Intercultural trainers +++ SIETAR +++ Ethiopia +++ Ghana +++ absolutely intercultural 227

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I have been curious about how you come to work in the intercultural field and have continued my conversations with people who are doing it.  One thing I realise now after talking to several people is that there are many ways into an intercultural career.

Here for example is Dawn who was based in Ethiopia and formed Broads Abroad, a support group for expatriate women, based on the conversations that used to happen after the Zumba lessons she started giving.

And Franklin Yartey, a professor of intercultural communication at Dubuque University, Iowa, worked as PR manager of a dance school in his native Ghana before ending up in the US to continue his education.

And once you are doing it, it seems that intercultural work is its own reward as Joe Kearns describes!

So this show is the second in our series on how to get into the Intercultural field. Thanks to everyone who agreed to participate.

Another thing I noticed about today’s contributors is that they all had a connection with Africa, two with Ethiopia and one with Ghana. Listen to find out which is which.

Continue reading Intercultural trainers +++ SIETAR +++ Ethiopia +++ Ghana +++ absolutely intercultural 227

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 www.globalcoachcenter.com 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

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absolutely intercultural 170 +++ cross-cultural trainers +++ Burgheimer +++ Gokun Silver +++ SIETAR

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Credit: Dennis Hill, FontPlay.com

Welcome and shanah tovah.  Why shanah tovah? Because that is the Hebrew New Year greeting and it was the Israeli new year the day before this podcast came out. I learned this from Marion Burgheimer, an Israeli cross cultural trainer I spoke with about the most popular links on our Absolutely Intercultural Facebook Page. She also told me that Shanah Tova is a wish for a good new year rather a happy new year, as a good year makes you happy. Welcome to Christian Garry Kansil who is the latest person to like our Facebook Page. I wonder if you’re finding the links we post there of interest Christian? In this show I talked to two cross cultural trainers to find out more about their work and how they got into it.

absolutely curious
How do you become a cross cultural trainer? I’m sure that this isn’t something you told your careers adviser at school that you wanted to be when you grew up. So that was how I started my conversation with both of our guests in this show. First I asked Marion Burgheimer about how she came to be a crosscultural trainer.

absolutely linked
Then I spoke to Marion about some of the links which have proved popular on our facebook page and what made them popular. If you know of any interesting links which we should share on our Facebook Page then leave us a comment there or use our blog or send us an email. Also use the blog to contact us if you know of someone we should be speaking to for a future podcast.

absolutely lost
So now to our second cross cultural trainer, Margarita Gokun Silver, founder of the Global Coach Center; same questions, what’s your background and how come you became a cross cultural trainer and we’ll see that Margarita’s strength lies in helping the spouses of people who get stationed abroad and who are absolutely lost in some cases. Here are some of the things they say:

You can find more Global Coach Centre videos on their YouTube channel. In fact I spoke at greater length to Margarita and I hope that I can bring you a bit more of that conversation in later shows. But in the mean time search this post for all the links we talked about and the videos that Margarita has produced, visit us on Facebook Page or see the show on our YouTube channel.
Our next show will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann on October 4th so stay tuned!
The host of this show is: Anne Fox

Editor: Younes Jaber

Image: Dennis Hill, FontPlay.com at Flickr

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absolutely intercultural 128 +++ Nigeria +++ Rosinski +++ coaching +++ Roskilde +++

In this show we’re going to be taking you to Nigeria, the Netherlands, France and the US. One of the great things about the Internet is the niche marketing it allows. One example of this is the radio show Culture Shock: Nigerians in America on Splash FM in Nigeria and which is also podcast. It’s billed as a new talk radio show connecting Nigerians in Nigeria to Nigerians in America and hosted by Abimbola Ishola and Kunle Ayodeji. We’ll also be hearing from Philipe Rosinski, intercultural coach for international business presenting his thoughts about why the coaching approach works in intercultural situations and later talking about some of the cases he has dealt with. 

I’d also like to say hi to Nina Liakos in Maryland who interviewed me about a week ago about this podcast as part of her efforts to learn about how to podcast with the help of the Evonline sessions sponsored by TESOL every year in January. Nina, you did a fantastic job! It was a pleasure talking to you and very relaxing to be the interviewee for a change.

absolutely Nigerian
So let’s start the show by hearing from show number 21 of CultureShock Nigerians when they asked about the types of experiences and impressions newly arrived Nigerians to America had. You can hear more by going to cultureshocknigerians.com where you’ll find all the shows to date since it started last autumn. Thanks to Kole Odutola who alerted me to the show and to the producers for allowing us to bring you snippets. We’ll also hear from a Nigerian comedian Seyi Brown and his experience of coming to the US in 2008.

absolutely doctoral
Now if your interest in intercultural matters is academic you may be interested in a doctoral summer school open to any PhD student in the field which is going to take place in Denmark in early July at Roskilde University. It’s called Identity and Interculturality and will feature some of the greats in the field such as Michael Byram and Claire Kramsch. The 5 day summer school will concentrate on research methods and costs only 50 euros. The deadline to apply is February 28th. Thanks to Fred Dervin for alerting me to that and he is also one of the convenors of the summer school which will take the form of lectures, workshops and roundtables.

absolutely universal
Another way of learning which is becoming very popular these days is through coaching. Our next slot features Philipe Rosinski who gave an hour long webinar on his experiences as an intercultural coach. The webinar was organised by SIETAR which is the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research and you can enjoy the whole webinar on their website for free. In the first extract, we’ll hear how Rosinski needed to adapt the coaching approach so that it was a little less American.

absolutely mixed
Rosinski has written books about intercultural coaching, the latest one is called Global Coaching, while the earlier Coaching across Cultures describes the tool he has developed to help individual and teams find out their strengths and weaknesses in the intercultural area. You can try out the individual tool for free by clicking here. What it does is highlight your preferences in terms of a whole range of orientations such as hierarchy, multi-tasking, formality and communication styles and compares them to your abilities in those areas. In a team situation it would help for example to discover if half your team preferred to multi-task while the other half are expecting tasks to come one at a time. The orientations are those which tend to differ in different cultures and build on the ideas of the pioneers in intercultural communication such as Hofstede and Edward T Hall. I tried the test and discovered that I might have difficulty working in a very hiearchical setting for example. Let’s hear now how Rosinski could apply the results of the test to a team of Dutch and French employees involved in a merger.

Our next show will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann in Germany on 18th February

So long … stay tuned!

The host of this show is Anne Fox : Editor: Dino Nogarole

absolutely intercultural 120 +++ Serious Games +++ Haji Kamal +++ Wiglington & Wenks +++ SIETAR +++

Welcome to AbsolutelyIntercultural, the podcast where we look at all things intercultural. We’re going to see if playing games can increase your intercultural knowledge. I’m talking about serious games which are becoming more widespread in education at all levels.   

absolutely serious
Mikkel Lucas Overby works for a Danish company Serious Games Interactive which has produced several games both in Danish and English which are mainly aimed at high school students. The games explore topics which we all know something about such as the Israeli Palestinaian conflict, child soldiers in Arifca or child labour in Asia. But the difference here is that you are on the ground and have to deal with the situation by interacting with the different people involved. I tried out a couple of these and so did my daughter, Gwen. But are there limits even within Serious Games? It seems yes when you hear what Mikkel has to say about their forthcoming game about the slave trade.  I started by asking him how the Serious Games Interactive company started and how they chose the topics of their games.

absolutely playful
As you heard I got to play a couple of their games and so did my daughter Gwen who took on the role of a buyer from a European clothes company inspecting reports that the factory which sources their leather uses child labour. How did she fare?

absolutely military
And what about war? We’ve mentioned this before on Absolutely Intercultural but one of the groups which need intercultural communication skills the most are soldiers. Think for example about the situation in Afghanistan where you need to get on with the locals for all sorts of reasons including to get a continual stream of information from them. In the game ‘Connecting with Haji Kamal’, Lieutenant Justin Harril is about to meet Haji Masoud Kamal, an influential local leader who Harril hopes will become a longterm contact. Harril knows that Haji Kamal is going to offer him chai, the local tea which he really doesn’t like? We hear the advice offered by two other officers. The Lieutenant has the following choices, refuse saying he’s not thirsty, refuse saying he’s allergic or accept. What’s the best choice? The game is available online from the World Warfighter company which specialises in military intercultural training through games.Earlier we had a taste of the type of interaction faced by soldiers in Afghanistan. The game Connect with Haji Kamal is available online at worldwarfighter.com and takes about 10 minutes to play. You heard the first dilemma at the beginning of the show when Lieutenant Harril is offered tea which he thinks he won’t like. What did you decide he should do? Of course if you refuse his hospitality then that won’t start your relationship with him on a good footing. How might the visit continue? The soldiers noticed a field of cannabis plants growing close by Haji Kamal’s house – should they mention it? So the choices are to compliment Haji Kamal on his cannabis crop, admire the hills or suggest that you get down to business. What would you choose? I think this game would be a great discussion starter plus it is a great way to try out various strategies without the consequences being too bad as you can always re-start the game. So what if you had refused the tea? If you want to see how the situation develops you’ll have to go to the worldwarfighter website and play the game yourself. And if you have any comments about how you did or what you think of the game then you can leave them at the end of this blog post.

absolutely virtual
There are intercultural games for children in the virtual world of Wiglington and Wenks where you can visit Brazil, London and Madagascar finding out about the places as you go. I sent my younger daughter, Mia on safari to explore Wiglington and Wenks. I had a feeling she was older than the target group but younger children might learn something about the world in Wiglington and Wenks.

And there are also intercultural quizzes in one of the most famous virtual worlds of them all, Second Life. SIETAR is the society for intercultural education, training and research and they have equipped a whole floor of their building in Second Life with over 30 quizzes about different countries. So for example in the quiz on Sweden you can answer a question about being offered a pat of butter on a butter knife at a dinner. What happens to the knife? Do you only use it to put the butter on your plate, or use it to butter your bread and then return it or use it and keep it as yours? The answer is butter your bread and return it. If you want to try the rest of the quiz or quizzes for other countries then you can find the link to SIETAR’s place in Second Life here.

So what do you think? Could playing computer games help raise your intercultural awareness? Did we miss out some really good digital intercultural games? I’d be very curious to hear about your experiences with any of the games I’ve mentioned and any that I missed out.

The next show will be coming to you on 29th October from Dr. Laurent Borgmann in Germany.

Until then have fun!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox
Editor: Dino Nogarole

absolutely intercultural 112 +++ blogs to watch +++ Valentina Dodge +++ Open University +++ heaven +++ World Cup +++ Bulgaria +++

 

absolutely tagged
When we first started this show back in 2006 and wrote here that we were the first podcast to deal with intercultural matters I thought it wouldn’t be long before we had many competitors. But now four years later something has happened to make me look again to see what is available for people interested in intercultural issues and it seems to me the situation has not changed that much. This podcast was tagged as ‘one to watch’ by Valentina Dodge, a teacher of English and online teacher trainer who writes a blog called Life Long Learning. Being tagged gives us the obligation to nominate ten more blogs to watch. This tagging or nomination is part of an initiative called “Vale a pena ficar de olho nesse blog”, which means “It’s worth keeping an eye on this blog”. So how does this work? The chosen blog has to copy the picture above, with a link to the blog from which it has received the award. And since this is a podcast I thought I would nominate a mix of blogs and podcasts and I thought that they should be about intercultural issues. And what I found is that there are certainly no other podcasts doing quite what we do but I think I have found some interesting ones anyway. In all I have found 5 blogs and 5 podcasts. I’ll alternate between the blogs and the podcasts. So, onto the first blog. 

1. Intercultural Eyes
My first choice is Intercultural Eyes  by Bettina Hansel an American geographer and here is an extract from a post she made about friendship as a cultural value:

Nowhere do you find the values of a society so clearly marked as when you look at what educators are trying to teach children. I am still mulling over a recent New York Times article that discussed the efforts of some U.S. educators to discourage children from having just one “best friend” on the grounds that other children will feel excluded. Those from other countries who have puzzled over the seemingly superficial nature of U.S. friendship would do well to read this article and see if it sheds some light on the experiences you have had. Apparently these schools claim to be worried about the nastiness that can take place with exclusive cliques, and don’t want students to be ”so possessive about friends” but I am not convinced that their attempt to encourage children to form big groups of friends is a cure for social exclusion or bullying. I haven’t noticed that bullies have a single “best friend.” Yet, according to the Times article, school and summer camp personnel are concerned about children who form a tight friendship with just one other child. The goal is “healthy” (read: not too dependent) relationships with everyone.

2. Global Voices
Now we’ll hear from my first podcast choice which is Global Voices, a huge multi-lingual portal with both text, audio and video. I’ve chosen an extract from an interview about an online initiative using blogs and video to bring American, Armenian and Azerbaijani teenagers together to work on creating socially conscious media. If you want to hear more you’ll have to go to globalvoicesonline.org/-/podcasts

3. Pocket Cultures
And for my second blog I have chosen Pocket Cultures which is written by many different people all over the world. At the moment there has just been a series about intercultural marriages where couples answer a standard set of questions which include where did you meet, what language do you speak at home and do you try to cook food from each other’s countries?

4. Interfaith Voices
And now for the second podcast which is about religion. It’s called Interfaith Voices and basically explores issues relevant to all the major world religions such as the recent child abuse scandals in the Catholic church or whether there is a relationship between terrorism and Islam. I found this piece about how your idea of heaven may be shaped by your culture interesting.

5. Intercultural Memories
For my next blog recommendation I nominate Intercultural Memories by George Simons who is one of the directors of SIETAR France. Sietar is the Society for intercultural education, training and research and what Simons does in his blog is mainly review books about intercultural issues. He doesn’t post very often but if you want to build up a strong intercultural library then this is the place to go for guidance.

6. Quanxi
Often you need intercultural knowledge because you are doing business across cultures. One of the biggest business blocks is now China and many people help you to understand the Chinese approach to business. Britain’s Open University make a great deal of their material freely available and here is an example from a series about business in China which explains the concept of quanxi which I guess could be translated as reciprocity or obligation.

7. Cindy King
Blog number four is Cindy King’s blog  In fact Cindy is an expert on cross-cultural communication in social media and is a prolific Twitterer too. One thing I especially like about Cindy’s blog are her regular International links posts in which she rounds up on interesting intercultural web links.

8. The World
Now for podcast number four which is PRI’s The World. This is a co-production of WGBH/Boston, PRI, and the BBC World Service. Basically it is designed to explain the world to an American public and the topics covered range far and wide. One nice feature of their podcasts are that they provide full transcripts so if you’re learning English this may help.

As England and the US have both just limped through to the next stages of the FIFA World Cup I thought I would play you an extract from a piece they did about the relationship betwen the two countries when it comes to football (recorded before the start of the World Cup by the way).

9. Separated by a common language
And now to my final blog choice which continues the American versus England theme. The blog attempts to explain the difference between British English and American English. The writer Lynne Murphy is American and married to a Briton. The blog is often very funny and here is a short piece about toliets!

 Why is it that the (BrE) cubicles in American (BrE) public toilets never go all the way to the floor or the ceiling and there’s always a huge gap that keeps the door from ever fully being closed, meaning that one can never have true privacy?

 

As is often the case with cross-cultural rhetorical questions, there is a hyperbole-coated grain of truth here.  But first, the vocabulary.  You’ll have noticed that I marked BH’s cubicles as BrE.  I learned about this at Scrabble Club, when I had cause to mention a little sub-room in the ladies’ room that contains a single toilet.  I emerged from said room and informed someone that “There’s no paper in the second (AmE) stall“, at which point a competitor loudly exclaimed, “What, you were at the theat{re/er} in there?”  And so I defensively asked “What would you call it then?”  Ta-da! I give you cubicle.

10. Enough to make your head spin
And so to my final podcast which is from the American Peace Corps website and their wonderful Coverdell World Wise Schools Service. I can’t recommend too highly their intercultural communication training materials which are available free of charge on the website and this extract is from on of the many recordings made by former peace corps volunteers about their postings all over the world. This one is about the Bulgarian way of saying yes and no. It’s a cliche of intercultural communication that you nod your head to say no and shake it to say yes but when you actually have to live it then its quite a different matter.

Thank you to all those podcasters who gave us permission to bring you these extracts.  Do go and visit these blogs and podcasts but I hope that in the end you will still come back to us. And if you still think we’re pretty good then why not vote for us in the European Podcast Award. Voting is open until the end of July and you’ll find details about how to do it here.

Don’t forget that you can still vote for us in the European Podcast Awards both on the German page and the Danish page.

The next show will be coming to you on 9 July from Dr. Laurent Borgmann in Germany.

So long…stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox
Editor: Dino Nogarole