Workshop on Intercultural Learning

22 January 2020

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Workshop on Intercultural Learning

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Short description of the workshops’ purpose

This workshop was developed during my training course in Erasmus plus project in Portugal.

The aim of this small workshop consists of to reduce cultural differences and promote intercultural learning.

Technical preparation of the workshop

Theme

Intercultural learning


Group size

20-30 people


Timing

60 minutes


Objectives

  • Raising awareness and critical distance about own culture;
  • Experiencing different cultures to get past stereotypes and prejudices;
  • Learning about different cultures to open our perspectives and our point of view;

Materials

For the warm-up activity: basic vocabulary (e.g. good morning) written on the board in different languages, collected from the participants’ knowledge if possible.

For the main theater activity: printed info sheets about four
different countries

(see below)


Instructions

Warm-up activity:

People are standing in a circle.

A simple word is chosen (e.g. good morning) by the leader.

One person starts saying it in a chosen language (the
languages written on the board can help) and combines it with a
movement.

Now, all participants repeat all together with the language
and movement.

Then, the first person passes the turn to another person, who chooses a new language and a new movement. Etc.

If there is enough time left there could be a second-round with another word.

Culture Sketch:

Four groups are formed by the leader.

Each group receives an information sheet with facts and values of different countries.

The group has 15 minutes to prepare with the given information a short theatre sketch of around 1-2 mins.

This sketch needs to contain 2 out of 3 pieces of information from the sheet.

After, the group is supposed to tell the audience the presented country, their performed facts and possible values or meanings of these facts.


Debriefing and evaluation

  1. How did you like the activities?
  2. How did you feel preparing and performing the culture scene?
  3. How did you feel watching the cultural scenes?
  4. Did you learn something from the activities and if so what?
  5. Did you find any connections with your own culture?
  6. What did you learn about cultural differences?
  7. What would you change or improve about the activities?
  8. Are the activities related to your life?
  9. How and when can they be helpful for you?

Variations

The information sheets about countries can vary.

The words and languages of the warm-up game can be changed.


Attached documents

JAPAN

Workshop on Intercultural Learning

1) Japanese get very annoyed with people talking on mobile phones in a quiet environment (e.g. on a train, a bus or in a park).

It is actually required that you put your mobile on silent and turn the ringer off.

Culturally, this can mean:

  • A sense of politeness and respect of others;
  • A feeling of mutual obligations;
  • An appreciation of silence and non-verbal communication;
  • What else can it mean?

2) It is usual to see men in their business suits sleeping on the streets all over Tokyo, with their briefcases as their pillows.

This happens when they missed the last train home without any cash for a taxi.

Then they just find a quiet, comfortable spot near the train station to sleep until the first train around 6 A.M.

Workshop on Intercultural Learning

Culturally, this can mean:

  • Japan is a very safe place, without fear of being robbed or attacked at night ;
  • A special sense of public space and privacy;
  • What else can it mean?

3) Tipping a waiter in a restaurant or in a bar is considered rude.

Culturally, this can mean:

  • A sense of honor and pride;
  • A sense of modesty;
  • Avoidance of debt;
  • What else can it mean?

DOWNLOAD


GHANA

1) Ghana is the most peaceful country in Africa.

Workshop on Intercultural Learning

Culturally, this can mean:

  • That all religions and the indigenous culture respect each other as equals;
  • Ghana never lost its original culture when being colonized and gained its independence very early;
  • What else can it mean?

2) People carry things on their heads.

Workshop on Intercultural Learning

Culturally, this can mean:

  • The continuation of the original Ghanese tradition;
  • That they want to keep the freedom of movement;
  • A practical choice;
  • What else can it mean?

3) Polygamy is accepted. Even though all religions are represented in Ghana, those supporting it and those who do not support it.

Culturally, this can mean:

  • The religious tolerance in Ghana is really high;
  • The original Ghanese culture is still alive despite other cultural influences;
  • What else can it mean?

DOWNLOAD


INDIA

Workshop on Intercultural Learning

1) The Namaste (or namaskar) is a traditional greeting from the ancient Hindu culture. It translates to ‘I bow to you’.

It means also ‘May our minds meet’. To do it, you place your palms before your chest and bow down.

Culturally, this can mean:

  • The reductions of one’s ego in the presence of the other;
  • A sign of respect and politeness to the other;
  • What else can it mean?

2) In India, the concept of a joint family is very important.

Workshop on Intercultural Learning

The entire family (grand-parents, parents, children and in some
cases relatives) all live together in one house.

Culturally, this can mean:

  • A strong sense of community;
  • A way of handling pressure and stress from the outside world;
  • Value of the family and loyalty;
  • What else can it mean?

3) The cow is considered as a holy animal and can be easily found walking freely in the streets.

Workshop on Intercultural Learning

People feed and shelter them.

Eating or killing cows is considered a sin.

Culturally, this can mean:

  • The respect of the religious traditions;
  • What else can it mean?

DOWNLOAD


MEXICO

1) In Mexico, there exists a unique Holiday called The day of the dead.

Workshop on Intercultural Learning

On this day family and friends meet and
celebrate and pray to support the spiritual journey of the dead person.

Culturally, this can mean:

  • A different relationship to death;
  • Death is not a taboo, it is talked about openly;
  • The Death is deeply honored;
  • What else can it mean?

2) Artists can pay their taxes using artworks who they create.

Culturally, this can mean:

  • The appreciation of arts and creativity as a valuable good;
  • What else can it mean?

3) It’s ok to be late (up to 30 minutes).

Culturally, this can mean:

  • Flexibility;
  • They are relaxed about time and trust others;
  • What else can it mean?

DOWNLOAD


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