So far the campaign has received a lot of attention from design and advertising sites, as in this analysis by Ads of the World, which includes images of the flags and details as to the designers, or from food websites, as with Kitchn, which focuses on the foods chosen. @Sietar_UK tweeted about it in 2019; clearly they are correct that the campaign should get attention from those interested in intercultural matters, even a decade late. In particular, these flags made of foods should be a good way to get students actively involved in thinking about cultural differences while doing something creative, such as asking them to create flags for additional countries (especially ones to which students have connections), or to research the particular foods chosen and how they are traditionally prepared, and/or what other countries have already adopted them.
Gabriele Galimberti, the Italian photographer, has created an interesting comparative record in Toy Stories. “For over two years, I visited more than 50 countries and created colorful images of boys and girls in their homes and neighborhoods with their most prized possessions: their toys. From Texas to India, Malawi to China, Iceland, Morocco, and Fiji, I recorded the spontaneous and natural joy that unites kids despite their diverse backgrounds. Whether the child owns a veritable fleet of miniature cars or a single stuffed monkey, the pride that they have is moving, funny, and thought provoking.”
The photographs are available as a book, Toy Stories: Photos of Children from Around the World and Their Favorite Things. Prior collections also now published as books include In Her Kitchen: Stories and Recipes from Grandmas Around the World, and My Couch Is Your Couch: Tour the World from Inside Other People’s Homes. Each of these seems likely to be useful to anyone seeking examples of comparative cultural analysis.
Michelle Sagara (AKA Michelle West, and Michelle Sagara West) is a Japanese-Canadian author based in Toronto, Canada. She has published the Chronicles of Elantra, a science fiction series (13 books and a novella so far) featuring interactions among 5 races of beings, some mortal and some not. For anyone looking to introduce fiction into a course on intercultural communication, they would make a good possibility.
For those interested in more academic discussions of the ways in which fiction generally, science fiction specifically, or films, can contribute to intercultural and/or interracial understanding, here are some beginning points:
Condon, J. (1986). Exploring intercultural communication through literature and film. World Englishes, 5(2-3), 153-161.
Hoff, H.E. (2013). ‘Self’ and ‘Other’ in meaningful interaction: Using fiction to develop intercultural competence in the English classroom. Tidsskriftet FoU i praksis, 7(2), 27–50.
Kawai, Y. (2008). Implicating knowledge with practice: Intercultural communication education with the novel. In C. C. Irvine (Ed.), Teaching the novel across the curriculum: A handbook for educators (pp. 73-83). Westport, CN: Greenwood.
Kramsch, C. & Kramsch, O. (2000). The avatars of literature in language study. The Modern Language Journal, 84(4), 553–573.
Lewis, T. J., & Jungman, R. E. (Eds.). (1986). On being foreign: Culture shock in short fiction. Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press.
Pratiwi, W. R. (2017). Exploring intercultural values from the perspective of Western-Asian way of life: A study of Lilting film. Journal of English Education, 2(2), 113-123.
Wilkinson, L. C. (2007). A developmental approach to uses of moving pictures in intercultural education. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 31(1), 1-27.
Ann Morgan, a UK editor and author, realized most of the books she read were by UK and North American authors, so deliberately set out to locate and read books from every country in the world, as described in her TED talk in 2015. This sounds like a great project for intercultural communication students.
If anyone wants to follow her example, for themselves or for students, here’s her list. She has created a website and published a book about her year, titled Reading the World: Confessions of a Literary Explorer in the UK, and The World Between Two Covers: Reading the Globe in the US and Canada.
This website showcases the work of the Mind Over Media European Network, which is supported by the Evens Foundation and the European Commission’s Literacy for All initiative. They provide a space for educators to share strategies and approaches for addressing teaching and learning about contemporary propaganda. The Media Education Lab maintains this website in conjunction with the crowdsourced online gallery of propaganda, Mind Over Media: Analyzing Contemporary Propaganda.
Dr. Michael Wesch, who teaches Anthropology at Kansas State University, is opening up his online course, ANTH 101, to everyone, as an experiment in pedagogy. Having distilled the basic insights of anthropologists into 10 lessons (starting with People are different), he’s developed 10 challenges, including Other Encounters). He has also drafted a new book as companion to the course, The Art of Being Human, which is being shared in digital format through the course site.
Given that his research focus is on the effects of social media and digital technology on global society, it probably makes sense that he is currently exploring how best to use an online course to share information even beyond his own university. The class begins June 5, 2017.
A few months ago, Sachiyo Shearman and Mariko Eguchi shared a request for participants in a survey they were conducting about the use of new media when teaching intercultural communication. They have now completed the survey and compiled the results, which they are making available to CID readers.
Here’s their conclusion:
“The majority of professors and instructors who we have surveyed use some form of experiential learning, ranging from in-class role playing, case studies, and simulation games, and to the assignments that involve intercultural contacts. Only about one third of instructors who we surveyed actually have incorporated computer-mediated intercultural encounter into their classes, and some ideas includes online guest lectures, in-class video-conferencing interview sessions, and using programs such as Soliya Net. We can categorize a variety of new media: asynchronous or synchronous platforms, text-based or audio/video based, or first generation or second generation web technology. There are benefits and limitations for each type of new media and examples are discussed in the chapter. Nowadays, we tend to combine these different types of new media, as we use it in our classroom. Our intention is not to say that new media technology is better than the conventional approaches to the intercultural pedagogy. All of the approaches of intercultural communication teaching – lectures, intercultural training, and study abroad programs, are indispensable. We believe that the use of new media in intercultural communication provides us with an additional valuable approach for us to facilitate students’ learning at the multi-dimensional level. When computer-mediated intercultural contacts are provided, students are actively engaged as they interact with students in other countries.”
Their results are being published as:
Shearman, S. M. & Eguchi, M. (Forthcoming). “I have to text my classmate in China!”: Use of new media in intercultural communication classes toward multidimensional learning. In N. Bilge & M. I. Marino (Eds.), Reconceptualizing New Media and Intercultural Communication in a Networked Society.
Diversity in the College Classroom is a collection of first-person narratives by multi-disciplinary faculty at the most racially diverse campus in the University of Wisconsin System. It reveals the complex, interior lives of college professors: how their experiences inform their teaching, relationships with students, and experimentation with innovative pedagogical approaches. All of the writers completed the University of Wisconsin-Parkside’s Summer Institute: Infusing Diversity into the Curriculum.
Table of Contents:
Foreword – Christine E. Sleeter
Introduction – Eugene Oropeza Fujimoto, Fay Yokomizo Akindes, and Roseann Mason
I-Quest: Searching for the Undivided Self – Linda K. Crafton
A Sense of Not Belonging – Damian Evans
“Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations”: How I Finally Learned to Apply Vulcan Ideology towards Teaching and Learning – Peggy James
Opening (Again) – Maria del Carmen Martinez
The Transformative Power of Cultural Autobiographies – Dean Yohnk
Constructing Landscapes of Learning – Shi Hae Kim
The Sound of a Heartbeat: Of Students and Friendship and Life – Abey Kuruvilla
When “Education is an Exotic Land”: Using Metaphors to Construct Student Academic Identities – Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz
Building Diversity in Undergraduate Research – Mary Kay Schleiter
“This is Jeopardy”: Cultural Capital, Whiteness, and the College Classroom – Adrienne Viramontes
Hearing Color and Seeing Sound: Teaching Physics with Music – Dileep Karanth
Diversity Economics: Chipping Away at the Oxymoron – Farida C. Khan
Infusion of Diversity into the Organic Chemistry Curriculum – Vera M. Kolb
Diversity and Economics: A Tale of Two Countries – Marcelo Milan
Learning from Others: Engaging Students with People Diagnosed with Mental Illness – Helen Rosenberg
Afterword: Pushing for Greater Academic Access and Equity: Reflections on Facilitating Summer Institute – Thandeka K. Chapman
Teaching EFL with a Hidden Agenda:
Introducing Intercultural Awareness through a Grammar Lesson
Guest post by Dr. Paola Giorgis
Is there anything more standardized than grammar? How can it then work to dismantle the standard, favoring non-standardized and non-sterotypical readings and representations of individual and collective cultural identities, and promoting intercultural understanding?
Here’s a brief example of an actual unit of two lessons, which I conducted some years ago, on simple past during a course on English as a Foreign Language.
• a vocational high school with an art curricula in Turin, a city in the northwest of Italy
• a class of 25 students, the majority of Italian origins, a couple of students from Morocco, another three from Romania, and two from Peru. Most of the students of Italian origin came from families who had experienced migration, belonging to the third generation of what is known in Italy as the “internal immigration”, a phenomena which, from approximately the Fifties to the Seventies, moved families and work force from the south of Italy to the industries of the north. Continue reading “Teaching EFL with a Hidden Agenda: Introducing Intercultural Awareness through a Grammar Lesson”
When visiting Macau, I was surprised by seeing trilingual street signs (Chinese, Portuguese and English), a rare phenomenon in the US. A recent article in ELT Journal by Chiou-Ian Chern and Karen Dooley documents how such signs can serve as a resource to language teachers and learners. They conclude: “Environmental print . . . has become a useful, if politically complex, resource for learning English in contexts where language teachers once lamented the paucity of English input outside the classroom.” (p. 122).
Chern, C.-I., & Dooley, K. (2014). Learning English by walking down the street. ELT Journal, 68(2), 113-123. Available from: http://eltj.oxfordjournals.org/content/68/2/113.full
(The full article is available to download for free as I write this, though that may temporary.)
Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue