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Communication Across Cultures

 

For your assignment you need to develop an Intercultural Portfolio comprising TWO parts.
Part One : Intercultural Journal (25%) (around 1,000 words but depends on the incidents and your ability to describe them )
Pay close attention to any interactions you have with people from a different country ( or social group) from your own, and keep a diary of any incidents that you found surprising, unusual, annoying or difficult to understand. Include the following information:
? Who was involved
? Exactly what happened/what was said
? How you reacted
? A brief analysis of what happened and the different perspectives of the people involved, referring to cultural values, social rules and/ or communication conventions. You should support your conclusions with some theories from your reading or those you have discussed in class.
The following example illustrates the headings you should use and the kind of things you could write but remember to add theories to help your reflections :

Date:
Location: At my host family?s house
Observation/Description
This morning I had to go to school at 8.10am but I could not hear my alarm clock ringing at 6.40am, so I overslept until 8.am. My host mother did not wake me up though she heard the alarm clock?s sound.
Reaction
She was very unkind to me. Maybe she doesn?t care if I have many difficulties at school. I felt loneliness.
Analysis
In Japan people help each other. We always take care of our families and always take care of our friends even if they are grown-up persons. To take care of each other is a most important value for us. Host mother said in the evening, ?Next time if you don?t wake up, what should I do? I respected your privacy this morning?. Her words were very impressive to me. I understood her attitude represented the important American values: individualism and privacy. Maybe she also wanted me to learn ?self-help? and ? time control? to survive in America.
From Kohls & Knight 1994: 68
Select FOUR of these incidents to include in your portfolio

 
Part Two: Cultural Profiles (25%) (word count ?about 2,000 words)
In class you will have prepared your own cultural profile and learned how you have developed your own cultural characteristics and how these have been influenced by your day to day experiences and the society from which you come. Using the questions in the Cultural Autobiography, write up your own cultural profile.
Interview someone from a completely different culture from your own and write up a cultural profile of him or her. Compare and contrast this with your own profile and using ?Hofstede?s dimensions? (or other relevant theories), further explain these differences.
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