Research topic: Cross-cultural encounters - Department …



If teachers are to become effective cross-cultural communicators, it isessential to understand the role that culture plays within themulti-cultural school setting. Lustig and Koester (2003) defineculture as "a learned set of shared interpretations about beliefs,values, and norms, which affect the behaviors of a relatively largegroup of people." Similarly, Samovar and Porter (1991) explainculture as a medium that touches and alters all aspects of human life,including personality, how people express themselves (which includesdisplays of emotion), the way they think, how they move, and howproblems are solved. Indeed, culture goes far beyond the climate,food, and clothing of a student's native country.

Culture, undoubtedly, is complex. It is multi-layered andmultifaceted. Indeed, some have likened it to an iceberg of whichonly the top is visible while a massive part remains unobservable belowthe surface of the water. Others have compared culture to anonion with its many layers (Hofstede, 1991). As one layer ispeeled, another layer lies beneath, waiting to be discovered. Both metaphors powerfully address the complexity of culture. Inthese complexities lies the challenge that teachers of ELLs face.

Cross Cultural Encounters Essay - 541 Words - …

Cross-cultural encounters have taken place throughout history in all parts of the world

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Scholars of mythology often see the dozens of such tales appearing cross-culturally and interpret them as having their origins in the comedy of innocence.

Cross-Cultural Encounters and Conflicts - Oxford …

[2] Craig Sorti, “Seven Lessons,” Cross-Cultural Dialogues: 74 Brief Encounters with Cultural Difference, (Yarmouth, Maine: Intercultural Press, 1994).

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Use questions such as the following to guide discussion of how our own cultural biases influence the way we view other groups. Be sure to ask the small group of observers for their views on the participants’ attempts to communicate across cultures and to maintain cultural norms.

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Cross Cultural Encounters Essay - 541 Words - StudyMode

9. Ask students to list as many examples of cross-cultural experiences as they can. Remind them that not all cross-cultural experiences take place in other countries or between people who speak different languages or come from different racial backgrounds. Attending worship services, for example, with a friend who holds different religious beliefs is a cross-cultural experience. It’s possible that going to a new school or having dinner at the home of a friend from another culture also could be a cross-cultural experience. Brainstorm ideas about what students can do to encourage clear communication in such situations.

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Competence in cross-cultural communication requires diving below thesurface to see the rest of the iceberg, and it involves onion peeling,too: acquiring a corpus of deeper cultural information that mightaffect how a teacher instructs and how a student learns. Whilethe iceberg and onion metaphors speak to the complex nature of culture,they also evoke an array of feelings. Running into an iceberg cancause an unexpected jolt, and an onion, as it is peeled, can cause theeyes to tear; likewise--to go from metaphor to analogy--the process ofbecoming culturally competent also comes with new challenges andexperiences that might, initially at least, surprise, shock, or evenoffend. In the classroom, being culturally competent alsoinvolves an understanding of how cultures differ under the surface andhow cultures respond differently to similar situations.