In this show, you will hear about Auroville, an experimental international township in the South of India. This interpersonal and intercultural experiment was founded exactly 50 years ago in 1968 by Mirra Alfassa also known as “the Mother”. At first, we will listen to Noel Parent talking about his intercultural and spiritual journey and give us some detailed impressions about life in Auroville and what he enjoys most about this magic place. Our German student Lucas Bolten, who is currently studying a semester abroad at our partner university, the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in India, will talk about his experience as a guest visitor in Auroville. And finally, we will listen to Noel Parent talking about the educational system and the importance of “learning by doing” in Auroville.
In this show, you will hear about the grocery shop in India and believe me you will be surprised how different it is from European grocery shopping. Hari Gautham Somasundaram Dr. Arvind Sivaramakrishnan and Dr. TJ Kamalanabhan will talk about their own experience grocery shopping in India. In India, you need to go shopping early in the morning to get the best fruits and vegetables from the stalls. Hari, who is a student, tells us that he prefers going to the supermarket rather than the market or buying fruit from trollies in the street. Dr. Arvind, on the other hand, will talk about the challenges of grocery shopping in Indian markets.
Can technology in the classroom change the culture of teaching and learning? Could this culture be more democratic and give a voice to participants who in regular seminars would not be heard? Let us listen to Hannah Peter an exchange student from Canada who talks about a Classroom Response System she has tried out as a teaching assistant in lectures at RheinAhrCampus. Then we hear from a professor Jalal Kawash, also from Canada who has been using Classroom Response Systems for years. Finally, Tsegaye Misikir Tashu from Hungary talks about a tool for Automated Essay Evaluation where professors can leave the reading and grading of essays to a computer program. Should we be scared by such innovations in the culture of teaching and learning? Continue reading Classroom Respons Systems +++ Interactive Classroom +++ Learning Culture +++ Auto-Evaluation of Essays +++ Absolutely Intercultural 226 +++
Hello and welcome to show 218 of our podcast “absolutely intercultural” which is the third of a series of “Erasmus” podcasts to celebrate and highlight the 30th anniversary of the most successful of all student exchange programs. In this episode our students are going to share their own experiences and stories with you. You will hear some useful advice for your exchange semester. How should you be prepared before going abroad? How to make your integration easier? Also how Erasmus effects non-exchange students, and how they profit in their home country. And we will listen to a beautiful story about how an exchange semester resulted in a lovely Erasmus couple.
Continue reading Absolutely Intercultural 218 +++ Erasmus babies +++ advice for the exchange students +++ indirect Erasmus effects +++
Today you will hear about cultural differences between traveling in India and in Germany and also you can follow a Portuguese exchange student through her daily routines in the student accommodation and on campus.
Continue reading Absolutely Intercultural 213 +++ Cultural Differences +++ Travel Culture +++ Daily Routine
How do foreigners react to India? According to Line Mark Rugholt, a Danish intercultural consultant, it can vary widely.
And what is the smallest social unit? Anne von Laufenberg Beermann lets us in on that.
And we will make another trip to Russia which supposedly dropped socialism in 1990 but Diana from Russia has a theory about why there are still so many socialist benefits in the country.
Continue reading India +++ Russia +++ ProfESus +++ IFHE +++ Absolutely Intercultural 212 +++
In this Podcast we will talk about culture-shock, cultural differences and also re-entry shock which expats can experience when they return to their home country after some time. Continue reading Absolutely Intercultural 210 +++ Cultural Diversity +++ Culture Shock +++Re-entry Shock
Happy New Year and welcome to Absolutely Intercultural. In 2010 we won the European Podcast Award thanks to your votes and right now I’m busy listening to a really diverse set of podcasts as judge in the 2011 round of the award. Thanks to you all for your votes then and thanks for still being with us as we reach another landmark with this 150th show.
Tourism is a huge industry but if you want to promote tourism to your country it is a good idea to find out how people perceive it first. And how better to do that than to use pictures? What does the name Nunavut mean to you? If I tell you that Nunavut is a country would you know where it was? If I tell you that it is in Arctic Canada do you suddenly have some pictures in your mind about what it might be like? I must admit that I had never heard of Nunavut until I came across Maarten Loonen’s interesting survey. Maarten is a biologist from the Netherlands and most likely to be seen in arctic regions working on geese so when I heard he was interested in people’s reactions to images I was intrigued as to why. As you heard Maarten is very interested in getting more responses to his survey in the next couple of months and when he has had time to analyse the results I will go back and find out what he discovered. You can find the link to his online survey here.
I’ve just returned to work from my Christmas break which is of course a big and long celebration in Europe, North America and elsewhere, but not everywhere. Would you miss Christmas if you went to live somewhere else? We’re going to get a short update from Rebecca Chadwick who is in India for a year long film skills course. Having experienced 18 Christmasses in the UK will she miss it or be glad to avoid the tinsel and corny Christmas songs for once?
Our next piece reminded me a little about the Iraqi youth orchestra which we featured last year. I was contacted by Paul Suhr who is a member of the band Alma Desnuda meaning naked souls. Alma Desnuda had just completed an amazing project together with Tara J King in which they recorded a song and video with children from all over the world. This is the type of project which you just could not have conceived of not so long ago but which accessible Internet and cheap online communication tools makes entirely possible. I think that we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of the types of rich connections we can make in a connected world and that creative people are going to find all sorts of different ways to get us talking to each other in the very near future. The project is called Rock our World and the song Life we Got, is a celebration. I know that it’s a cliché to say that underneath it all we’re all the same but I think that the beginning of a new year is a good time to celebrate what unites us rather than what divides us. We’re going to hear from Paul firstly about how his band came about and then about how you compose and record a song with the help of 2000 children from all over the world. You can buy the song on iTunes (proceeds go to the Rock Our World organisation) and don’t forget to go and see the video!
And to do the picture questionnaire.
Our next show will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann in Australia on February 3rd so stay tuned!
The host of this show is: Anne Fox
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!
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.
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.
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
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school.
I’ll stop right there because it’s our attitude to school which is going to be the main topic of of the show today. And if you want to know the rest then you’ll have to revisit ‘As you like it’.
In the last show we explored some of the many cultural aspects of learning apparent in one educational institution and in this show we’re going to stick with the idea of learning culture but this time on a world wide basis.
I mentioned the 2 Million Minutes project very briefly in the show on China and the Olympics but I was so intrigued by the project that I got in touch with Bob Compton, the man behind the project, so that I could find out more.
absolutely educated: What do you want to be when you grow up? According to Bob Compton the answer you give to this question when you are six or seven years old says a great deal about how successful your country is going to be economically in the future. Be honest now! What would your answer have been at that age?
Bob Compton is worried about the economic consequences of the American education system but sees the problem as arising from different cultural attitudes to learning and teachers. He decided to raise awareness about the competition from India and China by making a film following the lives of 6 high school students from the 3 different countries. The project is called 2 million minutes and I asked Bob to tell us more….
absolutely concerned: Back with Bob Compton I asked him to explain the title of the project and then wanted to know more about some of the main observations made in the film. He picked out the differing parental aspirations as a key difference.
absolutely musical: Ah but, say the objectors, it’s not healthy to study all the time, what about creativity? A running theme through the project seems to be the musical prowess of the Chinese on all sorts of instruments. Even the translator could play something on the accordion!
absolutely prepared: So having seen the situation in India and China did this have any effect on Bob Compton’s family at an individual level? I asked him in particular about his daughters’ education and discovered that the family had made radical changes.
‘In America you have tutors when your children are failing but in India and China you have tutors when your children are doing well so that they can do even better.”
‘In India your college application is your name and your test score. Nothing else!’
I was interested in this project for what it told me about cultural differences in the attitude to education but there have also been some very strong negative reactions to this project because it tends to view education in purely utilitarian terms. Where do you stand on this? Let us know here on the blog. What is the learning culture in your country? Is it closer to the Indian and Chinese models or closer to the American model? You will find lots more information about the 2 Million minutes project at their website where you can even take an Indian maths test and you will find many film snippets about the back story behind the project on their dedicated channel at YouTube.
By the way, I would like to do a show exploring some of the new social networking language learning websites which have sprung up in the last year or so. So if you have any experience as a user of sites such as Live Mocha, Palabea, Mango Languages or Babbel then get in touch because I would like to know if they really work.
The next show will be coming to you on 31 October from Dr Laurent Borgmann in Germany.
So stay tuned!
The host of this show is: Anne Fox
Assistant Editor: Jan Warnecke