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


6 thoughts on “absolutely intercultural 152 +++ China +++ Nigeria +++ Switzerland +++IELTS +++ Orphelia +++ Koleade Odutola +++ diaspora +++”

  1. I’m a non-English IELTS examiner myself so it was interesting to listen to Tingtang to talk about her motives and experience – very similar to mine, with one exception. Namely, I examine in Scotland so sometimes I get native candidates wanting to emigrate to Australia, a rather odd experience, I must admit!

    Looking at my examining and teaching experience (EAP), I can confirm that the numbers of Chinese students taking the exam and wanting to study in an English-speaking country are on the rise so, yes, we can talk about some kind of an explosion.

    I wonder if that’s going to change soon. Perhaps it will be more cost-effective for English teachers to go to China ? Will we be required to speak Chinese and have a grasp of Chinese culture so that we can better cater for the students’ needs?

    Back to IELTS though, I’ve observed that students nowadays tend to be better prepared and so, increasingly, I have students with higher marks, especially in receptive skills. It’s often still a steep learning curve for them though to bridge the gap between an IELTS-type essay and an academic essay, the process being sometimes quite emotional. This is something we’re trying to help them with on the pre-sessional/in-sessional courses.

    Thanks for bringing up the topic. Absolutely interesting! 🙂

  2. Utterly bizarre that native Scots have to pass IELTS to go to Australia. I suppose they could fail on writing skills but it would be a minefield wouldn’t it if you failed them on spoken skills!

  3. I think they get extra points if they pass the test, which might help them in the visa application process. There might be problems with their speaking too, that is their mark might be lower than the max. 9 if for example their pronunciation is non-standard or if they use lots of regionalisms, etc.

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