Archive for November, 2007

absolutely intercultural 45 +++ music as a universal language +++ international festivals +++ Colors of Cologne +++ music as the ultimate way of expressing feelings +++ music as a tool for integration +++

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In this show you will hear about situations in which music played an important role connecting people from different cultures, to overcome language barriers or to express feelings for which words would not be adequate.

absolutely universal
Anne Fox our co-host from Denmark, tells us why music is often so helpful when other languages fail. Music is often seen as a universal language, however, in her experience this is not always the case…

absolutely international
In the second part of the show we will look into International Festivals which have become more and more popular over the last years. During those festivals tens or hundreds of thousands of young people from all over the world sing, dance and live together internationally for a few days. The Sziget Festival in Hungary is a special one, because it is held on an island in Budapest, so the “absolutely international islanders” literally live in the heart of the capital city. Michael Darde, a French student, tells us how he saw it as a tourist and Agnes Dús from Hungary shares her experiences about taking part as a local.

absolutely colorful
In Cologne on the Rhine foreigners from 20 different countries have been singing together in a choir, called “Colors of Cologne”, for the last eight years. Most of the participants report that they joined the choir in order to integrate better in their new environment and to make friends faster. We will also listen to their music!

absolutely spontaneous
Sarah is a student for whom music has a special importance in her life: she plays the piano and writes her own songs. Music helped her make friends more easily, especially during her stay in the US, and also it is the best way for her to express her feelings.

absolutely together
In the last part of the show Emma Cuevas Saunders, a Spanish student, tells us about how singing helped her integrate into the group in a school summer camp in England. She experienced that when words are not enough music comes in and becomes an alternative kind of language.

Our co-host today is Agnes Dús from Budapest in Hungary, student of the Corvinus University of Budapest.

The next show will be coming to you on the 14 December from Anne Fox in Denmark.

So long…stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann
Co-host: Agnes Dús
Editor: Mathias Knops

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absolutely intercultural 44 +++ Ghana +++ Brazil +++ blogs +++ Myers-Briggs revisited +++ Mystery guests

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Mystery guest
Absolutely yours: First of all, thank you to the listeners who got in touch after the last show. Grit Matthias was especially interested in Show 35 where we featured teacher podcasters. Grit’s class makes short podcasts in German. So if you are learning German why not have a listen?

When ‘Uncle Drew’ questioned why we had featured the Myers & Briggs personality test in the last show, I looked into it and found that the questionnaire has been tested across many cultures to check that its personality types are valid and that they had found that the distribution of personality types was the same across cultures although maybe not of the same order. Cultural differences do occur in how we are expected to express our personalities. At the Myers & Briggs blog for example I found that there were more introvert British entrepreneurs while in the USA there were far fewer and the difference could be explained by the way in which we are allowed to express our introvert or extrovert personalities in the two cultures. So thank you ‘Uncle Drew’ for your comment.

Absolutely Educational: Our main feature in this show is the story of an educational project carried out by CV2 in Denmark with a Ghanaian company. We hear first how things did not go exactly according to plan and in the second part we hear what the Danish partners think is the reason for the difficulties they experienced. If you are familiar with Ghana you can probably see the story from the other side. And if you do then why not leave a comment here about it?

Absolutely Interactive: Are cultural differences apparent in blogs? That was a question I put to Trine Maria Kristensen, a corporate communications expert in Denmark.

Then I talked to Carla Arena, a Brazilian English teacher living in Florida, who agreed to be a mystery guest on my students’ blog. Who learned the most? Carla or my students?

The next show will be coming to you from Laurent Borgmann in Germany on November 30 and will be rather musical!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox

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absolutely intercultural 43 +++ Flying a plane is all about communication +++ intercultural card game BARNGA +++ Myers-Briggs-Test

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Laurent as the BARNGA facilitator
In this show we will point you to two very different ways of becoming more aware of your personality and what your spontaneous reactions are when getting in touch with people whose cultural rules are different.

“absolutely up in the air”
Our first guest is Simon Brown, a former airline captain with British airways, who tells us how the Myers-Briggs personality test, which was used to make pilots more aware of their different personality styles, opened his eyes.

“absolutely simulated”
BARNGA is a card game, which simulates the experience of meeting people from other cultures and working with them. It was played a group of 25 students from several different countries at the University of Applied Sciences, Koblenz, RheinAhrCampus. During the game the students sit at five different tables which are separated from each other. They play a card game with the rules they received on a written sheet at the beginning. When the actual game starts no more verbal communication is allowed. The students have to find alternative ways of communication if they want to play together, such as gestures, facial expression or drawing pictures…

“absolutely confusing”
We will look at what happens when you go through the intercultural simulation in practice. Some students seem to be pretty sure that they play according to the “only valid” rules, while others seem to be a little confused…

“absolutely eye-opening”
In the last part of our show we will return to the airport in Bangkok to Simon and the Myers-Briggs Personality Test in British Airways. Laurent asks Simon whether the test itself and the feed-back he received from his colleagues in the famous envelope had been useful for him. Had it changed his view about himself?

Our co-host today is Agnes Dús from Budapest in Hungary, student of the Corvinus University of Budapest. You may remember her from the interviews she made in Ireland for show number 25. She will co-host the shows from Remagen until Christmas.

The next show will be coming to you on the 16 November from Anne Fox in Denmark.

So long…stay tuned!

Host of this show: Dr. Laurent Borgmann
Co-host: Agnes Dús
Editor: Mathias Knops
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