Archive for 2012

absolutely intercultural 161 +++ Managing Cultural Diversity +++ Corporate Social Responsability +++ Ethics and Morality +++ Corporate Governance +++ BARNGA +++

playing the intercultural card gameHave you ever participated in a seminar with students and lecturers from more than 16 countries? The focus of the seminar “Managing Cultural Diversity”, was on Corporate Social Responsibility”. Some of the participants were willing to share their impressions of this international event, talking about the organization, the different workshops and the explanation of a very confusing intercultural game called “BARNGA”.

absolutely ethical
Let us listen to Nadya’s emotions caused by a very dominant manager during a simulation about different intercultural categories in Corporate Governance. After Adelheid’s contribution, we will return to her in order to try to get an answer to the following question: “Can a Business Really be Ethical?” with the help of the Portuguese teacher Carla Pedroso de Lima.

absolutely similar
It is really surprising how people from different backgrounds have so many things in common rather than being completely different. Dr. Anna Potter from Australia, talked to us about a very interesting TV channel in her country and asked all the participants to devise a TV program related to issues such as migration, stereotypes, refugees, interculturality… which Adelheid Korpp enjoyed a lot. The fact that both students and lecturers were working together helped to create a very constructive atmosphere.

absolutely simulated
In our third category “absolutely simulated” we come return to Omar, a Jordanian student at RheinAhrCampus, who did a really good job creating tension and making the simulation more realistic by using “I…, I…, I…!” He really looked like a very dominant and bossy manager when actually he was only acting out his role card.

absolutely emotional
Lukas and the rest of the participants got really confused and disappointed when he was sure to have understood all the rules of the intercultural card game named “BARNGA”. However, the more energy he put into winning the game, the more he realised that at the different tables people were playing to different rules. Now he says that  the same effort of cultural adaptation is needed when going to a different culture or country, for example, when visiting Thailand, as he did during his holidays.

Our next show will be coming to you on 4  January from Anne Fox in Denmark.

Until then –
Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell!

And please visit our Facebook page.

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann
Editor: Elena Colunga Caballero

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absolutely intercultural 160 +++ entrepreneurship +++ critical thinking +++ intensive seminar +++ Lithuania +++

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Did you know that if you are a student in a European University you are able to take part in an intensive seminar with students and lecturers from all over the EU?  We’ll be hearing from some students who took part in one such seminar in Lithuania earlier this year.  Did you follow Karsten Kneese on Twitter last month?  Karsten took over the ’I am Germany’ Twitter account for a week early in October.  One thing I learnt about during that week was the German work canteens which are open to the public.  So what do you think of this as a way of representing a country?  You can add your comments to our blog here or on our Facebook page. Thank you An, Vian, Sammy, Katherine and Roman who are the latest to have liked us there.

So in May, 35 students and lecturers from all over Europe gathered together in Lithuania to work together for two weeks on an intensive seminar about entrepreneurship called RECEIVE.  The topics explored included marketing, intercultural differences, digital communication, coaching and critical thinking.  Critical thinking not only has an application to entrepreneurs but is also an important skill for students who have been taught in quite a different way across the world.

absolutely critical
I talked first to Serge Koukpaki from Edinburgh University, which attracts many international students each year, about why he teaches a course on critical thinking and the effect on his foreign students. Then I talked to three of the students Serge brought with him to participate in the RECEIVE project who came from China, Thailand and Tanzania to find out what they thought of bringing a diverse group together to create joint products.  Guangqian Li from China spoke about his experience of working in a multinational group.  I was certainly surprised to learn that this intensive seminar in Lithuania was Li’s first experience of a truly multicultural educational setting.  Didn’t he have that in Edinburgh I wondered? Next I spoke to Duanjam Surbpong or Mo for short from Thailand about the benefits of the Intensive programme; extending your network is certainly a useful entrepreneurial skill. My final interview was with Hassan Iddy, a teacher trainer from Tanzania who found that the communal living aspect of the project reminded him of life in Tanzania much more than in Edinburgh where he is currently studying for his Masters.

absolutely challenging
So far we’ve heard a lot of good things about the Receive project but there were also a few challenges.  For example the group visited holocaust memorial museums while in Lithuania which lead to a discussion on genocide and the question about whether China’s one child policy could also be classed as genocide.  For Li, whom we heard from earlier, this was a problem as he explains. And that wasn’t the only challenge.  In my own workshop where we were constructing the project website, we suddenly noticed after about four days of work that all the personal photos on the website were of males.  This was quite a shocking realization which lead us to review all the photos on the website as well as discussing how this could have happened.  In fact it wasn’t just about photos.  You may have noticed that all my interviewees in this pod cast were also male.  So lots of food for thought.

absolutely entrepreneurial
If you are interested in following up the cross-border entrepreneurial theme you can join me in the free online Global Education conference on Monday 12 th November  at 18:00 GMT when I’ll be showing  a way of helping interns make more of their foreign posting through online skills training. All details and links will also be on our Facebook page.

absolutely Amazon
And finally don’t forget that if you are interested in following up any aspect of intercultural communication we have put together a collection of books, old and new, theory and practical in the Absolutely Intercultural Amazon book store. You don’t pay any extra but we get a small contribution to help continue pay the expenses of this podcast. Now that the northern nights are drawing in, a book may be just what you need here! You don’t pay any more to buy them through our store and every purchase contributes a little to the running costs of the podcast so if you’re thinking of buying, consider using our new store. There is a permanent link at the top of this blog page.

Our next show will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann on December 7th so stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox 

Recordings done on my iPad and editing done with the help of Hindenburg Journalist Pro


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absolutely intercultural 159 +++ Rotation Curation +++ Culture Shocks +++ Jordan +++ Working in an international environment +++

Our new editor, Elena

Our New Editor from Spain: Elena Colunga Caballero. Welcome to our team!

So what should we be listening to in this podcast:
How do you personally try to gain authentic information about a country  and culture that you are interested in? Do you trust the official view of the foreign office website? Or do you go straight to Wikipedia? How about listening to some real people from that country? This way you will get the unofficial story from the citizens themselves. Perhaps it could be interesting to listen to a father of two children who can tell you what it is really like to take the two on public transport or to a restaurant? This is inside information that you may not find in any of the official publications of the country. Under a system which is called Rotation Curation Movement, Karsten Kneese will host the twitter account of I_amGermany for a week starting next Monday.

absolutely twitter
Let us explore what you, the listeners can find out about his culture if you follow him during that week. In our first category “absolutely twitter” I asked Karsten how the Rotation Curation Movement has developed since it started in Sweden last year. If you are interested, please find “I_amGermany” on Twitter on Monday and follow Karsten around for a week. This is grass-roots journalism on Twitter that I think you should not miss. You have the opportunity to find out the real story from real citizens without having to travel to the country.

absolutely stereotypical
I spoke to a group of students from the German-Jordanian University who jumped in at the deep end and decided to spend a whole semester in Europe. In our second category “absolutely stereotypical” I asked them what their parents and friends had warned them about before they left.

absolutely international
In our third category “absolutely international” I am talking to a young but very well travelled person. After spending all her holidays abroad since she was 15 she has also studied in France and has now started doing her practical training in the department of Languages /International Affairs at the University of Applied Sciences, Koblenz. I asked Elena from Spain what her friends and family had said when she was planning her big step.

absolutely different
Let us now return to the group of Jordanians who told me that in their country it would be very unusual for a lecturer to go to the university by bike, because there seems to exist a bigger “power distance” between lecturers and their students. We also learn that in Jordan, if you get invited to dinner you have to refuse several times in order to be polite before you finally accept. So one of the students politely said “No” to a dinner invitation in Germany but then learned the hard way that here you only get one shot, and he was not invited again. In our last category “absolutely different” I asked the students to explain major cultural differences which they have observed during the first weeks in Europe.

Our next show will again be coming to you on 2nd of November from Anne Fox in Denmark.

Until then –
Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell!

And please visit our Facebook page.

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann
Editor: Elena Colunga Caballero & Karsten Kneese

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absolutely intercultural 158 +++ Flat Class +++ Julie Lindsay +++ Vicki Davis +++ Thomas Friedman +++


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Flat Classroom Project 2010In the last three shows we’ve been hearing about Corporate Social responsibility, different attitudes to it and how to promote it. In this show we’re going to move away from business and hear about a very special project which helps to globalize the attitudes of students of all ages.

absolutely flat
The Flat Class project started in 2006 when two teachers, one in Bangladesh and one in the US discovered they were both studying the same book with their classes and decided that it might be fun to link their classroom discussions together.

The book was ‘The World is Flat’ by Thomas Friedman in which Friedman discusses the forces which are leveling the global playing field. The project has just grown and grown with many more classrooms involved and different topics being explored such as racism and digital identity. And now six years later the originators of the Flat Classroom Julie Lindsay and Vicki Davies have written a book to help teachers implement these global connections in their own classrooms. The book is called ‘Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds’ and I was lucky enough to be able to speak to the authors a couple of months ago when it first came out.

absolutely Amazon
By the way, in the six years since this show started we have mentioned quite a number of books on this show and we have now collected them together in an Amazon store. So you will find a link to this book and all the others here.  You don’t pay any more to buy them through our store and every purchase contributes a little to the running costs of the podcast so if you’re thinking of buying, consider using our new store. There is a permanent link at the top of this blog page but in the meantime you can get a sneak preview below.

See more from the video from which I took a couple of extracts here.

Our next show will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann on October 5th so stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox

Recordings and editing done with the help of Hindenburg Journalist Pro


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absolutely intercultural 157 +++ CSR +++ students view +++ real life projects +++ community work +++ school children +++ elderly people +++

Today I would like to pick up the topic of your last show. We talked about CSR which stands for “Corporate Social Responsibility”. In times of global markets and increased business competition, Small and Medium sized Enterprises must find a way to increase their competitive edge. Therefore they often try to save costs as a result of competitive conditions and market instabilities. However, maybe a cultural change in companies will give them a competitive advantage? Implementing and practicing CSR may lead to increased costs and you may not see the benefits immediately. So why do successful companies go in that direction? Apparently around 50% of American and European SMEs believe that CSR-activities are somewhat effective for their business. SMEs can change their company culture and provide significant benefits by investing in small, efficient projects in society to increase their own visibility in the community. Some companies may do something good for the environment or donate money and others might start working in close cooperation with Non-Profit and Non-Governmental Organizations. This time I would like to approach the topic from a different angle. CSR is becoming more and more important in business life and thus future managers should have a solid knowledge about it. In previous shows I talked to CSR specalists such as lecturers from different European universities and employees of companies which have implemented CSR in their business plans. Our focus was to find out how CSR work changes the culture within the company but also the contacts between a company and its stake holders. Today my focus is on students and what they learn about CSR during their studies of Business Administration. I interviewed students from Hungary, Russia, and Mongolia who dealt with corporate culture and CSR in their last semester at RheinAhrCampus in Germany in one of my courses called “International Business Simulations”.

absolutely young
In our first category  I asked Katalin Perjési from Hungary what she thinks about CSR and what she learnt on the course. She will tell us about a project where the students designed and implemented their own CSR projects for the university. They invited school children to the campus to teach them about respect and diversity in the community. Some said afterwards that they walk past the university every day but had never dreamed of spending a day inside before they reach their A-levels. As these were school children who often get taught in classes with many national backgrounds it was not so surprising, how much they already knew about diversity, respect for different cultures and dealing with other children who do not have the same first language.

absolutely green
I interviewed Nadya Kokareva from Russia. She will tell us about the vague ideas people have about CSR and gives us some examples of how a university could practice CSR. This is not exclusively about institutions “going green”, which means saving the environment. Nadya also took part in the course and participated in another project. This time, the target group were not the children in the community, but the elderly people who live in a nursing home just 800 metres from campus. In spite of the proximity, the students who took part in the project had never visited the home.

absolutely courageous
Oyunbileg is an exchange student from our Turkish partner university in Izmir. However, she is originally from Mongolia and is currently doing her Erasmus semester abroad. In our last category she will talk about her theoretical lectures on stakeholder relationships and relates the theory to the practical CSR projects she was involved in last semester. Finally she gives us an idea of the cultural differences she experienced moving between Mongolia, Turkey and Germany.

Our next show will again be coming to you on 7 of September.

Until then –
Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell!

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

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absolutely intercultural 156 +++ Corporate Social Responsibility +++ Theory & Practice +++ Sceptical Point of View +++ Turkcell +++ Success stories +++ European Companies +++ Non-Profit Organization +++

Today I am going to talk about CSR which is short for “Corporate Social Responsibility”. In postmodern times, “Corporate Social Responsibility” has enabled companies to do something good for society and to give something back to the community. Some companies may plant trees or donate money and others might start working in close cooperation with Non-Profit and  Non-Governmental Organizations to help people in need. I visited an intercultural Erasmus Intensive Program at Yasar University in Izmir, Turkey, where I got in touch with the big Turkish telecommunications company called “Turkcell”. Together with Corporate Responsiblitly Specialists from Turkcell and university lecturers, who teach CSR-related aspects of marketing we talked about good practice examples of CSR but also about the dark sides of the concept.

absolutely helpful
Turkcell afford to have a dedicated department which only deals with CSR issues. In our first category Burcu Haylaz tells us, how their company is doing charity work in Turkey and how quickly they took action after a horrific earthquake struck the province of Van in Eastern Turkey in 2011. Besides that I was really captivated by the “Snowdrops” project for young women and by the idea of the digital moneybox for collecting contributions from the wider public.

absolutely sceptical
Unfortunately not every company is really practicing CSR to genuinely help others. Some companies are rather trying to help themselves. Often the campaign appears like 100% marketing for the company. In this category I talked with Ann Knaepen from “Leuven University College” in Belgium, Carla de Lima from the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança in Portugal, Dr. Reka Jablonkai from “Corvinus University” in Hungary and Anne Burke from the “Letterkenny Institute of Technology” in Ireland. Together we talked about the phenomenon of “Green Washing”. This means, that companies that have a bad image in society, are using low-input CSR measures to artificially clean their own image. Green Washing, the negative side of CSR, seems to be an activity which flourishes in the shadow of all the good practice examples of corporate social responsibility. So I guess we need to be careful when we hear about large companies practicing CSR. There is a chance that they may be doing good things for the wrong reasons. Oxfam and Turkcell on the other hand seem to be great examples of companies and organisations that seriously and honestly try to improve the lives of all their stakeholders, not just their customers’.

absolutely idealistic
In our last category I would like to come back to our Turkcell CSR specialists. Together with them and the Turkish lecturers, we discussed theoretical aspects of CSR and their practical implementation. My Turkish colleague Duygu Turker who teaches CSR at the university asked Derya Kökten from Turkcell what factors in her view make a CSR activity successful. It is refreshing to hear how the university lecturers and the practitioners were working together on building this bridge between theory and practice in our seminar. I think such encounters, in this case hosted at Yasar University in Izmir, provide excellent opportunities to share important knowledge and to create a network so that students and lecturers from universities and the specialists from companies can work together to find the best solutions.

Our next show will again be coming to you on 3 of August.

Until then –
Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell!

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

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absolutely intercultural 155 +++ Intensive Seminar +++ Izmir +++ Corporate Social Responsibility +++ European Companies +++ Crisis +++ Non-Profit Organization +++ SERVAS +++

Students donating their used clothes at Yasar University IzmirToday I am going to talk about CSR which is short for “Corporate Social Responsibility”. My students and I visited an intercultural Erasmus Intensive Program for students and lecturers from 12 different universities all over Europe organized in Izmir at Yasar University in Turkey. We all shared our knowledge and experience concerning the different approaches to CSR in different countries and learned a lot about challenges and benefits in the European context. In general you could say that CSR is meant to improve the relationship between a company and all its stakeholders. It actually must be the responsibility of us all and especially of successful companies to protect society and the environment. CSR also changes company cultures by improving the relationship with employees, suppliers, customers, the environment and the local community.

absolutely timely
We organized a roundtable discussion about CSR with lecturers from all over Europe who all participated in the ERASMUS Intensive Program in Izmir. Together with Ann Knaepen from the Catholic University in Leuven, Belgium, Carla de Lima from the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança in Portugal, Dr. Reka Jablonkai from Corvinus University Budapest in Hungary and Anne Burke from the Letterkenny Institute of Technology in Ireland we discussed different examples of CSR in those countries. We discussed, whether the middle of an economic crisis is really the right time to spend money on CSR-projects.

absolutely win-win
In this category, I would like to dive into the topic a little deeper. I am talking to Laura Brandt from the Haute Ecole de la Province de Liège in Belgium. She is a lecturer for Entrepreneurship and a bit of an expert on SMEs, which means “Small and Medium sized Enterprises”. She tells us that, in fact, 99% of all European companies are SMEs. These companies are facing tough economic challenges right now in the crisis. Laura explains why it is so important for SMEs to integrate Corporate Social Responsibility in their “core business values”. I asked her to tell us how she found out about the subject before joining the intensive seminar in Turkey. Laura gives an interesting example of a cleaning company in which CSR really turned into a win-win situtation for the company and all its stakeholders.

absolutely communicative
Our last guest for today is Adelheid Korpp. Adelheid and her husband love traveling. About 10 years ago, when they decided to travel around the world, she got in touch with an organization called Servas. Servas provides travellers with free accommodation all over the world, but you only get invited to stay at a host’s place if you obey certain rules of the system. Adelheid will explain how she got in touch with Servas and how the system works. This may, in fact, be the best way to get in touch with locals while travelling through different countries. In my opinion Servas is also an excellent example of a non-profit organisation which could be supported by companies. So, if you are a CEO and you are looking for a good CSR-cause – please do get in touch with them.

Our next show will again be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann on July 6st.

Until then –
Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell!

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

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absolutely intercultural 154 +++ LaMar Queen +++ MusicNotesOnline +++ Niki Davis +++ Maori +++ Pi Day +++


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The big news is that we have started a Facebook page which should make it easier for you to keep up with what’s happening on the podcast and to leave comments. All you have to do is click the Like button on our new Facebook page and you’ll keep up with the news from the podcast.

absolutely bland
We’ll start with Niki Davis, a professor in New Zealand who was speaking at the online Cultural Diversity in a Digital World conference in January. Actually, online conferences are quite common these days but what made this one special was its attempt to include three languages, English, Arabic and Hebrew. The conference was organised in Israel which explains the three languages chosen. But what would make you participate in an Arabic session if you don’t speak the language? Perhaps the fact that simultaneous translation was offered in the other two languages? You’ll hear Jay Hurvitz who was chairing Niki’s session refer to this as he introduced Niki to the multicultural participants. Niki was talking about the place of online communication in intercultural understanding and how the blandness of online communication makes face to face contact even more important.

absolutely pi
So now I’m going to invite you to think back to your maths lessons at school. Was that something you looked forward to? I’m actually one of those who people who enjoyed maths (for a short while) but I do know that it’s not everyone’s favourite subject. So our next piece is about how (and why) teacher LaMar Queen in Los Angeles, started using rap music to teach mathematical concepts. Even more extraordinary is the fact that there is a World Pi Day to celebrate the mathematical constant Pi which you need to work out various things to do with circles. Come on! You remember this stuff right? World Pi Day is on March 14. Why that date? You can hear more maths raps at musicnotesonline.com. So how would this go down in your town, your school? And I wonder what would be an approriate meal to eat on Pi Day? Apple pie for dessert obviously but what about the main course?

absolutely Maori
In our last category, absolutely Maori, we’ll return to that trilingual online conference in Israel and find out why it’s important to learn the Maori language in New Zealand and why it is that you can’t just use a dictionary to translate into Maori. This is just a short extract from Niki Davis’s session and although the conference was in January, it was recorded and you can find the links to this and all of the other sessions and recordings here.

Our next show will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann on June 1st so kia ora and stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox

Recordings and editing done with the help of Hindenburg Journalist Pro


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absolutely intercultural 153 +++ South Korea +++ Germany +++ Semester abroad +++ Ideal student +++ Personal development +++

EWHA-University-Students Today I am going to talk about the exciting decisions of those students who broaden their horizons by studying abroad. Furthermore we will talk to an expert who helps these students get the right information and financial support for fulfilling their dreams of living and studying in another country. Last but not least I would like to share an urban myth about an intercultural incident on a British Airways flight complete with a happy ending (at least for some of the people involved!)

absolutely remarkable
In Germany it is normal for about 20% of students at universities go abroad during their studies. However, Anne Gründer, is rather special in many ways. She studied Biomathematics and chose to spend a semester studying abroad at EWHA Woman’s University in Seoul, South Korea. And because she enjoyed her time so much she actually extended her stay for a second semester. Anna also successfully learned the language with the Asian symbols that look so unfamiliar to the western eye. Now that she is back in Germany she looks back on the cultural differences she experienced and shares how she benefited from her stay. In our first category  she will start by telling us why she chose South Korea as her destination for her semester abroad.

absolutely courageous
If one of our listeners is toying with the idea of coming to Germany, our interview will be particularly interesting for you. Kata Perjési is an Hungarian student. After spending a study semester abroad in Finland, she had planned to do her internship in Finland too. However, luckily for us she ended up being our new intern here at RheinAhrCampus. Kata is from Corvinus University in Budapest and will stay here for six months. In our next category she is going to tell us, why she chose Germany as her destination and what benefits she expects to get out of her stay abroad.

absolutely ideal
Our last guest for today is Wolfgang Kräft. He is working for the “German Academic Exchange Service or DAAD”. Together with his team, one of Wolfgang’s jobs is to travel through Germany and to inform German students how they could study abroad and which financial support they can get. They stop in bigger cities with their go-out mobile bus and provide students with a lot of information. In our last category Wolfgang will tell us what the ideal study abroad student should look like, how students can receive information about a semester abroad and finally he will give us advice on how your stay abroad could be the most productive time of our studies.

absolutely funny
Let me finish today with an intercultural urban myth about a black man and a white woman – a story has turned into a well-copied piece on the internet over the last decade. According to different versions this incident would have happened on about 17 different Airlines which is not very plausible but the story is nice enough to be re-told here:

“A 50- year old white woman on a British Airways flight arrived at her seat and saw that the passenger next to her was a black man. Visibly furious, she called the air hostess.
“Whats the problem, ma?” the hostess asked her
“Cant you see?” the lady said – “I was given a seat next to a black man. I can’t sit here next to him! You have to change my seat”
- “Please, calm down” – said the hostess
“I think, all the seats are occupied, but I`m still going to check if we have any.”
The hostess left and returned some minutes later.
“Madam, I spoke to the captain and he confirmed that there isn`t any empty seats in the economy class. We only have seats in the first class.”
“Look, it is unusual for our company to allow a passenger from the economy class be upgraded to the first class. However, given the circumstances, the captain thinks that it would be a scandal to make a passenger travel sat next to an unpleasant person.”
And turning to the black man, the hostess quickly said:
“Which means, Sir, if you would be so nice to pack your hand luggage, we have reserved you a seat in the first class…”
And all the passengers nearby, who were shocked to see the scene started applauding, some giving standing ovations.”

Adapted from: http://www.thatsnonsense.com/view.php?id=1481

 

Our next show will be coming to you from Anne Fox in Denmark on 4 May.

Until then –
Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell!

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

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absolutely intercultural 152 +++ China +++ Nigeria +++ Switzerland +++IELTS +++ Orphelia +++ Koleade Odutola +++ diaspora +++

OrpheliaI wonder if you can tell where I’m based just because of what I produce online! This is one of the questions we’ll be looking at in this show. We’ll also be asking whether non-native speakers of English can be examiners for a prestigious English qualification and how you can use your multi-cultural background to start a business

So we won’t be mentioning Australia in this show but we will be visiting almost every other continent. Starting in Europe, I was very honoured to be asked to be a judge in the 2011 European Podcast Award and I can’t tell you how difficult it was to decide. There are so many different types of podcast, long and short, fly on the wall documentary to fictionalised reality. Dogme-style, what you see is what you get to expertly produced with delicious sound. By the time this show comes out you’ll be able to check out who the winners are in the different categories and the different countries.

absolutely native?
Enough on Europe, let’s start the show in China where there is a huge demand for English qualifications as young Chinese look for at least part of their training abroad. The two main exams which will show you are able to tackle a university course in English are TOEFL and IELTS. Both of these have a spoken part of the test and in the IELTS exam this is done in the presence of a real live human being instead of on computer. So does the IELTS examiner always have to be a native speaker? I spoke with Tinting Yang who now counts among her many other activities that of IELTS examiner. Let’s find out what went through her mind as she decided to apply for the job.

absolutely digital
What is the value of internet chatter? Can you tell where someone comes from by the way they communicate online? Can you even speak about nation building as part of that online dialogue? These are some of the questions which Koleade Odutola tackled in his doctorate which has just been published as a book. The title of the book is Diaspora and imagined Nationality, and looks mainly at how Nigerians around the world define themselves and their country in their online dialogue. Koleade is himself Nigerian and has lived in the UK but mostly in the USA where he teaches at the University of Florida. Let’s go absolutely digital and find out whether online dialogue helps Nigerians define what being a Nigerian means.  The sub-title is USA-Africa Dialogue and Cyberframing Nigerian Nationhood and you can buy from it the publisher as well as from the American version of Amazon.

absolutely beautiful
Our final guest on the show today is a great example of how you can turn your multi-cultural heritage into a sound business proposition. Alexa Kovacs was brought up in Switzerland and is of Hungarian and British parentage and has recently started a business selling beautiful clothing and accessories which she sources in a surprisingly direct way. The business is called Orphelia and it’s really well worth a visit for the visual beauty alone. So let’s go absolutely beautiful and hear more about how Orphelia works. I really do recommend a visit to Alexa’s site as a feast for the eyes.

Our next show will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann on April 7th so stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox

 


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