students, besides learning the English language for Specific Purposes as stipulated by the existing Syllabi, require purposed efforts for the formation of intercultural business communication competencies. This research, conducted successively in the USA and Ukraine combining observational and experimental methodology, aimed at studying the influence of team learning on the development of intercultural business competencies and skills highly desired and valued by employers, such as team building and teamwork, critical thinking, decision making, conflict prevention, and resolution, etc. The results were processed by combining qualitative and quantitative methods. Spanning in time from 2013 to 2020, the study proved the effectiveness of project work in learning teams for the development of intercultural competence and business communication skills. Team learning in virtual teams based on andragogical principles and methodology adapted by the authors to the needs of Ukrainian engineering students resulted in developing team building, teamwork, leadership, goal setting, planning, decision making, time management, creative and critical thinking, problem solving, conflict prevention and resolution, interpersonal and group communication and collaboration skills and competences, necessary for successful integration into the global workforce marketplace. Besides significant enhancement of intercultural business communication competencies, team learning resulted in raising Ukrainian undergraduate engineering students’ motivation towards learning ESP, engagement in group and classwork, persistence towards successful graduation and gainful employment, and overall positive learning experiences.
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