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International Mindedness Within Intercultural Competence: A Collective Case Study of Faculty’s Conceptualizations and Practices of International Mindedness in One Saudi EFL Higher Education Institution in an Effort to Achieve Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 Open Access

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International mindedness is a recent and evolving research topic in language education and other fields because of its significance in promoting global relations, ethical leadership, intercultural understanding, global engagement, and world communication. This study explored the conceptions and practices of international mindedness of four English as a foreign language (EFL) faculty members in higher education programs in a Saudi university. The four EFL faculty teach at the same university but in different EFL departments. Two participants belong to the Department of English and Translation and the other two to the Preparatory Year Program.This study employed a collective case study (Stake, 1995) based on a constructivist epistemological approach. The conceptual framework of this study adapted Byram’s (1997) Intercultural Communicative Competence model to guide the research questions, data collection, and analysis. Data were collected through interviews, observations, and documentation such as program plans and course syllabi of the two EFL programs. Data analysis consisted of within-case and cross-case analysis to describe cases, identify codes, and search for correspondence and meanings. Themes were developed from the data, and thematic analysis was used to answer the research question. Triangulation of data sources and member checking during data collection and analysis established trustworthiness. The study had four conclusions: (a) basic language skills, grammar, and intercultural understanding are intertwined in Saudi EFL programs; (b) education technology promotes intercultural communication through interactive learning experiences; (c) although they had not heard about international mindedness previously, Saudi EFL faculty are able to describe it and use it in the classroom through intercultural competence; and (d) references to international perspectives in EFL are minimal in the data collected and require additional attention in the Saudi EFL curriculum in future research. The study makes recommendations for practice in this area of study. The results of this study contribute to the literature on international mindedness and EFL, specifically as it relates to teaching EFL in Saudi higher education settings. Moreover, the study contributes toward the advancement of the Saudi Vision 2030 by emphasizing the importance of an international perspective in EFL education and its influence on developing interculturally competent learners who are aware of their cultural identity, who are able to communicate globally, and who are prepared to respond to global changes.Keywords: international mindedness, intercultural competence, foreign language education, Saudi EFL higher education programs, internationalizing EFL curriculum, international education concepts

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