Tuesday, November 11, 2014

InterculturalCom: Intercultural Sensitivity and Competence: Intercultural Training - Part 1 (Activity) Fa14

Research on the best methods of teaching and training in intercultural communication has a long history beginning with the work of anthropologist around the time of World War II. By the 1970s anthropologist lost interest in intercultural interactions and communication scholars carried on the study of intercultural communication. Two of these communication scholars (Gudykunst and Hammer) are among the top prolific authors and most cited authors in the field of intercultural communication (Hammer was my advisor at American University). In one of the articles written by Gudykunst and Hammer they outlined the overall goals of intercultural education or intercultural training (ICT).

  • "...most ICT involves some form of change in three areas: cognition, affect, and behavior. Cognitively, ICT generally is aimed at helping trainees understand how their culture, stereotypes, and attitudes influence their interactions with members of other cultures. Cognitive ICT goals, therefore, focus on knowledge and/or awareness. Affectively, ICT generally is aimed at helping trainees effectively manage their emotional reactions (e.g., anxiety) when interacting with members of other cultures. Behaviorally, ICT generally is designed to help trainees develop the skills they need to interact effectively with members of other cultures" (Gudykunst, Guzley and Hammer, 1996, p. 65).

In this course we will work on these three goals: cognition, affect and behavior.

Let's explore some types of intercultural training and well-known intercultural training activities.

First, film may be used in intercultural training.  A fictional film which shows intercultural interaction may teach a viewer some facts about another culture and, depending on how well the viewer identifies with the characters in the film, it may also have an emotional or affective effect.

Mr. Nice GuyThis is a clip that I edited and posted on YouTube. I use this clip in my Intercultural Communication course to introduce students to the difficulties of intercultural communication.

In the clip Jackie's fiancé has just arrived in the U.S.

Is there intercultural miscommunication? What is the problem exactly? Whose fault is it? Is it right to blame somebody?

Some additional types of intercultural training and well-known intercultural training activities will be explored in future posts.

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