Intercultural Learning Suzi Aadland September 15, 2010
What are our goals? • Increase your knowledge of the basic concepts of intercultural communication • Identify your personal responses to cultural differences • Understanding does not imply agreement
Why is this important? • So you are able to communicate effectively with people of other cultures • So you are able to function on intercultural teams • So you can understand the impact of your work in a global and societal context • Employers desire these skills, and you will need them to be successful in your career
Introduction • What is your culture? • What makes you who you are? • There are a number of cultural attributes that may be different for each culture. Name as many as you can.
Age Gender/Sex Ethnic or national origin Religion Class/occupation Geographic region Urban/suburban/ rural location Exceptionality Cultural Characteristics
Cultural Characteristics (continued) • Individual vs. Collective • Verbal and nonverbal communication • Relationships • Time concepts • Space concepts • Gender roles • Hierarchical structure
Interculturalism • “Globalization” has a negative connotation; equates with colonialism and/or imperialism • Intercultural includes international and multicultural groups
Ethnocentrism • “1. Belief in the superiority of one's own ethnic group. 2. Overriding concern with race.” (American Heritage Dictionary)
Stereotype • “1. A stereotype is a standardized conception or image of a specific group of people or objects.” Such as: “All teenagers love rock & roll and have no respect for their elders” or “In England it rains all the time.” (http://www.serve.com/shea/stereodf.htm) • “3. To give a fixed, unvarying form to.” (American Heritage Dictionary)
Prejudice • “NOUN:1a. An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts. b. A preconceived preference or idea. • 3. Irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion.” (American Heritage Dictionary)
Cultural Functions • Culture is coherent, learned, and shared • Culture ranks what is important • Culture furnishes attitudes • Culture dictates behavior • From “Intercultural Communication in the Global Workplace” by Beamer and Varner
Culture is coherent, learned and shared • “Common Sense is common only to a particular culture.” (M. Bennett) • Russia - 1930’s law regarding speculation…immoral profiteering. (Beamer & Varner) • What is an example of a US law that changed culture?
Culture ranks what is important • Cultural value orientations • Freedom, equality, democracy, humanitarianism, progress, activism, achievement, practicality, informality, morality (good vs. bad) • Basic necessities, such as food, shelter, safety
Culture furnishes attitudes and dictates behavior • Business • Religion • Gender roles • Government • Communication styles
What resources are available? • Campus/community • Personal contacts • Books, publications • Web resources • Speakers in other classes • Personal experiences and observations (be careful!)
What in the world just happened? • How do you evaluate your experiences? • What criteria do you use? • D-I-E Model • Describe • Interpret • Evaluate (Two men holding hands)
Unwritten Rules • What are the unwritten rules of harmony in your family? • What are some unwritten rules of getting ahead as a student? • What will be the unwritten rules of getting ahead in your career?
Learning Styles • Competitive vs. cooperative • Lecture • Memorization • Experiential • Question & debate all presented • Open discussion & feedback • Environment
Learning Styles • “Western students attribute success to ability, and failure to its lack; Asian students attribute success to effort and failure to its lack.” (Klopf, 2000)
Communication Barriers • Language differences • Idioms • Slang • Non-verbal perceptions • Cultural (personal) perceptions, interpretations • Tension, apprehension, fear of making a mistake; discomfort
Stuffed Randy Sharp Napkins Fanny Buggered Vest On the job Slang – British English
Pecker Rubber Cheap Bangers Pissed Homely Tinkle To knock up Scheme To bomb Slang – British English
Everyday idioms – how would you explain these? • Shoot! • You kill me! • Down the road • Break the ice • Good to go • Heads up • Get a sense of • Get your foot in the door • You bet! You betcha! & Yup! • Any time • What’s up? • On the ball • Give it a shot • Keep your chin up • Chime in
A successful advertisement in Europe “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux”
Exercise – Cultural Reinforcers • “Little children should be seen and not heard.” • “A woman’s place is in the home.” • What other “proverbs” can you think of that reinforce our culture?
Exercise – Cultural Reinforcers • “Never, never catch a lion by the tail. But if you do: Never let go!” • “Russia is big and the Czar is far away” • “The ill-mannered child will find a father wherever he goes” • “Sweep only the front of your own door”
Exercise – Cultural Reinforcers • “Nothing done with intelligence is done without speech” • “Those who know do not speak and those who speak do not know” • “A zebra does not despise its stripes” • “The spit aimed at the sky comes back to me”
Ivanhoe International CenterSuzi.Aadland@sdsmt.edu394-6884http://international.sdsmt.edu Lower level of Surbeck Center, next to Student Activities & Leadership