refugees +++ integration +++ Denmark +++ Germany +++ Eddies +++ absolutely intercultural 196 +++

Kalø HøjskoleWe have a new look for the website, a Facebook milestone, a webinar on culturally responsive teaching and a plea for help on the Edublog awards! We will be talking to two teachers about how they adapt to a diverse classroom.
So we have updated the website to accommodate the new material we have on culturally responsive teaching. You can now also sign up for the Teaching Culture newsletter . The next one comes out on the same day as this podcast and includes information, links and news. And of course it’s all free.

And thanks to Jeja Petrici who became our 500th Facebook liker on 16th October. We regularly post links on intercultural topics there on most week days. Just do a search on Facebook for Absolutely Intercultural or use the link on the sidebar.
People overcome all sorts of obstacles to be on our show! Here’s Alexandra Haas in Germany, arriving to our agreed recording a tiny bit delayed!

absolutely at home
We’ll hear more about what the refugee influx has meant for Alexandra’s work later in the show. But first we will make a visit to a very special institution, a Danish high school, which is not what you may think. The network of Danish high schools dotted all over the country, usually in very attractive rural settings, is a place for adults to go on short to long term residential courses. These courses in the past have tended not to be vocational but mainly just for the sake of learning. It’s a very Danish institution and can be traced back to Grundtvig, a Danish 19th century philosopher who gave his name to the European Union’s strand for adult education funding. My local high school specialises in languages and nowadays caters for foreigners in Denmark needing to learn Danish in order to settle down here. I went to Kalø Højskole (see image) to meet Jennifer Appave, a Canadian who has worked in Japan, Africa and Asia, to ask her about her experience teaching multinational groups in this residential setting.

absolutely German
Did you know that this podcast came out of a project called Teaching Culture which ended in 2006? In Teaching Culture we developed a curriculum to help teachers become more interculturally aware and to include intercultural elements no matter what they were teaching. Alexandra Haas was the initiator and coordinator of the project and it was great to catch up with her almost 10 years later to find out how the refugee influx in Germany was affecting her work at VHS Rhein-Sieg.
Hearing from Jennifer and Alexandra is very helpful to me as I update and adapt the Teaching Culture course so that it is suitable for Erasmus+ funding. What we learned there was about the importance of

  • treating each learner as an individual,
  • negotiating what goes on in the classroom and
  • being prepared for conflict and dealing with that by finding out what the underlying reasons for the conflict may be.

absolutely global
I’ll be talking about making the most of the intercultural resources in the adult classroom at the upcoming Global Education conference which is free and online. My session is in the European evening of November 19th at 20:00 CET and you might want to explore the other sessions available from 16-19th November because the overall theme is about going global in your classroom.
So that’s it for this show! We’ll be posting on the Facebook page when the nominations for the Edublog awards start so please do consider nominating the podcast. The next show will be coming to you from Germany with Laurent Borgmann on 4th December. So until then stay tuned!

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook or leave a comment on iTunes and stay tuned!
The host of this show is: Anne Fox




IATEFL+++ Côte d’Ivoire +++ Palestine +++ Kenya +++ culturally responsive teaching +++ Absolutely Intercultural 194

Focusing on a Skype call in Palestine
Today we’ll be hearing about some amazing efforts by an English teacher in Côte d’Ivoire to get his students confident in speaking English. Our contributor’s name is also interesting! Then we’ll be talking to a Palestinian teacher I met at the IATEFL conference earlier this year whose students used Skype to show how a Palestinian wedding is arranged. And we’ll be hearing about church services in Kenya. We also have news of additions to our website and a new newsletter that you can subscribe to if you are a teacher who wants to be more culturally responsive in the classroom. In fact we have a couple of other new things up our sleeves before the end of 2015, so stay tuned! Continue reading IATEFL+++ Côte d’Ivoire +++ Palestine +++ Kenya +++ culturally responsive teaching +++ Absolutely Intercultural 194

SIETAR +++ Third Culture Kid +++ Shelley Morrison +++ Lisa Liang +++ Alien Citizen +++ Absolutely Intercultural 192 +++

Hemispheric_Twilight_-_Valencia,_Spain_-_Jan_2007In May I attended the SIETAR conference in Valencia, Spain and today I’m going to bring you two very different tastes from the conference. SIETAR is the Society for Intercultural Education Training and Research and we will be hearing about third culture kids and how to train people to work well together online. Continue reading SIETAR +++ Third Culture Kid +++ Shelley Morrison +++ Lisa Liang +++ Alien Citizen +++ Absolutely Intercultural 192 +++

Absolutely Intercultural 191 +++ Storytelling +++ Germany +++ Pakistan +++ Canada +++


The focus oIMG_3748f today’s show is on storytelling and we hear from students and how they have used story telling in different situations including in work and at university. We also hear from an exchange student from Pakistan and learn about some of the cultural differences between Germany and Pakistan. Continue reading Absolutely Intercultural 191 +++ Storytelling +++ Germany +++ Pakistan +++ Canada +++

IATEFL +++ Manchester +++ Pakistan +++ Nepal +++ Bangladesh +++ Afghanistan +++ Zimbabwe +++ Cameroon +++ Absolutely Intercultural 190 +++

web-banner-2015-url-hashtag-330x250In this show I will be taking you to Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Cameroon and Zimbabwe. For example why do people learn English in Pakistan? And what do you think the best way of delivering training would be to the semi-literate migrant workers of Bangladesh? This show includes snippets of recordings made at the IATEFL conference in Manchester last month. Continue reading IATEFL +++ Manchester +++ Pakistan +++ Nepal +++ Bangladesh +++ Afghanistan +++ Zimbabwe +++ Cameroon +++ Absolutely Intercultural 190 +++

Mongolia +++ Aberdeen +++ Kenya +++ Inside Out +++ Absolutely Intercultural 188 +++

IMG_0116In this show we are going to go to Mongolia, to Kenya and to Aberdeen. There IS an over-arching theme but I wonder if you can guess what it is? Continue reading Mongolia +++ Aberdeen +++ Kenya +++ Inside Out +++ Absolutely Intercultural 188 +++

Absolutely Intercultural 183 +++ Internship Abroad +++ Intercultural Preparation +++ tourist-industry +++ First Impressions In Germany +++ Australian +++

 Vladimir on his bike tourIsn’t it great to experience new cultures by travelling to different parts of the world? Four weeks ago I spent my holiday in Andalucía, in Spain. I have wanted to go there for a long time: Granada, Cordoba, Sevilla – the place names have always sounded attractive to me.
On the first day my wife and I took part in a guided bicycle tour in Malaga – and by chance – we met Nils Langer. He told me that in the framework of his studies at the university he is completing a tourism internship in a Spanish bicycle shop
Quite a number of my students take on internships abroad in order to gain intercultural awareness and to improve their language- and transferable skills. They are culturally immersed in their host country much more than during a regular holiday. Working as an intern abroad provides them with insights into foreign work environments and working styles. Afterwards they benefit from the new international contacts they made during their internships abroad.

Continue reading Absolutely Intercultural 183 +++ Internship Abroad +++ Intercultural Preparation +++ tourist-industry +++ First Impressions In Germany +++ Australian +++

Absolutely Intercultural 179 +++ Up With People +++ Social Intercultural Projects +++ Intercultural Behaviour +++ Intercultural Ambassador +++

If you like the podcast then please also LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!

People say that gaining intercultural experiences improves your transferable skills, your ability to adapt to new situations. However, getting in touch with other cultures may also change your personal preferences, conventions and habits. Sometimes this process can even take place unconsciously but it still changes your way of thinking dramatically. So, should we start printing warnings on travel brochures? “Warning: This trip to France could seriously change your view of the world?”

And should we be worried about “passive traveling” – because it’s not just the person who went abroad who undergoes intercultural behavioral changes but also the people in the culture they visit who are influenced by the foreigner’s cultural behaviour. Continue reading Absolutely Intercultural 179 +++ Up With People +++ Social Intercultural Projects +++ Intercultural Behaviour +++ Intercultural Ambassador +++

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



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