Example of Multicultural Confusion: English-French Toast

Intercultural Pedagogy

This image is of “English-French toast,” also identified as American and German, marked with the Spanish flag and an image of (Italian) pizza, marketed to the Japanese, and made in China.

This astonishing photo showed up on my Twitter feed, and I was sure others would find it fascinating as well.

English-French toast
Intercultural incompetence and/or misappropriation (?)

The person who posted it, Dr. Duane Watson, a professor of psychology at Vanderbilt University, used it as illustration of what a manuscript can look like after multiple rounds of reviews. But to me, this is a great example of the role of food in intercultural communication, as well as multiculturalism gone wild.  Dr. Byron Ahn, a professor of linguistics at Princeton, mentioned in a comment that, in addition to the English words “English,” “French,” and “American” that show up, the Japanese script translates to “German style.”  And there’s a Spanish flag, and an image of a pizza (presumably Italian), with the word “pizza” next to it. (Is the suggestion perhaps that   buyers might use French toast as the bread layer for a pizza?) So it’s American-Spanish-Italian-English-French-toast made in the German style, marketed to the Japanese, and made in China.

The image is posted here with thanks to both Watson and Ahn, and for anyone who needs a smile today, or who needs an example guaranteed to spark some class discussion.

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue

Create Wikipedia Entries on ICD Topics

Intercultural Pedagogy

Wiki Education is asking that faculty consider assigning students to write articles for Wikipedia. Wikipedia has limited entries on intercultural dialogue-related topics. The two seem a natural fit.

In Wiki Education’s Wikipedia Student Program, college and university instructors assign students to write Wikipedia articles, empowering them to share knowledge with the world. Students research course-related topics that are missing, underrepresented, incomplete or inaccurate, synthesize the available literature, and use free tools and trainings to add information to Wikipedia. They are now accepting submissions for the Fall 2022 term.

I’ve not used Wikipedia assignments in courses because I retired before this became a thing. However, I learned the process in order to create a page for the Center for Intercultural Dialogue, and later was asked by a  colleague to please create an entry for intercultural dialogue as a topic, as there was not yet anything available on the site. So I know it’s not difficult, and I also know that there is not as much content on related topics as there might be. Therefore, I suggest that anyone looking for a new and interesting type of applied assignment might want to consider the creation of Wikipedia pages as a possibility as a way to ensure that Wikipedia has the most up-to-date content relevant to intercultural dialogue topics.

For students, one benefit is that it is possible to check how many times anyone has viewed an entry. The ICD entry has been available for under two years, but has already had over 5000 views. Having that kind of impact should help motivate any student to do their best work.

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue

COE: Intercultural Citizenship Test

Intercultural PedagogyThe Council of Europe’s Intercultural Cities Programme has created an Intercultural Citizenship Test, designed to spark discussion of what makes a good citizen in a multicultural context. It can be taken online, or offline, and is specifically intended to be a teaching tool. What’s particularly nice is that the focus is not on getting right or wrong answers, but sparking discussion.

“Interculturalism is about understanding that well managed diversity and positive interaction between different cultures can be an advantage. It moves beyond simply accepting different cultures and celebrates both the differences and similarities between them as something that can make communities stronger.

This of course does not mean that it is only about praising new or stranger cultures, but also about honouring traditional and local sides of culture. It is all about the relationship between these, and the many aspects that make up a community. These could be, but are not limited to, nationality, ethnic origin, language, gender identity and sexual orientation and religious beliefs.”

The Intercultural Citizenship Test is available in an impressive range of languages: Basque, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish, and Ukrainian.

Cultural Identity and Multiculturalism on Film (Canada)

Intercultural Pedagogyi am… Films about cultural identity, multiculturalism, and integration, available for free from Toronto Metropolitan University, Canada.

Graduate students from across Canada were invited to submit proposals to be part of an exciting opportunity to capture their individual expressions of identity and belonging or not belonging in a three-minute film. Through a competitive selection process, 28 students were selected to receive professional mentorship and support to produce an engaging short film of their unique story. Most of them had little or no filmmaking experience but got busy inside their pandemic bubbles for six months. These short films together weave a tapestry of Canadian identity today. Project led by Toronto Metropolitan University professor Anna Triandafyllidou, the Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Migration and Integration, and by Gemini award-winning filmmaker and scholar Cyrus Sundar Singh.

For an article explaining more about the project, see: 

Office of the Vice President, Research and Innovation. (2022). Telling stories of identity and multiculturalism through film. Innovation Newsletter, Toronto Metropolitan University.


Creating Cultural Competence (Free Book & Videos)

Intercultural PedagogyWiersma-Mosley, Jacquelyn and Butcher, Margaret Miller. (2021). Creating Cultural Competence [short book with 5 online videos]. Fayetteville, AR: University of Arkansas Libraries.

This book was written to provide an introduction to cultural competence. The book is broken into video chapters that focus on the five developmental orientations of cultural competence, based on the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). The videos utilize voices of students describing how they define and create cultural competence in their own communities. These videos are appropriate for high school and college campus initiatives and classes, organization, and community trainings.


Peace Direct Free Course on Conflict

Intercultural PedagogyConflict Transformation: Your Practical Toolkit for Peacebuilding, Peace Direct, Online course. Deadline: Free until August 31, 2021, available at a cost after that.

Peace Direct has launched a new course for people wanting to learn more about peacebuilding. The course is available online and is free until the end of August during the test phase. The course is self paced, and takes on average between two hours and two weeks to complete. The course can be used by peacebuilders or anyone working in conflict situations, as a practical toolkit for peacebuilding. It is relevant to people working in fields such as: human rights, development, democracy, healing and environmental sustainability as well as other areas of work related to peace. Upon completion, participants should have a greater knowledge of the practical skills and techniques required to resolve conflict and build peace successfully at a local level.

The course consists of eight modules:

  • Perspectives and values
  • Self-awareness and learning
  • Influencing through relationships: conflict and power
  • Violence, peace and healing
  • Participative conflict analysis
  • Strategy and nonviolence
  • Exploring options from ourselves to building a movement
  • Being the change

Racial Literacy

Intercultural Pedagogy

Sealey-Ruiz, Y. (2021). Racial literacy. A Policy Research Brief produced by the James R. Squire Office of the National Council of Teachers of English.

Racial literacy is a skill and practice by which individuals can probe the existence of racism and examine the effects of race and institutionalized systems on their experiences and representation in…society.

Those teaching intercultural dialogue may find this useful. It explains:

  • What is racial literacy?
  • Racial literacy in teacher education
  • Enacting racial literacy
  • Racial literacy development model for teaching and learning


Mother Tongue Film Festival (Online)

Intercultural PedagogyThe Smithsonian Institution’s Mother Tongue Film Festival celebrates cultural and linguistic diversity by showcasing films and filmmakers from around the world in Washington, DC, until May 31, 2021.

Through digital storytelling, the festival amplifies the work of diverse practitioners who explore the power of language to connect the past, present, and future. Since 2016, the annual festival has celebrated International Mother Language Day on February 21. The sixth annual festival will take place via a monthly online screening series from February 21 to May 31, 2021.

Many of these films would be valuable in teaching about cultural differences, if not intercultural dialogue explicitly. The theme this year is The Healing Power of Storytelling.

Creatour.PT Documentary on Creative Tourism (Portugal)

Intercultural PedagogyPrize-winning Creative Tourism Documentary “creatour.pt – creative tourism in Portugal” is available for classroom viewing. Prepared by the Centro de Estudos Sociais da Universidade de Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.

At 38 minutes in length, the documentary is freely available online for viewing, with subtitles in English and in Portuguese, on the CES YouTube channel.

The documentary was developed to provide an inspiring and informative profile of Creative Tourism development in small cities and rural areas, as explored and implemented within the CREATOUR research-and-application project in Portugal. It may be a useful complement for tourism courses, addressing topics such as experiential and cultural tourism, sustainable and responsible tourism, and tourism and rural development.


Culture Buff Intercultural Games

Intercultural PedagogyCulture Buff Games, created by Culture Games, an EdTech developer of interactive games on different cultures, offer games for intercultural trainers (some free, others cost).

Culture Buff GamesThe games leverage visual culture scenarios to help foreign students understand how country-specific culture values manifest in contemporary everyday life and are informed by historical events. Designed by interculturalist trainers, these learner driven interactive games emphasize problem solving and practical application of cultural knowledge. Our games can be trainer facilitated or used as self-directed learning tool. There are multiple sets of games for American Values, British Values, Chinese Values and Indian Values.

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