IATEFL+++ Côte d’Ivoire +++ Palestine +++ Kenya +++ culturally responsive teaching +++ Absolutely Intercultural 194

Focusing on a Skype call in Palestine
Today we’ll be hearing about some amazing efforts by an English teacher in Côte d’Ivoire to get his students confident in speaking English. Our contributor’s name is also interesting! Then we’ll be talking to a Palestinian teacher I met at the IATEFL conference earlier this year whose students used Skype to show how a Palestinian wedding is arranged. And we’ll be hearing about church services in Kenya. We also have news of additions to our website and a new newsletter that you can subscribe to if you are a teacher who wants to be more culturally responsive in the classroom. In fact we have a couple of other new things up our sleeves before the end of 2015, so stay tuned!

absolutely Palestinian
Did you know that September 17th is International Collaboration Day, a new initiative to open the classrooms of the world to others. One person you may like to hook your class to is Atiyyeh Hussein Al-Habal who is using Skype to overcome the constraints of travelling in and out of Palestine. Listen how his 13-17 year old students’ perspectives have been widened by connecting up with classes in Russia, Romania and the UK by Skype even including a short play showing how a Palestinian wedding is arranged. Atiyyeh Hussein is looking for opportunities to connect so do get in touch if you would like it to be one of your classes. You will find his email here or you can contact us and we will pass on your details. In Skype you can have an audio only connection or audio with video. Video takes more bandwidth so my first question was why was it important to use video?
How many of you have Internet at home?
absolutely rebellious
At the IATEFL conference in Manchester earlier this year I met Nda Kouassi from Côte d’Ivoire who was experimenting with his English classes. Listen as he tells us how absolutely rebellious he is in a country where not only the curriculum but also the teaching methods are prescribed. I also wondered how Nda Kouassi’s ideas were filtering to his colleagues…

absolutely party
In our final slot, we will travel to Kenya. You may remember that I featured my daughter and one of her schoolmates in show 188 on a school trip to Kenya. The Danish students were each hosted in private homes and Caroline’s family took her to church on Sunday. This was like no other church service Caroline had ever experienced before so let’s go absolutely party.

Remember that if you would like to connect with an upper secondary boys school in Palestine that Atiyyeh Hussein is looking for more partners. If you have an idea for the show then contact us. And don’t forget to take a look at the new page on culturally responsive teaching on our website where you can sign up to a newsletter collating together ideas and information as well as links to available training. Don’t forget that September 17th is Global Collaboration Day!
There’s even more coming in the next few weeks so we should have an exciting end to 2015. The next show will be coming to you from Germany with Laurent Borgmann on October 2nd so until then, stay tuned!
Don’t forget to like us on Facebook or leave a comment on iTunes and stay tuned!
The host of this show is: Anne Fox

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Absolutely Intercultural 193 +++ selfies +++ image projection +++ selfie gadgets +++


15352991352_09994a8a23_mListen to today’s podcast and find out about ‘‘Selfies’’. We talk to three of our exchange students from Croatia, Australia and Pakistan and learn about their perspectives on taking selfies.

absolutely selfish
There are three types of people in the world; ‘‘the addicted ones’’ who take selfies and proudly publish them on social media everyday, ‘‘ the modest ones’’ who take selfies sometimes and then ‘‘ the ones in denial’’ who say they are not taking selfies but somehow are part of group selfies. In the beginning of the show we hear from our ERASMUS and exchange students Laura from Australia, Zrinka form Croatia and Amama from Pakistan who tell us what they think about selfies and irritating selfie habits.

absolutely German
Selfies are a way to project ourselves to the world. We project our image in the way we want others to see us. Perhaps there are other ways of self-projection too; your actions and the way you treat people say much more about you than a simple innocent ‘‘Selfie’’. In our second part we listen to Vera Klopprogge about her internship experience in which she tried to be a little “less German”.

absolutely technological
Technology is not only helping us make our everyday life easier, it is also helping us promote our image to the world the way we want to. Even taking selfies is becoming more and more effortless and simple. Modern equipment that allows us to take selfies from the angles and the distance we want to, has saved us the embarrassment of jumping around to find that ‘‘ perfect selfie’’. In our last category we go back to selfies and hear about the technological advancements in selfie equipment and some thoughts about the group dynamics of taking group selfies or “groupies”.

 

And please do not forget to visit our Facebook page.

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Editor: Amama Farooq

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SIETAR +++ Third Culture Kid +++ Shelley Morrison +++ Lisa Liang +++ Alien Citizen +++ Absolutely Intercultural 192 +++

Hemispheric_Twilight_-_Valencia,_Spain_-_Jan_2007In May I attended the SIETAR conference in Valencia, Spain and today I’m going to bring you two very different tastes from the conference. SIETAR is the Society for Intercultural Education Training and Research and we will be hearing about third culture kids and how to train people to work well together online.

absolutely virtual
I met Shelley Morrison who does intercultural training online from Seattle. Many people do this and many people offer online coaching but what intrigued me about Shelley was that she runs live training sessions lasting up to 8 hours online which I hadn’t heard of before. Let’s hear why companies ask Shelley Morrison to give them intercultural training online. My first question to Shelley was who do you train and what do you train them in?

absolutely third culture kid
A third culture kid or TCK is a child brought up by parents of different cultures in yet another culture. Especially for families that move around a great deal while the children are young this will have a number of effects some good and some bad on the children. What can you do if this was your childhood? Lisa Liang’s session was actually a one woman play in which she gave us a glimpse into what it was like to grow up in so many different cultures. We have put together a few links where you can see some extracts from Lisa’s play as well as links to a podcast show she did where she discusses much more about the issues involved. It’s not often you go to a conference and watch a play but that’s what I did at the SIETAR conference where I saw Lisa Liang’s piece Alien Citizen: An Earth Odyssey which was all about her perspective on a nomadic life as a child as a result of her father being sent to different locations as part of his work. After seeing it I had many questions so let’s find out first what is it that qualified Lisa as a third culture kid or TCK as it is often referred to.

Lisa will be performing her play in Cape Town on the day this show goes out so all the best to you Lisa. I can see from your Facebook page that you have made it to the conference already!

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook or leave a comment on iTunes and stay tuned!

The next show will be coming to you from Germany with Laurent Borgmann on August 7th so until then, stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox

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Image: “Hemispheric Twilight – Valencia, Spain – Jan 2007” by DiliffEget arbejde. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Absolutely Intercultural 191 +++ Storytelling +++ Germany +++ Pakistan +++ Canada +++

 

The focus oIMG_3748f today’s show is on storytelling and we hear from students and how they have used story telling in different situations including in work and at university. We also hear from an exchange student from Pakistan and learn about some of the cultural differences between Germany and Pakistan.

absolutely influential

We have grown up with stories all around us. I’m sure you can all remember that one person at school who was always really good at telling stories and had the attention of everyone in the room and left you begging for more? Well on today’s show we hear how students from the RheinAhrCampus utilize story telling in various everyday aspects of their lives. I had the opportunity to speak with Franziska Lang, who explains how in her classes storytelling is used as a method of teaching to encourage students to plan their own internationalisation.

absolutely attractive

I speak with Crispin Becher who had a booth at our International Day at the University. Crispin was representing the German-Canadian association. He was advertising Canada to the new students and using his stories from abroad to entice others to take on an exchange semester there. On the show he talks about how he managed to attract attention to his booth as well as why storytelling would be beneficial for his future career.

absolutely eye-opening

Then I interviewed Amama Farooq who is from Pakistan. She studied in Turkey and is now an ERASMUS exchange student in Germany and talks about the differences between the two cultures and her learning journey towards understanding a new culture.

absolutely improved

I speak with Tatjana Lietz who is a student in the International Business Simulations course at the university. For this course, the students work in a company to produce marketing videos. As a part of this course, the students organised a press conference to showcase their work. Tatjana speaks about how she used story telling to create an interesting and entertaining press conference.

 

And please do not forget to visit our Facebook page.

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Editor: Laura McGuire

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IATEFL +++ Manchester +++ Pakistan +++ Nepal +++ Bangladesh +++ Afghanistan +++ Zimbabwe +++ Cameroon +++ Absolutely Intercultural 190 +++

web-banner-2015-url-hashtag-330x250In this show I will be taking you to Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Cameroon and Zimbabwe. For example why do people learn English in Pakistan? And what do you think the best way of delivering training would be to the semi-literate migrant workers of Bangladesh? This show includes snippets of recordings made at the IATEFL conference in Manchester last month.
IATEFL stands for International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language and it is the word International which attracts people from all over the world. The conference is quite large but of course not everyone can afford the time and money to attend. So it’s really great that there is now a very professional service during each annual conference, streaming sessions and interviews online. If you are curious to see more then go to https://iatefl.britishcouncil.org/2015 where you can watch for free all the recordings that were made right up until the next conference in April 2016.
IATEFL is for teachers of English but intercultural matters often emerge because you have foreign teachers working far away from home, you have the question of whether it is right for the English language to dominate globally as it does right now and you also have questions about how far teacher training dreamed up in the West can be translated to other contexts, to name just a few of the issues which regularly come up at the IATEFL conference.

absolutely fresh-faced
Umesh Shrestha talks about what Nepalese teachers expect their teacher trainers to look like. While Umesh is Nepalese, he works for the British Council and he often meets resistance … though maybe not for the reason you think:

absolutely mobile
There was a great deal about using mobile devices to learn English at IATEFL and perhaps unexpectedly this is also relevant to countries such as Pakistan where dumb (as against SMART) phone ownership is much higher than internet accessibility. We heard at the start of the show Bilal Ahmad talking about the direct financial effect of learning English so let’s now hear how Pakistanis are using their radio and their mobile phones to learn English as we go absolutely mobile:

We also heard about mobile learning for not just English but also intercultural communication from Mike Solly of Britain’s Open University who is hoping to build a collection of video content to view on your mobile phone for the migrant workers of Bangladesh. In this case video content helps train a target group that is often semi-literate.

absolutely military
Tarek Walizada explains why army officers in Afghanistan spend 15% of their officer training on English.

absolutely bottom-up
For our next two slots we’ll be moving to Africa to hear from two of the most inspirational speakers of the IATEFL conference. If you have the time to watch these two plenaries on the IATEFL website I really think you will find it worthwhile. Common to both was an absolutely bottom up approach to change. The first plenary speaker was Ann Cotton who discovered that there was not a systematic bias against girls in Zimbabwe. If you move on to the plenary recording you will find out that Cotton set up an organisation called CamFed which not only gives girls an education but helps them in the many other ways they need in order to set up an independent and useful life for themselves. This is a wonderful example of a bottom up initiative where Cotton helps by listening to those in need.

The next extract features Harry Kuchah Kuchah from Cameroon who learned how to teach classes of 250 students by enlisting their help. I must admit that this was not what I was expecting to hear with my head filled with stereotypes of authoritarian African teachers! Watch the full plenary here.

In the next show I produce at the beginning of July we’ll be hearing from Atiyyeh Al-Habal who links up his students in a very rural school of Palestine,Kharbatha Al-Mesbah, west of Ramallah, with classes all over the world and in fact he’s looking for more partner schools so if you are interested then mail him at honoredboy@hotmail.com

Thanks to IATEFL for allowing me to use the recordings.

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and stay tuned!

The next show will be coming to you from Germany with Laurent Borgmann on June 5th so until then, stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox

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Absolutely Intercultural 189 +++ Brazil +++ Argentina +++ Finland +++ Germany +++

Photo by Laurent BorgmannToday we will focus on studying abroad and we will listen to students from France and Finland who are spending some time abroad in Brazil, Argentina and Germany.

absolutely unforgettable

Brazil is a dream destination for most of us because of the weather, the Carnival de Bahia, the music, and above all the very friendly people. However, it does not have the reputation as one of the safest places and unfortunately, we hear some first-hand experience as Thomas shares with us his traumatic experience of being robbed in the street. The students talk about how they managed to accomplish studying abroad, differences between the cultures, including eating times and what they miss most about home.

absolutely abroad

 

Laura McGuire, our editor grabbed the microphone herself and had a chat with Thomas Eade about differences between student life in Finland and Germany. Thomas talks about how he arrived in Germany, what he hopes to get out of the experience and the challenges a non-German speaker faces.

absolutely immersed

 

We go back to Brazil with Thomas and Quentin to hear what it is like to study in a foreign language. They also give us their reasons to add Brazil and Argentina to our bucket list.

Well I’ve already visited Brazil and can agree with Thomas, it is very a sunny place, especially in February. However, I will have to add backpacking through the beautiful landscapes of Argentina to my bucket list as Quentin suggested.

 

And please do not forget to visit our Facebook page.

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Editor: Laura McGuire

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Mongolia +++ Aberdeen +++ Kenya +++ Inside Out +++ Absolutely Intercultural 188 +++

IMG_0116In this show we are going to go to Mongolia, to Kenya and to Aberdeen. There IS an over-arching theme but I wonder if you can guess what it is?

absolutely late
At the high school in Grenaa students there have the chance to go on an exchange trip to Kenya. Last year our family hosted a student from Nairobi and in January it was my daughter’s turn to go to Kenya. Let’s be absolutely late and hear Mia Fox and her friend Karoline Fogh talk about the trip. In fact there is much more to tell about this trip which I might feature in a future show.
Don’t forget that if you have any comments or ideas for future shows you can always contact us through this website or through our Facebook page.

absolutely Aberdeen
We’ve heard a great deal about being an exchange student over the years on this podcast. Today we’re going to talk to students who have travelled abroad for the whole of their degree. What were they expecting? Let’s go absolutely Aberdeen and hear from Amalie and Gwen from Denmark, and Josephine and Saga from Sweden who all met after starting a degree course in Aberdeen, Scotland.

absolutely Mongolian
Now we’ll hear from a scientist who went to do some fieldwork in Mongolia. Tony Fox had never been to Mongolia before and was working there in an international team including US, Chinese, Mongolian, Russian and Korean scientists last July. What was the most noticeable thing about the landscape? Next I could not resist asking about the Mongolian round tents known as yurts or gers. Are they really still commonly used?

absolutely Inside Out
Back at the school in Grenaa, Denmark, I talked to Karoline and Mia about an international art project their class is involved with. So if you have a group of people who want to participate in the  Inside Out project then just go over to the website and have a go.

The over-arching theme? Well, the link was that every one of those segments involved one of my immediate family! Sort of Fox News?

So, don’t forget to like us on Facebook and stay tuned!

The next show will be coming to you from Germany with Laurent Borgmann on April 3rd so until then, stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox

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Absolutely Intercultural 187 +++ Cultural Comparison +++ Learning German +++ Australian Culture

Maybe you will notice that we have a new editor on the show. Laura has left the Sunshine Coast, Australia, to come and take on a year here at RheinAhrCampus in Germany. We all think she is crazy to give up all that beautiful sunshine but are so happy to have her on our team. Thanks a lot to Younes Jaber who has helped us produce so many good shows in the past and is now about to finish his studies.

absolutely surprised

As a German I have had many snow-filled days in my life and, to be honest, I dread the complications for public transport or for my evening bicycle rides when the snow freezes over. However, for an Australian, snow is not a part of Laura’s normal routine and you can tell that she is much more excited about it. It is difficult to imagine that she is unfamiliar with the mundane things we do in snowy weather, such as melting snow on pavements with salt, or at least spreading sand on it to make walking safer.

absolutely unknown

Laura had a chat with Franziska about differences between life in Germany and life in Australia and of course we hear something about the typical Aussie BBQ, gorgeous weather, but also a shark attack.

absolutely challenged

We discover what it is like for Laura and Yonatan to learn German in the country. Yonatan is originally from Eritrea but studied at our partner University Yasar in Izmir, Turkey. We hear about exciting situations that the two find themselves in when faced with a language they do not know.

Learning a new language is obviously a very new topic for Laura and the process seems to pose interesting challenges for her and Yonatan. We can only wish them all the best and I hope they continue to enjoy these ambiguous situations they described and keep practicing.

 

And please do not forget to visit our Facebook page.

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Editor:  Laura McGuire

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Stereotypes +++ Dubuque +++ Yartey +++ Ideal Global Life Summit +++ Absolutely Intercultural 186

1622414_10203754713767118_2814680752038057489_oHappy New Year! Welcome to the first Absolutely Intercultural show of 2015 brought to you by Anne Fox in Denmark.

absolutely global
W
e start by going absolutely global as the Living Your Ideal Global Life Summit, which ran for the first time last January, is about to happen again. I will let Sabrina Ziegler one of the main organisers, tell us what we can expect this year. Don’t forget that it is free to participate, you can sign up at the website  and the dates are from 26 to 30 January. If we’re lucky we may be bringing you a few highlights from the summit in a future show.

absolutely stereotypical
This show is a little different as most of it is given over to a discussion I had with a group of students from the University of Dubuque in Iowa on the topic of stereotypes. Their teacher, Franklin Yartey contacted us and we arranged to meet via Skype. We had just run a two week series of links about stereotypes on our Facebook page so many of the issues were fresh in my mind and it was great to have all these different perspectives. Let’s go absolutely stereotypical and eavesdrop on a discussion I had with Franklin Yartey’s class on the topic of stereotypes. Just a bit of harmless fun or can stereotypical thinking really affect the course of people’s lives? I started by asking if anybody in the class had ever been stereotyped. Skype. Thanks to Nicholas Dolson, Austin Healey, Sydney Temperly, Cody J. Shipp, Rika Thibodeaux, Guillermo Garcia, Chris Gansen, Adrian Collier, Brittany Chenelia, Bekka Jacobs and all the other members of the class. Thanks to Franklin Yartey who started the whole thing off and who helped out with a great deal of technical support.

See below for a very eloquent and passionate overview of the issue.

So, don’t forget to like us on Facebook and stay tuned!

The next show will be coming to you from Germany with Laurent Borgmann on February 6th so until then, stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox

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Absolutely Intercultural 185 +++ Christmas Traditions +++ New Year’s Resolutions +++ Intercultural Christmas

Christmas-at-the-beach_01December – in the north of Europe this means Christmas trees, mulled wine, lots of snow and if you are lucky you may spot the odd reindeer. In our show today I asked how my guests celebrate Christmas in Australia, England, Germany, Singapore and Eritrea but also how people formulate their New Year’s resolutions in different cultures.

Christmas celebrations differ around the globe but typically involve gatherings of family and friends and indulging in rich and glorious food and drink. When talking about Christmas, everyone seems to have their own ideal view of what “Christmas” should be all about, which, however, varies greatly from country to country. For me, as a child, Christmas meant spending the holy evening with my family, singing traditional, often gloomy German Christmas songs, remembering previous Christmases and excitedly anticipating the moment where I get to un-wrap my gifts. For the last 25 years, I have been abroad in different countries for that period of year, experiencing different intercultural traditions. I have been fortunate enough to meet people from all around the world and hear about how they spend their festive night.

absolutely festive

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking with Laura from Australia, Anna from England, Rashimah from Singapore and Yonatan from Eritrea and hear about their Christmas traditions. First up I asked Yonatan whether or not everyone celebrates Christmas in his African home country.

absolutely resolved

It’s not just Christmas, New Year’s is also just around the corner. Typically, at this time of year, it means formulating a New Year’s resolution to leave our bad habits behind. Generally this means setting some unrealistic ambitions, such as for a chain-smoker to quit smoking or for me to lose 5 kilos of weight. Of course resolutions differ from country to country and from culture to culture. I asked Beatrice from Germany if she has any new year’s resolutions for the coming year.

absolutely different

We already heard about various Christmas traditions from different cultural backgrounds and now we go further in depth and hear about what preparations are involved for the joyful meals. I ask Rashimah if eating at a restaurant would be on the cards for her Christmas night in Singapore or is Christmas celebrated strictly at the family house.

For over 25 years my wife and I have been away from German Christmas and traveled to warmer climates; however, wherever you go the festive season seems to catch up with us in some way. Myself and everyone from the absolutely intercultural team wish you a very merry Christmas and as we would say in Germany “Einen guten Rutsch in’s neue Jahr”, meaning “A joyful slide into the New Year”.

And please do not forget to visit our Facebook page.

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Editors: Younes Jaber & Laura McGuire

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