Author Archive for Karsten

absolutely intercultural 39 +++ international family life +++ bi-lingualism and bi-culturalism +++

Is it always an advantage to grow up with more than one language? And what happens if a child does not speak the language of one of its parents? To answer these, and many other questions, we have interviewed four people from very different backgrounds, who all have in common that they grew up either bi-culturally, bi-lingually or both.

absolutely bi-lingual
First you’ll hear about a woman whose parents had grown up speaking English and German, who of course herself grew up with these two languages and now raises her little daughter the same way.
Then Peter from England talks about what it was like to grow up with an Austrian mother and an English father in England. And how that changed the whole look and feel of their house in England.

absolutely mixed
Right after that we go south to Italy, where Manuel, whose father is Italian, tells us why he had to take a beginners’ course in the Italian language a few years ago, and what, as a young boy, got on his nerves when he was visiting his family in Italy.
And for the last part of the show we go even further south to Brazil. Stefanie also doesn’t really talk the language of her mother’s family, but she does love to visit them in Brazil.
The next show will be coming to you on the 21st of September from Anne Fox in Denmark.

So long…stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Edited and co-hosted by: Karsten Kneese

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absolutely intercultural 37 +++ Leaving it all behind +++ Sabbatical +++ Opera in Thailand +++

Leaving it all behind – Sabbatical year – Opera in Thailand

Leave it all behindWe reserve a special welcome to all our new listeners in Africa, South America and Asia. As you can see on our cluster map we are getting more and more hits from these parts of the world, and it’s great to have you with us on our little intercultural journey.

Well, it’s August, and at least in the northern hemisphere the holiday season is in full swing. “Holidays” – even when I only see the written word in an email message, it quickly seems to create pleasant pictures in my mind. I immediately think about beaches, mountains, islands and maybe you, too, you think about your favourite places? And, when you are on a holiday, don’t you sometimes develop fantasies about leaving you normal life behind and not going back? About getting away from it all for good? Or at least for a little longer than just a holiday? Well, in this episode we have interviewed three people who have done exactly that – but all in their different ways.

absolutely itchy feet
We will start with Jens Alderath, one of our very internationally mobile students, who first went to Australia for 8 month for his practical semester 2 years ago, then went to South Africa twice since he returned, after that spent some weeks in Austria and Ireland and is as we are speaking planning now to go back to South Africa after he will have finished his studies. Although he is only 23 years old, Jens seems to have become a “world citizen”, but what do his family and friends think about the constant series of farewells?

absolutely musical
Alessandro from Italy tells us what brought him to the opera in Thailand three years ago and why his life has changed from heavy metal to classical music.

absolutely free
But what would happen if Alessandros job became so stressful and tiring that he wanted to take a longer break? Could he take a whole year off? Well, this is exactly what Ralf Klatt did. Ralf is a teacher, and he took a so-called “sabbatical year” to get away from his daily routine in school. He toured the USA for three month, with only one companion – his motorcycle.

absolutely lifelong
Are you looking for realistic ways to improve your English and have some fun at the same time? Have you tried watching films in the original versions? Well, then this will strike a chord with you. Lisa Martin, one of our students here at the RheinAhrCampus, has come up with some great ideas.
The next show will be coming to you on the 24th of August from Anne Fox in Denmark.

So long…stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Edited and co-hosted by: Karsten Kneese

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absolutely intercultural 35 +++ Second Life & the “Edunation” +++ Podcasting & Education +++


Second Life and the Edunation, Podcasting and Education

The EdunationIn this episode we talk about how new web2.0 technologies and tools such as the three dimensional virtual world Second Life and Podcasting are changing the way we learn, the way we teach and how we shape and influence the process – so generally speaking – how web2.0 is changing the culture of education.

absolutely virtual (part 1)
We have interviewed Nicky Hockly from the Consultants-E in Barcelona about their ventures into this new world, and what the hype about Second Life is all about. The interview is split up into two parts, and you really shouldn’t miss the second one at the end of this show where Nicky talks about “Edunation” and what you can learn there.

absolutely practical
And before we continue our second life interview with Nicky Hockly you will hear Sebastian Dorok, an Apple Distinguished Educator and teacher of English and music at a highschool in Germany. Sebastian talks about his own experiences as a teacher and gives a hands-on example from his podcasting project with young students.

absolutely virtual (part 2)
Nicky tells us more about “Edunation”, what is happening on the virtual island and how Second Life can be used for teaching. And she reveals whether she herself is a Second Life person or not…so stay tuned!

The next show will be coming to you on the 27th of July from Anne Fox in Denmark.

So long…stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Edited and co-hosted by: Karsten Kneese

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absolutely intercultural 33 +++ Protestant Church Congress 2007 +++ Taizé +++ Religion & Society +++

Live from the Protestant Church Congress 2007 in Cologne – Taizé Experiences – Religion and Society

To do a show about religion was suggested by Irene Hansen who left a comment on our blog some weeks ago, where she also mentioned the Taizé Community. Taizé is a community in France but its members come from various different parts of the world – so the lifestyle in the community is at the same time religious and remarkably intercultural.

absolutely abroad
Our good friend Fernando moved from Spain to the USA a few months ago, and he tells us about his observations regarding religion in general and especially Catholicism in the United States. Fernando, welcome back to ‘absolutely intercultural!’

Father Rogerabsolutely personal
We got in touch with Irene and arranged to meet her at the five day protestant church congress in Cologne, Germany, which came to an end last Sunday the 10th of June with a service attended by over 100,000 participants from all over the world. Supported by Anne Knopf and Gereon Reuter, two of our students here at RheinAhrCampus, she interviewed quite a number of people about their wishes and dreams for the world, about their experiences at the church congress and about their visits to the Taize community in France.

absolutely recommendable
But of course we haven’t been the only podcasters at the protestant church congress. The Deutsche Welle Radio for example has created a fantastic feature about the event that will provide you with even more eyewitness reports and thoughts about faith and its position in the world. So we recommend to you to go to the Deutsche Welle website and listen to their correspondents reports.

absolutely lifelong
Watch out for international conventions, exhibitions, fairs or anything that brings people from other countries to your city. At these events is usually very easy to get in contact with interesting people and learn more about their culture and of course their language.
Street preacherabsolutely original
Listent to a street preacher at Victoria Station in London who was using a megaphone to draw attention to the importance of God and hear a group of believers of the Hare Krishna movement who were out in the street to reach out to passers-by and attract them to their religious beliefs by singing.
Announcement

Karsten Kneese will participate in a panel about “The future of educasts” at 4 pm on June 20th for the Podcastday 2007. The panel will be recorded and can be downloaded after the event.

The next show will be coming to you on the 29th of June from Anne Fox in Denmark.

So long…stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Edited and co-hosted by: Karsten Kneese

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absolutely intercultural 31 +++ International Week @ RheinAhrCampus +++ Study abroad +++ Where is Lithuania heading? +++

International Week at RheinAhrCampus – Study abroad – Where is Lithuania heading?


For one week each year we celebrate the international and intercultural aspects of the University of Applied Science Koblenz, this year again with support from the DAAD initiative Go Out!. Every year we invite guests from our partner universities and experts who give presentations for our students about studying or working abroad. However, this time, there were not only students from our own university, but also Agnes Dus from Corvinus University in Budapest in Hungary, and Johan Olsson from Umea University in Sweden. Agnes and Johan were our roving reporters for this week, and they ran from one location to another, always looking for good opportunities to interview people and find out about their international and intercultural experiences.

absolutely studentlike

For our first column they have interviewed three students about their intercultural experiences and plans. Isabelle for example talks about different cultural ways how people do business, and Daniel tells us how his stay in Singapore has changed his life and why you shouldn’t trust too much what you can learn from books about intercultural behaviour.

absolutely experienced
For the second column Johan spoke to Professor Patrick McMahon from the North East Wales Institute of Higher Education. He turned around the perspective and asked him, what he as a lecturer can learn from international students and what has changed most in the British student culture since he was a student himself.

absolutely lithuanian
Agnes met Ruta Jankauskiene from the University of Kaunas. Ruta will give us an insight on the Lithuanian perspective on international exchanges and where her country is heading.
absolutely lifelong
And last but not least we are proud to present a new column “absolutely lifelong” where we will share good ideas to organise your own life long learning. Today’s contribution has been produced by Anne Knopf and Gereon Reuter, two of our students at RheinAhrCampus. They will give you some good advice on how you can improve your English in a realistic way and have a lot of fun at the same time.
Here are the links:

Announcements
Anne Fox will give a talk/workshop on “Using Podcasts in the EFL classroom” at 20:00 GMT on May 19th. Please go to wiaoc.org to find out more about this event.

Karsten Kneese will participate in a panel about “The future of educasts” at 5 pm on June 20th for the Podcastday 2007.

The next show will be coming to you on the 1st of June from Anne Fox in Denmark.

So long…stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Edited and co-hosted by: Karsten Kneese

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absolutely intercultural 29 +++ Adult Education +++ Lifelong Learning +++ International Emergency Calls +++

The culture of Adult Education – Lifelong Learning – International Emergency Calls

absolutely grown-up

Lifelong learning is often promoted by institutions of adult education, so for our first column we have interview Ulla and Beate, who both work for adult education institutions. Ulla works for the Folkuniversitetet in Sweden and Beate for Deutscher Volkshochschulverband in Germany. We tried to figure out whether there is a specific culture of adult education, and what makes people want to carry on learning throughout their lives.

absolutely personal
Laurent met his long-time friend and colleague in many European projects Pat Shrimpton, who went from England to Sweden 41 years ago with her husband Neville. She also started her career at the Folkuniversitetet but later on became a teacher at the University of Umea in the very north of Sweden. She talks about how the field of adult education has changed in all those years, and why she won’t move back to England after her retirement this summer.

absolutely on fire
Now, imagine you have just started a new job in a foreign country somewhere in Europe, let’s say Lithuania. At work you mainly speak English, and you haven’t really mastered the Lithuanian language yet. One night you wake up and discover that your house is on fire. You rush to the telephone, dial the emergency number 112 and suddenly realize that the operator at the other end might not understand you. This is where Dieter Nüssler and his wife Helga come in. They have won the European Language Label for the project Multicom112, which tackles exactly that problem.

absolutely lifelong
And last but not least we are proud to present a new column “absolutely lifelong” where we will share good ideas to organise your own life long learning. Today’s contribution has been produced by Anne Knopf and Gereon Reuter, two of our students at RheinAhrCampus. They will give you some good advice on how you can improve your English in a realistic way and have a lot of fun at the same time.

The next show will be coming to you on the 4th of May from Anne Fox in Denmark.

So long…stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Edited and co-hosted by: Karsten Kneese

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absolutely intercultural 27 +++ The 1st Anniversary Show +++ Behind the scenes +++ Show 1 revisited +++

It is our birthday today – and we are taking you behind the scenes of absolutely intercultural!

Happy 1st birthday to AISo because this is our first birthday episode, we are going to be a bit more self-centred then usually.

For the column absolutely nostalgic we’re taking a look back at our very first show. Do you remember? It was about the Tapas culture in Leon, in the north of Spain, and Steve Evans from the British Council in Madrid constructed an English lesson around this show. As he was one of the first teachers who have used our show in the classroom, I decided I should visit him and interview him about it. So I met Steve a while ago and we chatted about the reactions of his students and how our podcast has influenced their way of learning and communicating in the classroom. Please also have a look at the Madrid Young Learners Video Podcast, which they started after listening to our first show.

For our second column absolutely influential Anne, Laurent and I have talked about how our podcast has influenced our own working lives and maybe even our private lives. And right after that we’ll go absolutely indiscrete and take you behind the scenes of absolutely intercultural. Have you ever wondered how we actually produce this podcast and meet all the people for our interviews? Well, your questions will be answered soon. And we’ve got some confessions to make, but that’ll have to wait until later.

And in the end you can learn a little bit more about us, the makers and moderators of absolutely intercultural, if you like.
The next show will be coming to you on the 6th of April from Anne Fox in Denmark.
So long…stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Edited and co-hosted by: Karsten Kneese

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absolutely intercultural 25 +++ Borrowed Identities +++ 40 people, 5 countries, 1 island +++ The lifeblood of Europe +++

Borrowed Identities – European Student Now! Project meeting on Achill Island and in Dublin, Ireland.

Welcome to episode 25 our Silver Jubilee of absolutely intercultural, which is absolutely Irish!
Laurent and I have just been on an excursion to Achill Island and Dublin in Ireland within the framework of the EU funded Intensive Programm “Borrowed Identities – European Student” now, and in this episode you will hear many different voices from many nationalities, but one in particular – Agnes Dus, a student from Corvinus University Budapest in Hungary has helped us a great deal with doing interviews and creating the concept for this episode, so thank you very much Agnes.

As a preparation for the proposed “European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008” our project “Borrowed Identity” aims at creating an intercultural learning environment based on virtual and real mobility. The project is targeted at Business, Technical and Humanities students in Germany, Sweden, Spain, UK and Hungary and focuses on combining computer-mediated academic work, face-to-face meetings and intercultural communication.

This combination provided students with a new perspective of their own cultural identity as students, and the cultural identity of their foreign fellow students and hosts in Ireland.

So a short while ago 40 people from 5 different countries and actually 8 different nationalities met for 12 days in Ireland, to work together on a variety of academic workshops and to attend several intercultural lectures.


Now, to give you an idea of what the personal aims of the participating coordinators and teachers were we have asked some of them what they wanted to get out of the project, personally and for their professional life, and if their expectations were actually fulfilled.

We have also interviewed old friends like Sean and Margaret Cannon, who are a part of our “European project family” for more than 10 years now. And we have met new friends like Stephen Manning, who has just recently settled down on Achill after quite an exciting period of his life.

This episode is also a part of the general documentation of our whole project, and you can also follow a day-by-day travelogue of the excursion, written by the students themselves. Check it out – they have done a really good job!

A lot has happened during our time in Ireland, and we hope to give you a good impression of what our students have achieved, what the whole project is all about and what a good time we had on Achill Island.
The next show will be coming to you on the 9th of March from Anne Fox in Denmark.
So long…stay tuned!

The Host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Edited and co-hosted by: Karsten Kneese

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absolutely intercultural 23 +++ Preparation for a stay abroad +++ bi- & multilingualism +++

How to prepare yourself for a stay abroad // multilingualism

languagesabsolutely abroad
What can you do to prepare yourself for a semester or a stay abroad? Is reading up on the country you’re planning to go to or getting information from the Internet enough? Ariane Curdy, an intercultural trainer and teacher, gives us the answer.

And if you’re interested in learning more about how to prepare yourself, or your students, for a stay abroad, then you might like to know more about a European project called LIPS. LIPS stands for Linguistic and Intercultural Preparation of Students for the workplace and the aim of the project is to identify key situations in collaboration with potential employers and students and develop an innovative media-based learning community. You can find more information about LIPS at www.eu-lips.de

absolutely bilingual
What is it like to raise four children bilingually? Elisabeth is from Austria, but followed her husband 33 years ago to England. The children have been speaking both, German and English at home, and we also asked her son Thomas, what it was like for him to grow up with two languages at the same time.

absolutely endangered
Christina Cunningham talks about how the working language of the Commission has changed since the last enlargements of the Union, and what is being done to give the less spoken languages, like Danish or Lithuanian for example, more visibility and a stronger impact in the daily work of the Commission.

The next show will be coming to you on the 9th of February from Anne Fox in Denmark.

So long…stay tuned!

The Host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Edited and co-hosted by: Karsten Kneese

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absolutely intercultural 21 +++ We won the Edublog Award +++ Image Projection +++ Internships and practical training abroad +++

Image projection and internships abroad – We have a winner for our frappr-map-competition – And hey! We won the Edublog Award!

Image projectionBelieve it or not – we are Number One in the Edublog Award in the category “Best Audio Blog”. This is really amazing and we’d like to thank each and every one of you for your votes and your support. And of course for all the comments and emails we got. We will get to all of them when we return from our Christmas break in January.

And our frappr-map-competition has come to an end. And the winner is… Zanele Khumalo from Cape Town in South Africa! Many congratulations, Zanele, and thank you very much for putting pin number 100 on our frappr-map. We will contact you soon and see how we can make you the guest host of one of our next shows. And of course we’d like to thank all the others for participating in our competition and for putting your pin on our map. It is nice to see where you are listening from.

We believe that “actively designing your image” is a very controversial but also an important concept that especially students should pay a lot more attention to when they are planning a stay abroad.

So let’s start with our first column ‘absolutely German!’ where Vera Klopprogge will tell us more about her internship at the World Health Organisation in Denmark.

But not only when you go abroad should you think about your image projection. Also when you start a new job or move to another city you could plan to try out something new. So we have asked Marlen Izquierdo from Spain and Anita Molnar from Hungary if they have worked on their image projection when they first started their new jobs, teaching at a university, and we call the second column ‘absolutely tiny!’, and you’ll soon understand why… =)

For our third and last column ‘absolutely abroad!’, we have interviewed Wiebke Begere, who is doing an internship in the tourist office on Achill Island, which is situated just off the west coast of Ireland. She’ll tell us about the differences between the buzzing Melting Pot Dublin, and the remote and very calm Achill Island. And she’ll also give us an insight on what she has learned from her stay abroad already.

We’d like to thank you once again for listening to us, for your support, for your comments and emails and basically for everything you have done to make this podcast what it is.

The next show will be coming to you on the 12th of January from Anne Fox in Denmark.

We are very much looking forward to the next year and hope that you will…stay tuned!

The Host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Edited by: Karsten Kneese

oedbAnd this came in last minute: ‘absolutely intercultural!’ has been named a Top 100 Education Blog by the Online Education Database. Wow, thank you very much! Now we’re really under pressure to live up to all the expectations. =)

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