In 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.
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 Culturesdescribes 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.
absolutely worth it Thank you to Valentina Dodge for nominating the podcast and blog as one worth taking a look at. Thanks Valentina and now I just have to compile our own list of blogs worth looking at. I’ll be doing that in time for the next show but in the meantime you’ll hear about a great nomination in today’s show.
absolute textbook It’s often said that you can’t learn a language without culture so it makes sense to bring out a book which helps you learn English through learning about intercultural matters. I was at the IATEFL conference in Harrogate in April where I met Adrian Pilbeam, the author of the new book Working across Cultures, and discussed it with him. The book is part of the Pearson Longman Market Leader series and could be a useful supplement to the main course text.
absolutely social Now we’ll hear from Fred Dervin in Finland about why he was involved in organising a webinar about social media and inclusion and quite what this has to do with culture. The online conference took place in late April about the potential of social media, such as this podcast or our blog, to reduce social exclusion. The event was part of a large European project Language Learning and Social Media which will be coming up with best practices. You’d be surprised how much social exclusion has to do with cultural differences. In her session Professor Ruth Illman from Finland presented us with some different metaphors for culture. Prof Illman’s then moved on from talking about boxes to something more flexible. In the webinar we also heard about some problems in Second Life, the virtual world where one of the things you have to do is to choose an avatar or representation of yourself which you can then clothe according to your preferences. Prof. Gráinne Conole from The Open University, UK explains.