Al-Azhar Indonesia University
Despite intercultural communication competence as one of the important language learning process goals since globalization has started, there comes a tendency to neglect to foster cultural identity awareness in language learning process. This research is a preliminary study that explores Indonesian learner’s cultural identities awareness as well Japanese cultural identities during the process of learning the Japanese language as one of their foreign languages. The respondents are twenty-one students of Japanese language classes participating in Japanese language speaking class 1 (elementary level) at Al-Azhar Indonesia University, categorized as A1 (beginner) Japanese learners by JF (Japan Foundation) standards. Through two conversation topics (“my family” and “my home town”) the respondents have been invited to mention their local custom while conversing within the topics and comparing such custom to Japanese people’s local custom. The data are collected utilizing portfolios and Likert scale pre-post questionnaire during November 2016 and analyzed descriptively. The result of this study exposed that the participants were aware of Indonesian cultural identity and Japanese cultural identity in the context of intercultural communication, namely, in the conversation of family and hometown. While having a dialogue with unfamiliar people, mainly speaking about personal information, i.e. family topic, Japanese people tend to have conversation plainly in general subtopics since Japanese people have collectivistic culture. Distinctively, since Indonesian people believe in “Unity in Diversity” (different but one), they are feasible to discuss wider subtopics despite the unfamiliar interlocutors.
Indonesian, Japanese Language Learners, Cultural Identity, Intercultural Communicative Competence