Development of intercultural competence among a class of 5th graders using a picture book

  • Lydia Kristin Furnes Western Norway University of Applied Sciences
  • Anna Birketveit Western Norway University of Applied Sciences


This paper presents a study in a Norwegian English as a Foreign Language class of 5th graders aimed at investigating the learners' ability to decentre - a skill within intercultural competence, - through the use of the picture book The Soccer Fence by Phil Bildner. Based on Byram's theory on intercultural competence and Piaget's theory on decentring, a literary context was created around a one-group pretest-posttest design. The participants' ability to decentre was measured before and after an intervention period which consisted of reading the story and the pupils' investigating the characters' different perspectives through different tasks. The results were then checked for statistical significance, which is presented in the first part of the article. The second part of the article includes results from group interviews, which were carried out to either strengthen or challenge the pretest and posttest findings. Results showed statistical significance, indicating that the ability to decentre did increase after the intervention. This was also supported by the interviews

Author Biography

Lydia Kristin Furnes, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

Lektor med master i engelsk

Section A