Research Article

Investigating the Impact of Cultural Awareness on Language Learners' Motivation and Proficiency


  • Hilda Jeyakumari Brainee Assistant Professor, Faculty of Language Studies, Arab Open University Bahrain, Bahrain


Learning multiple languages is advantageous for individuals engaging with diverse communities across borders. However, language barriers and miscommunication have posed significant challenges, prompting learners to improve their foreign language skills, knowledge, and expertise. A lack of cultural awareness and sensitivity has hindered learners from successfully mastering foreign languages. The inability of the UK and European populations to promote diversity and inclusion, coupled with disrespectful attitudes towards other cultures, contributes to their struggles in language acquisition. To address these issues, active engagement in cultural activities can boost motivation and proficiency in language learning. Exploring Hofstede's six dimensions of cultural competency reveals that American learners exhibit lower anxiety levels than Korean learners in language training classrooms due to high individualism. Conversely, the high power distance in China, compared to Mongolia and Hungary, results in Chinese students being less interactive and assertive in classrooms. Limited interaction negatively impacts students' psychological and behavioral development, highlighting the importance of fostering intercultural communication skills. Thus, cultural factors have been elaborated with the implementations of Lewis's cultural competency model, which has elaborated that nations worldwide can be segregated into three categories based on their cultural beliefs such as linear-active, multi-active, and reactive. Among these three categories, reactive has been identified as the most flexible, people-oriented, and culturally aware nation, wherein most Asian countries like India, Malaysia, Korea, and Thailand belong. It has been identified that due to a lack of cultural awareness, the students have been confronting significant issues in confidently learning new languages with the inability to speak appropriate terms and pronounce them properly. Participation in cultural activities and training on intercultural communication might be helpful in mitigating cross-cultural issues in new language learning.

Article information


Journal of Gender, Culture and Society

Volume (Issue)

4 (1)





How to Cite

Brainee, H. J. (2024). Investigating the Impact of Cultural Awareness on Language Learners’ Motivation and Proficiency. Journal of Gender, Culture and Society, 4(1), 29–38.



Cultural Awareness, Learner Motivation, Learner Proficiency, Cross-cultural Communication, Language Barriers