Assessing Intercultural Competence in Pakistani Students: An Analysis of O-Level English Language Examination


  • Humera Faraz Assistant Professor, Department of English, Air University, Islamabad, Pakistan.
  • Wasima Shehzad Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Air University, Islamabad, Pakistan.
  • Muhammad Saleem Subject Specialist (English), Elementary and Secondary Education Department, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.



Cambridge International Examination (CIE), Cultural Competence, English Language Testing, Globalization, Linguistic Competence


This paper explores the intercultural competence of Pakistani students who appear in Cambridge O-Level English language examination conducted in Pakistan by British council twice a year. English language is a core subject and is coded with 1123 for Cambridge International Examination (CIE). For this subject, two papers are taken i.e. paper-I was about reading comprehension and paper-II was about writing a composition. To analyze the extent to which intercultural competence assesses alongside linguistic competence amongst students through exam papers, forty-four exam papers (2013-2023) are analyzed by using Byram’s (1993) checklist that constitutes eight categories of intercultural competence. Fairclough’s (2003) model of discourse analysis has been used as a theoretical framework. For analytical framework, topics, themes, and the content of both the papers are thoroughly read and then are put under the eight categories of assessing intercultural competence proposed by Byram (1993). The findings of one-sample t-test indicate that the categories of Byram’s checklist have negative effect on the content of the papers of O-Level. The results clearly display the absence of assessment of intercultural competence of students because less content on local culture was given in the exam papers.


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Author Biography

  • Humera Faraz, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Air University, Islamabad, Pakistan.


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How to Cite

Faraz, H., Shehzad, W., & Saleem, M. (2024). Assessing Intercultural Competence in Pakistani Students: An Analysis of O-Level English Language Examination. Qlantic Journal of Social Sciences, 5(2), 57-65.

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