Refugee journey +++ Global Educator +++ UK referendum on EU +++ Julie Lindsay +++ Absolutely Intercultural 202 +++

Radwan Abdullah
Radwan Abdullah, former Social Studies teacher from Syria

If you have ever wondered about the journeys of those thousands of refugees from Syria then you will want to hear Radwan Abdullah’s story of how he got to Denmark with his cousin and disabled daughter. We will also be hearing from Julie Lindsay about her new book on how to become a Global Educator.

What else? Well we’ve been nominated in the Podcast Awards and are waiting to hear if we will get in the final selection on May 22nd. If we do, we will let you know and ask for your vote. So keep an eye on our Facebook page and here on our webiste.

And you may have noticed that there is a referendum coming up in the UK on whether or not to stay in the EU. Continue reading Refugee journey +++ Global Educator +++ UK referendum on EU +++ Julie Lindsay +++ Absolutely Intercultural 202 +++

neighbours +++ Social Learning +++ GROOC +++ McGill University +++ Absolutely Intercultural 198 +++

neighboursSo it is time for those New year resolutions which we don’t tend to stick to. Maybe we have too many? Maybe we don’t share them with anyone so that makes them easier to break? In this show I am going to be exploring just one idea. Maybe, just maybe, if we stick to one idea then we have a better chance of succeeding. And that one idea is about being a good neighbour. How about it? Worth a try?

Continue reading neighbours +++ Social Learning +++ GROOC +++ McGill University +++ Absolutely Intercultural 198 +++

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

Maybe you will notice that we have a new editor on the show. Laura has left the Sunshine Coast, Australia, to come and take on a year here at RheinAhrCampus in Germany. We all think she is crazy to give up all that beautiful sunshine but are so happy to have her on our team. Thanks a lot to Younes Jaber who has helped us produce so many good shows in the past and is now about to finish his studies. Continue reading Absolutely Intercultural 187 +++ Cultural Comparison +++ Learning German +++ Australian Culture

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

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

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

absolutely festive Continue reading Absolutely Intercultural 185 +++ Christmas Traditions +++ New Year’s Resolutions +++ Intercultural Christmas

Global +++ Clandfield +++ Gokun Silver +++ 4Cs +++ SIETAR +++ Ideal Global Life +++ Authentizen +++ Absolutely Intercultural 174

SummitCollage-Website-FixedHappy New Year!  So a new year traditionally means New Year resolutions and what could those be? Could they include improving your English? If so, have you ever wondered how difficult it is for course book writers to choose topics which will appeal to students all over the world? We’ll be hearing from Lindsay Clandfield, lead author of the Global series of coursebooks about some of those issues. Maybe your New year’s resolution is learning about one intercultural diagnosis tool such as the 4 Cs of culture? If so then you will want to hear Margarita Gokun Silver explain what they are. Or maybe you want to make a huge change in your life but don’t know where to start. One step in that direction may be to attend the free Living Your Ideal Global Life summit starting on January 13th. We’ll be hearing from Sabrina Ziegler, one of the organisers about some more of the interesting angles about living abroad and what is possible in this connected world.

absolutely global
Have you ever wondered how your language course book gets written? In show 166 we heard about the topics that don’t make it into the course books, the so-called PARSNIP topics. But as I had Lindsay Clandfield, lead author of the new MacMillan Global series on the line, I took the opportunity to ask him how he decided what SHOULD go into his new coursebook. So let’s go absolutely global and start by asking why the world needed another coursebook for learning English!

absolutely how-to
Now I want to tell you about a new page on our website which is a 30 minute edited version of a workshop I did at the SIETAR Congress in Tallinn Estonia in September. The workshop was about podcasting for Intercultural trainers and we have released it as a special edition of the podcast on its own page.  Thanks to Sigvor Bakke from Norway who did a magnificent job of recording on her mobile phone including a short snippet where we were looking at why you might want to podcast. The snippet included Matthew Hill from the UK. And if you want to hear the whole 30 minutes where I go into more detail about the whys and wherefores then catch it on its dedicated page.

absolutely coached
In a globalised world it becomes even more important to understand intercultural dynamics within yourself and others. Margarita Gokun Silver told us about how accompanying spouses can be helped in Show 170. You may remember that Margarita is a trained coach so let’s ask if she has additional tools to help people deal with intercultural situations? Honouring your values is a key takeaway. Margarita’s website is at where you can find loads more information about the 4 Cs and intercultural coaching generally.  I have added the book mentioned by Margarita to the Absolutely Intercultural Amazon store where you can find many other books relevant to intercultural communication. We receive a small amount of what you pay for every book which helps keep the site running. Browse our Amazon store here.

absolutely ideal
And finally, I return to the unique idea of the Living Your Ideal Global Life Summit which is free and online for 5 days starting January 13th. In Show 172 one of the organisers, Sabrina Ziegler  of Authentizen , told us about a couple of the speakers so let’s go absolutely ideal as I asked Sabrina about Terry Rogocki’s contribution. Do you have any ideas about how to live your ideal global life? Don’t forget that the summit is free.

Don’t forget we also have a  Facebook Page where we recently got our 300th like! Welcome Hamdi Erestreams in Tunisia! Hope you are enjoying the page and the links we add there regularly.

The next show will be coming to you from Australia with Laurent Borgmann on February 7th so until then Happy New year!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox

Editor: Younes Jaber




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

If you like the podcast then LIKE US ON FACEBOOK HERE!

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

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

absolutely intercultural 138 +++ Saudi Arabia +++ Iraq +++ NYOI +++ Diversophy +++ Refugee Week +++

Diversophy logoIn this show we’ll be hearing about how games can help your intercultural awareness. We’ll also be following up on a couple of items from the last show by going to Iraq to hear more about the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq initiative which brought Arab and Kurdish Iraqis together to make music and we’ll be re-visiting the issue of the right of Saudi women to drive cars in cities.
absolutely independent:
In the last show we went absolutely independent when we heard about the Saudi women who were going to drive their cars on June 17th in a bid to convince the authorities to accept this practice. Actually June 17th was not meant as a one-off but as a start date, but it seems that the day went well with quite a few women driving their cars with only minor brushes with the police as a result. This is in contrast to what happened with a similar action in 1990 when the women then were harassed by the authorities and other citizens and described as ‘The fallen: Advocates of vice and corruption on Earth’. ‘A source of depravity’ and when other citizens were advised to ‘Take whatever action you see fit’ to bring them under control. What’s the difference between then and now? Perhaps that, because of social media, the eyes of the world were on Saudi Arabia on this occasion.

absolutely social
So does social media such as Twitter and Facebook have an effect on culture? That is a question which I shall be exploring as part of a webinar organised by Christine Develotte and Fred Dervin on June 29th.  More specifically we will be looking at whether social media can actually contribute to developing intercultural competences. You will find the link to the free webinar here.

absolutely playful
We’ve covered games before and today we’re going to hear from George Simons working with Kati Volt about his Diversophy game, how it works and a bit of background about how the game is made. So how can you gain some intercultural awareness through a game? George Simons of explains the game which started out as a face to face card game but now also comes in online and Android smart phone format. We also hear about sample cards in the game and how people react to them. In fact George and I had a great deal more to talk about; too much for one show, so you’ll be hearing more from George and his gaming approach in future shows. In the meantime you might like to try one of the Diversophy Android apps on your Smart phone.

absolutely musical
Now let’s be absolutely musical and hear a little more about that incredible orchestra put together by audition on YouTube which puts together traditional enemies, Arabs and Kurds, to play together in an Orchestra which is due to perform at the Beethoven Festival in Bonn this coming October. In previous shows we have heard from Paul MacAlindin, the conductor and Karin Wolf, the viola teacher, as well as the RheinAhr Campus students whose task it was to find a way of raising awareness of the event. In this show I will play you an extract from one of the videos put together to explain the background to this very special orchestra. You can see and hear the whole video here.

absolutely desperate
Did you know that this week is international refugee week? In Australia it was marked by an amazing reality show, Asylum Exit Australia: Go back to where you came from , in which over three consecutive nights you followed the journey of six ordinary Australians who made the refugee journey to Australia backwards; in the words of the programme makers :

Deprived of  their wallets, phones and passports, they board a leaky refugee boat, are rescued mid-ocean, experience immigration raids in  Malaysia, live in a Kenyan refugee camp and visit slums in Jordan  before ultimately making it to the Democratic Republic of Congo and  Iraq, protected by UN Peacekeepers and the US military. For some of  them it’s their first time abroad. For all of them, it’s an epic  journey and the most challenging experience of their lives.

This is all about trying to walk in the shoes of others or leaving your comfort zone and is meant to confront viewers with their stereotypes of refugees as spongers and taking the easy option and so on. For the moment this has only been broadcast on Australian TV.  But the TV company have added another way in which you can get a taste of what it might be like to have all your normal certainties suddenly taken away from you, in the form of  a simulation. The game starts in Australia where, through some unamed political developments, you are suddenly in extreme danger of your life and need to escape. How does it feel to have to leave the place you consider home, to suddenly not know who you can trust? These are the sorts of issues which the game explores. You can try it out for free. I’d be interested to hear your reactions so do add a comment here after playing it. .

Ways to support “The National Youth Orchestra of Iraq”:

The National Youth Orchestra of Iraq would especially welcome your support on the various social media sites if you have a moment or two to spare.

YOUTUBE: 1. NYOI plays for kids, 2. General Information, 3. KICKSTARTER

FACEBOOK: 1. German, 2. International

Our next show will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann in Germany on 8th July 2011

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