Yearly Archive for 2011

absolutely intercultural 149 +++ Queen and Obama in Australia +++ Day in the life of Laurence +++ Master in International Marketing +++ EXlites solar lighting +++ stereotypes French-German +++

kangaroo road sign near to the University of the Sunshine Coast (photo L.Borgmann)Hello Mates and G’day, this is show 149 of our podcast absolutely intercultural. And it is coming to you all the way from down-under, Queensland, Australia where I am teaching and doing some research for one semester. Two months ago, in October 2011, the Queen of England visited Australia. Only a month later, in November by the President of the United States came to Australia, too. And now, in December I started my summer term as a visiting academic at the University of the Sunshine coast (LOL). So who am I? My name is Elmar-Laurent Borgmann and after all these important state visits which were widely reported about in the Australian media I would today prefer to concentrate on more mundane,  everyday aspects of life in Australia as experienced by a European. And yet, I hope we will be able to surprise you with some stimulating intercultural findings. Our interviewees today are from France, from Germany, and of course from Australia.

absolutely down-under
Let us look at an ordinary day in Australia. Some people back in Europe listened to my absolutely down-under reports during my last stay in Australia. They had heard about a “Tropical Christmas by the Pool”  or a “National Australia Day” which I described both in previous shows and learned a lot about intercultural differences.  However, some of them asked me to concentrate more on a the normal, regular, everyday life in Queensland. And they are right – we do expect holidays and celebrations to be different in different countries – but how about a regular university day? Hmm, what a challenge. I had thought this was too boring to record but maybe not? So, I followed myself with the microphone and recorded my intercultural impressions one morning from getting up at 7 o’ clock until I arrived at the University of the Sunshine Coast at 9. You will notice from my comments how much I like this part of the world – except for the first minutes after waking up – I admit, I am not a morning person. In the podcast you catch me waking up with my windows wide open to the tropical forest. In a second part later in the show I continue my intercultural report about a regular Australian morning going to work on the Sunshine Coast in my car. I would like to share some thoughts about beautiful landscapes but also of rather masculine-looking cars and trucks in this country before I arrive at the University of the Sunshine Coast where finally I see some wild kangaroos, not on a road sign but in real life and much closer than I expected …

absolutely business-like
I will also take you into the university, where international students from Europe will describe how in their International Marketing Class they did some work for an Australian Business. The round-table discussion was recorde after an exam situation a couple of weeks ago right at the start of the summer semester 2011/2012. To me summer 2011/2012 still sounds rather weird as in Europe only winter semesters could span two calendar years. So this is just another reminder that we are in the southern hemisphere. But back to the classroom. I was invited to sit in on the exams of students on the Master of International Business program. Apart from myself as external examiner, there was of course Dr. Leone Cameron, the regular lecturer but also, Mike Arieni, Managing Director of EXlites, a regional business for whom the group of international students had done some research about solar Energy in Europe. I asked the group how this combination of international students, an interculturally trained lecturer and a local business person enhanced their academic progress. Leone’s Master course the students had the chance to get in touch with a real business man and help him prepare his business plan for entering the European Market. Just like Mike, I, too, was impressed by the depth of the students’ research and I had a feeling that Mike took very good notice of the opportunities and challenges that the students presented for the different European countries. In a second part we will also hear from Waldemar Schneider and Clément Slastan about some of the stereotypes the international students confirmed when they lived together in shared apartments. Clément seems to have noticed a certain “lack of flexibility” in the Germans.

Once you have heard the show, please go to our “write us an email“-button in the right margin and tell us whether you liked these slightly unusual intimate insights into my own life down-under and whether you would like to get more such personal reports.

Our next show will be coming to you from Anne Fox in Denmark on 6 January.

Until then –
Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell!

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

absolutely intercultural 148 +++ Languages +++ Acadie +++ French +++ Yoruba +++ Michot +++ Benin +++ Baloubi +++


USA Photo Text Graphics
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In this show we’ll be looking mostly at languages in the US and how that helps or hinders intercultural understanding.

absolutely Francophone
We’ll start with Louis Michot, one of the prime movers behind the Cajun Punk band the Lost Bayou Ramblers. In show 144 we heard about their music and what it meant to the band members as well as its cultural roots. Another topic that we talked a great deal about was the status of the French language in Louisiana. I made a trip to Louisiana many years ago and I have to say that the language was not really evident but when I talked to Louis I discovered that this was because it was mostly hidden. So the question is why would anyone in Louisiana want to hide the fact that they can speak French? And do people in Louisiana still learn French? Is it absolutely francophone?

absolutely informed
So there’s a lot of sensitive history behind the survival of the French language in that part of the United States. Then a few weeks ago, my eyes and ears in Florida, Kole Odutola alerted me to a Communiqué sent out by the Southeast African Languages and Literatures Forum on October 2nd, which read:
We, the members of Southeast African Languages and Literatures Forum (SEALLF) at the second annual conference of the forum held at the Chapel Hill Campus of the University of North Carolina, acknowledge that in view of the internationalization of the curriculum at many American colleges and universities, there is the need to increase the number of American undergraduate and graduate students engaged in the study of critical languages of Africa.

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks many US universities beefed up their foreign language requirements in recognition of the fact that to understand another culture it helps greatly if you know a bit of the language. So here was a Communiqué suggesting that the foreign language requirement should more often lead to the learning of an African language such as Yoruba. But why? To find out more I spoke to Dr Désiré Baloubi of Shaw University in North Carolina, the Chair of the Forum behind the Communiqué. And during the course of our conversation I also learned a new acronym, HBCU, which stands for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. So why does an English teacher start a campaign to promote the learning of African languages?

absolutely illegal
The issue of language just doesn’t go away and after finding out how and why Louis Michot learned French, I spoke to his father Tommy Michot to find out more about attitudes to the French language in the recent past and discovered that at one point it was absolutely illegal! We’ll start by hearing as Tommy Michot sings in French a snippet of  La Valse de la Meche Perdue with his band Les Frères Michot.

Thanks to all those who took part and remember that if you’ve got a good idea for a show then get in touch and we’ll see if we can include it. We’re always on the look out for interesting people and ideas. Don’t forget to take a look at our webiste if you want to follow up on some of the people or issues we’ve looked at in this show. You’re welcome to leave us a comment about what you thought, a question or a suggestion.

Thanks for your support which got us all the way to a European Podcast Award last year. The nominations are open for this year’s competition and as part of the PR around the award I was interviewed about this podcast and what it meant to win the award. You’ll find a link to that podcast here.

Well it’s been a busy few weeks in which amongst other things I took part in the Managing Cultural Diversity seminar held every year at the Rhein Ahr campus. And this year there are pictures so here is a link to the Facebook Album. And as if this wasn’t enough, my co-host Laurent Borgmann is once again leaving for Australia for a few months. So in order to make things more manageable we have decided to go monthly. So watch out for the next show which will be coming to you from Down Under!

Our next show will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann in Australia

The host of this show is: Anne Fox

 

absolutely intercultural 147 +++ charity and volunteering +++ mentality and charity culture +++ Mekong Quilts in Cambodia +++

Manager of Mekong QuiltsToday our show will be all about charity and volunteering. But is this all about being a good person and doing good deeds? We will talk to John Kaethler who volunteered in West Africa and admits that in his personal definition the word “charity” has a rather negative connotation. We also meet Judi McAlpine and Sovannry Chan who both work for charities, Judi in Tanzania and Sovannry in Cambodia and who have dedicated their whole lives to charity.

absolutely modest
A couple of days ago I sat down with John Kaethler from Brock University in Candada who told me that he had volunteered for two years as a development worker in Nigeria and again for two years in Papua New Guinea a long time ago. As a teacher and hospital help in West Africa he learned that if his activity was called “charity” then HE was the one who was actually receiving it. The charity workers need to understand that THEY are the ones who are learning a lot and growing in the process…

absolutely charitable
Let us jump from Africa to Asia, and specifically Siem Reap to a very beautiful place in Cambodia which I visited with my wife for my 50th birthday. I walked into a shop because they had very beautiful handmade quilts in the shop window. But there was more to that shop as I found out from some British fellow shoppers. So, after admiring the beautiful handmade quilts I got interested in the “charity aspect of the shop called “Mekong Quilts” and asked the manager Sovannry for an interview and she was only too happy to talk about her work …

absolutely self-critical
In our last category I am coming back to John Kaethler and boldly asked him whether charity workers and volunteers sometimes need to step back a little and consider whether they are not just doing the charitable work for their own self-esteem.

Our next show will be coming to you from Anne Fox in Denmark on 11 November.

Until then –
Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell!

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann
Editor: Karsten Kneese

absolutely intercultural 146 +++ Matthew Hill +++ intercultural trainer +++ SIETAR +++ Aarhus University +++ Chinese +++

In this show we’ll be finding out about the work of intercultural trainers. Did you know there was an organisation for intercultural trainers? It’s the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research and if you go to their website at SIETAReu.org you’ll find lots of useful information and links for intercultural trainers there. We’ll be hearing from Matthew Hill about the importance of the biennial SIETAR conference which took place in Cracow,  Poland at the end of September.

absolutely trained
So let’s start the show by hearing from Matthew Hill, based in the UK, who is an intercultural trainer. I was interested to find out what that involved.

absolutely Chinese
What sort of experiences do expatriates have? Laura Dombernowsky, of Aarhus University interviewed some of the current Chinese students studying there to find out how they were finding Denmark.  My thanks to Laura for allowing us to feature part of her interviews. You can see the whole film on YouTube with subtitles.  Laura is currently in Bejing as part of her journalism PhD so I hope to catch her when she returns in January and hear about her experiences.

absolutely informed
While I was talking with Matthew Hill, of Hill Networks, I had the impression that the business is dominated by independent freelancers so how do they find out what’s new in their field? Well one way is to attend conferences such as the Congress recently held by Sietar in Poland. What benefits are there from attending?  Matthew Hill explains what happens at the conference.

absolutely connected
Matthew Hill was not just a delegate but also a presenter at the conference. His session centred on what intercultural skills you need when presenting a webinar to an intercultural audience. Of course one of the key factors is the language that you use. Matthew’s whole talk is on YouTube but you can hear a snippet on this show about the importance of language in webinars.  One of Matthew Hill’s latest projects is a CD about managing intercultural conflict. The CD will take you through a process lasting about an hour after which you’ll end up with a plan for managing conflict. So if you’re interested in finding out more about that you should email Matthew Hill at this address, matthew.hill@hillnetworks.com .

Our next show will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann in Germany on 28thOctober 2011

The host of this show is: Anne Fox
Editor: Markus Scherer
Photo credit: Michael Nyika on Flickr

 

absolutely intercultural 145 +++ Internship FAZ +++ Facebook no thanks! +++ JUAf charity Tanzania +++ Tradie of the Month +++

Kikwe Woman in the JUAf projectToday our show will be all about work and will focus on different work situations. You will first listen to an interview with Kyle Hickman from California who did an internship with a German newspaper, then to Mathew Dunne, a plumber from New Zealand, who worked in England and who is currently working in Munich, Germany. Also, I interviewed Judi McAlpine, an American manager who quit her job to found a non-profit organization in Tanzania. Adelheid Korpp will tell us her reasons, why Facebook will never play a role for her, neither in her working life or her private life.

absolutely committed
In our first category I talk to Kyle Hickman from California. At the time of the interview, Kyle was doing an internship with a big national newspaper in Germany, the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung“,  and told us a little about the cultural differences he had noticed between California and Germany. For example, he seems to have detected a difference in attitude towards interns who are doing a practical training in a company. While he expected to be exploited as cheap labour – making coffee, copies or “cold calls” he noticed that his internship in Germany was really centered on the professional development of the intern – often even based on the intern’s personal likes and interests. So, from the beginning Kyle was trusted with what he calls “real work” and was able to contribute to the success of the newspaper. However, he also found out that smiling too much in the work place could be seen as suspicious in his host country and adapted his behavior accordingly. He did not find it difficult to integrate, though, as he grabbed every opportunity to be social with his co-workers. Listen out for what Kyle shares about eye-contact and how he had to adapt to a different culture.

absolutely careful
In our second category I talk to Adelheid Korpp. She is responsible for the so-called “incoming students” at RheinAhrCampus. Students from our partner universities who have been in contact with her often want to add her as a friend to their Facebook accounts. However, Adelheid is suspicious of being part of this biggest virtual community in the world. Well, she is probably right because life was difficult and complex enough before we had to check Facebook and Twitter. Sharing your personal information and pictures on the internet can, indeed, sometimes perhaps be harmful for you and for your career. So let’s find out, why she doesn’t want to take part in the big social media hype.

absolutely helpful
In our third category  I interviewed Judi McAlpine from the US when we both met in Cambodia earlier this year. Judi was a very successful manager for a huge company in the US. But then she transferred all her resources into a 2-years stay in Tanzania, where she lived in the villages with indigenous people and founded a charity. JUAF is a registered non-profit charity located in the Kikwe village of Tanzania. In partnership with indigenous women, Judi founded a village with resources for vulnerable women and children to empower them to fight poverty. This is done through micro financing, education, and support. Check out their blog for more information. But why would someone like Judi give up her well-paid job in the US to move to third-world-country?

absolutely tradie
In our last category I Interview Mat Dunne who is a plumber from New Zealand. He has travelled a lot around the world for his work. He worked in Canada and in England. Right now he is living in Munich, Germany. In every step of his life he experienced different cultural situations. In the interview he will tell us about the differences in reputation between “tradies” in New Zealand and craftsmen in Europe. It is, indeed, true that the same profession may have very different prestige and reputation in different countries. I was personally surprised during my time in Australia to find that “tradies, unlike their often bourgeois German counterparts would mostly be very good-looking guys with a cool hair- and life style and a surfboard on their cars so that in between two customers they would hop on their boards and enjoy the surf. On page 3 of cheap newspapers you would sometimes even find the picture of a shirtless “tradie of the month”.

Our next show will be coming to you from Anne Fox in Denmark on 14 October

Until then –
Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell!

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann
Editor: Markus Scherer

absolutely intercultural 144 +++ Cajun +++ Louisiana +++ Michot +++ Lost Bayou Ramblers +++ Les Freres Michot +++

This show is rather special in many ways and may be a little longer than normal. As you may have guessed from the musical intro we’ll be going to Louisiana to find out the link between culture, work and music; and the people we’ll be meeting are father and son, Tommy and Louis Michot. I first met Tommy through my husband about 20 years ago. They are both biologists and when we went to Louisiana to visit Tommy’s family, I discovered that Tommy is also a serious musician; serious in the sense that he and his brothers, Les Freres Michot, tour, and make albums. We also met up at several academic events in Europe where there would always be occasion for Tommy to get out his squeezebox and share the Cajun music of Louisiana which is sort of what you heard at the beginning of the show.

And then as often happens, we lost contact. Suddenly in mid-August, my husband got an email from Tommy saying that his sons, Louis and Andre, now have a band called the Lost Bayou Ramblers and that they were playing at a festival in southern Denmark. So down we went to Tønder, near the German border, to hear and meet up with Louis and Andre in the Lost Bayou Ramblers. While the rest of Denmark seemed to be having a sunny day, a terrific thunderstorm was competing with the musicians for our attention, and festival goers were walking around the site ankle deep in water, making the whole thing look a little like a Louisiana Bayou. Meeting Louis and Andre after their set I realised that the music, the environment and their father’s career were all tightly interwoven and thought it might be interesting to unravel some of the pieces.

To set the scene you just need to know that the Cajuns of Louisiana were originally displaced people from France who came to Louisiana by way of Canada.

absolutely Cajun
We’ll start with Louis Michot who started out playing in his father’s band and has since gone on to form his own band with his brother Andre. The Lost Bayou Ramblers’ musc is rooted in Cajun but with a contemporary twist. Here’s Louis explaining what Cajun music is and how his band have updated it. That’s followed by a preview of the new single, Bastille, by The Lost Bayou Ramblers out at the end of September and then we hear from Louis’ father Tommy about where the word Cajun comes from.

absolutely interdisciplinary
Then I talked to Tommy about his work at the University of Louisiana and was amazed at how absolutely interdisciplinary his work is.

absolutely interconnected
Although Cajun music is rooted in tradition, I learned that Les Freres Michot also write new songs and that in one specific case the song arose out of one of Tommy Michot’s academic tasks. Let’s hear more about how work and play can be absolutely connected and then hear a snippet of the end result, La Valse de la Meche Perdue. You can try a short dictation from this segment at Listen and Write.

absolutely global
Finally we’re going to go absolutely global and hear once again from Louis Michot, this time about the B side of the Lost Bayou Ramblers’ new single Bastille which is also called Bastille and is a remix in a very different style. So we’ve gone from father to son, from work to play and from traditional to present day. One transition I haven’t had time for is French to English but we’ll take that in a later show so, finally, we’re going to go from local to absolutely global!

Our next show will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann in Germany on 30th September 2011

The host of this show is: Anne Fox
Editor: Markus Scherer
Photo credit: Cajunzydecophotos on Flickr

absolutely intercultural 143 +++ ERASMUS special +++ Experience Report +++ EU-placements +++ Internship +++

ERASMUS LOGOToday, we present a show which is going to focus on the European Program called “ERASMUS”, named after Eramus of Rotterdam. However, the name also stands for “EuRopean Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students”. So, University students can apply for ERASMUS grants when they want to study abroad withinin Europe. Therefore we will hear different opinions about this mobility program and the opportunities students gain by studying abroad within the ERASMUS framework. Nowadays it is more and more important for students to internationalize themselves during their studies. This means they have to leave their comfort zones and broaden their horizons by studying abroad. In order to initiate this process, the European ERASMUS program was founded almost 25 years and has been giving out grants for the internationalization of students.

 absolutely basic
In our first category Adelheid Korpp is going to tell us, what the program is about and which preparations students have to make. She is an expert on the ERASMUS program. She is responsible for the so-called “incoming students” at RheinAhrCampus and she knows a lot about the grants. She will tell us which countries in Europe take part in the ERASMUS program and what benefits student can expect if they decide to go on an ERASMUS exchange. For good Europeans it is essential to understand each other better particularly in context of the recent discussions about financial solidarity between the European member states.

absolutely experienced
In our second category Timo Schneider will share his experiences with us. He is back from his stay in Worcester, England, where he studied at a partner university of RheinAhrCampus. He will tell us how he heard about the program, what motivated him to put in an application, and of course which benefits he got from his stay. Timo also shares some of his intercultural experiences in sports where he noticed that his previous stereotypes really did not help. He will also give us a very useful advice.

absolutely working
In our last category Carsten Ritterath a student of business administration reports about his preparation for an internship in England. His football coach helped him find the English organisation where one of his tasks was to compare English and German approaches to health management in companies. Carsten managed to get a grant from ERASMUS-placements and he tells us what he needed to do in order to apply for this. He wrote a letter of motivation, a curriculum vitae, he took part in an intercultural seminar and he had to pass an English test. I took this interview with Carsten some time ago so in the meantime he is already back from his very successful ERASMUS stay.

Our next show will be coming to you from Anne Fox in Denmark on 16 September

Until then –
Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell!

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann
Editor: Markus Scherer

absolutely intercultural 142 +++ George Simons +++ The Consultants-E +++ Bollywood +++ Internations +++

absolutely angry
In this show we re-vsisit the chat I had with George Simons in show 138. George you may remember is the creator of the Diversophy intercultural games. We also talked about other intercultural games and when I mentioned Barnga, which we described way back in show 43, he told me about another very effective intercultural game. You could tell this was a good one because it made people absolutely angry!

absolutely distant
It’s not just anger which is a symptom of your being out of your comfort zone. I was surprised when Janice Ford, an Australian talked about this feeling of being absolutely distant. Janice Ford took a course with me at The Consultants-E where I help teachers intgerate ICT into their language teaching and is just one of the many interesting people I meet there from all over the world.

absolutely incredible
You’ve probably heard about Bollywood, the Indian film industry, and how it rivals Hollywood in scope and numbers of films produced so now we’re going to hear from Rebecca Chadwick, who’s just finished high school and is so mad about Indian film that she signed up to a years course at the Asian Academy of Film and TV in New Delhi and simply flew straight into her course at the beginning of July having never travelled further than Europe before. If you watch satellite TV you’ll probably understand why I’m calling this strand absolutely incredible when I contacted Rebecca shortly after her arrival to hear about her first impressions.

absolutely social
Now perhaps Rebecca might have benefited from being a member of Internations, a website designed to help expatriates all over the world cope with being stationed far away from home. My final guest on the show today is Malte Zeeck, co founder of Internations and my first question was about why such a website is needed. If you like the sound of internations and would like to join, then get in touch with me through this blog as I have some invitations available. Perhaps you were inspired by our last show to organise a foreign internship or semester exchange? You can also test your English by trying a short dictation taken from this interview here.

Our next show will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann in Germany on 2nd September 2011

The host of this show is: Anne Fox
Editor: Markus Scherer

absolutely intercultural 141 +++ NYOI +++ Exchange Students +++ Blogging +++ One Day with Lucy Warren +++

oRACle MarketingThis show is all about the life of students here at RheinAhrCampus in Germany! You will gain an insight into the daily life of Lucy Warren, an exchange student from Australia. She shows us what the life of an exchange student is like and what specific things you can do in Remagen: e.g. editing the international exchange students blog – supervised by Adelheid Korpp. And you will have the chance to get the the latest news of the “National Youth Orchestra of Iraq” and how our students are involved in that project.

absolutely daily
The students at RheinAhrCampus know that “intercultural experience abroad” which is documented on their CVs can be a competitive advantage when they are looking for a job. This means they have to leave their intercultural comfort zones and broaden their horizons by studying or working in a different country. It may seem a huge step but it really helps students understand intercultural differences, learn other languages and prepare themselves for their future business lives where they will have to deal with different cultures in different situations. So it seems like a “must have” to go abroad and that is what Lucy Warren, an Australian Student from the University of the Sunshine Coast did. She has spent a whole year away from home at the German partner university doing a combination of studying and internship abroad. Before she left she documented one of her typical days Let us listen to how she starts her day, what helps her clear her mind and which free time activities she indulged in during her stay.
If in our audience there are students who want similar experiences, please feel free to contact us because we like to have international students on campus and we are always looking for interns, too. So go out and internationalize yourselves!

absolutely ambitious part I
The Russian student Nadya Kokareva, who also likes to take risks and jumps in at the deep end, came to our university less than a year ago. She enrolled on one of my courses – International Business Simulations. There we simulated a company called “oRACle” which helped Paul MacAlindin and his “National Youth Orchestra of Iraq” promote their work. Nadya is the president of that company and she will tell us what she experienced during the course, what she learnt from the experience and how this course helped her prepare for her future working life

absolutely blogged
In our next category Adelheid Korpp will tell us, how the exchange students at RheinAhrCampus document their experiences and their daily lives on an exchange students’ blog – so that everyone who is interested in their progress, can follow them online with text and pictures. It is a useful exercise for every exchange student to share their experiences with their friends and families on the world wide web. The students are talking about their travels in Germany and Europe, about their academic experiences at RheinAhrCampus and of course about events they experience during their stays, like for example the famous Karneval in Cologne.

absolutely ambitious part II
Lucy Warren is going to tell us more about her job in the simulated company “oRACle”. While Nadya is the CEO of that simulated company which is helping the “National Youth Orchestra of Iraq” to promote their visit to Bonn this autumn through social media, Lucy is actually the PR manager of that same company. Lucy tells us what her main tasks have been and how this practical experience may be a little different from learning the theory of PR work from a textbook.

Our next show will be coming to you from Anne Fox in Denmark on 19 August

Until then –
Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell!

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann
Editor: Markus Scherer

absolutely intercultural 140 +++ multiculturalism +++ social media +++ The Consultants-E +++

The Consultants-EIn this show we’ll be going to Ireland and asking if multi-culturalsim is dead then what should replace it? We’ll also be hearing from another Irish man, Robert O’Dowd, based in Léon, Spain about the added value of multimedia when doing online intercultural exchanges and from two of the current participants in the Podcasting course offered by The Consultants-E. I’ve been tutoring various online courses there and it has often struck me how intercultural these EFL teachers are and so this time I took the opportunity to find out more about them. For example I discovered one of the issues facing female Saudi students who want to study abroad.

absolutely failed
But we’ll begin with Stephen Spillane in Ireland, a political blogger whose latest post made me want to find out more. Stephen was picking up on the backlash against multiculturalism which is spreading across Europe and made an interesting suggestion about what to replace it with. So let’s hear Stephen explain why multiculturalism has absolutely failed. Soon after I had spoken with Stephen my eye was caught by a recent report with the headline Employers looking for global awareness in young recruits, which is a kind ofpositive reply to the negative comment Stephen got to his post, and tells us that intercultural awareness is a sought after quality by employers. You can find the link to that report here.

absolutely global
In my work with The Consultants-E helping English teachers integrate technology into their everyday practice I have met (virtually of course) many interesting people. Usually the teachers fall into two categories; either they teach gloriously mixed classes in their home country or they are the ones who have moved to teach in a new culture. So in our next category, absolutely global, we are going to meet two teachers from my current podcasting class as I thought it only right for them to experience podcasting from a different perspective. First I talked with Janice Ford, an Australian based in Sydney who has taught English to students from all over the world. Janice talked to me about some of the nice moments with her international groups. I then spoke with Samah Thabet, an Egyptian woman who has been teaching in Saudi Arabia or KSA, for the last four years. I was curious about Samah’s students also. In fact my chats with Janice and Samah and others from my course were much longer so watch out for more from them in later shows. If you would like to practice your English you can try the dictation based on a short extract from this category at Listen & Write.

absolutely social
In our final category I am bringing you an extract from a free webinar offered by the Language Learning and Social Media project on the topic of social media and interculturality. Entitled Give interculturality a chance – Can social media make a difference?” I was one of the invited speakers and you can access my recorded slideshow at SlideBoom.  The webinar featured Fred Dervin from Finland and Christine Develotte from France who presented some very interesting statistics about the use of social media and Liang Wang from the Open University in Milton Keynes in the UK who talked about the social media habits of Chinese students. The webinar also included a presentation by Robert O’Dowd based in Léon, Spain who talked about the multimedia exchange between his Spanish students and a group in the USA. Does multimedia help to raise intercultural awareness in an online exchange? So if Robert O’Dowd’s comments have whetted your apetite then you can find the link to the whole webinar here.

Thanks very much to everyone who took part in today’s show. We couldn’t do it without you! If you have any comments, criticisms or suggestions then please add a comment here on the blog.

Our next show will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann in Germany on 5th August 2011

The host of this show is: Anne Fox
Editor: Markus Scherer











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