There is no doubt, we are now living in a global village. The boundaries between states have faded, and each day, more and more people travel around the world to study, work, or migrate to another country for a better life.
Because of this, teachers work every day in multicultural classrooms, where the students may come from different countries, speak different languages, and have limited knowledge of their teacher’s as well as their peers’ cultures.
This is when the development of Intercultural Awareness and Intercultural Competency in a classroom becomes crucial. On the one hand, Intercultural Awareness refers to having an understanding of one’s own and other cultures, as well as to being able to appreciate the similarities and differences between them. On the other hand, Intercultural Competency helps members of different societies and cultural backgrounds to communicate successfully and appropriately among them.
This course will offer teachers an insight into the importance of attitudes such as empathy, curiosity, and openness toward other cultures.
By reflecting on these concepts, and practicing effective strategies to bring such reflection into action, the participants will acquire a set of practical tools to improve their Intercultural Competency and achieve successful communication in multicultural contexts.
By engaging in a variety of practical activities, participants will also learn to serve as mediators and to familiarize their learners with Intercultural Competency. This will help them create bridges between the different cultures co-existing in their classroom, and establish an inclusive atmosphere, where students feel comfortable, accepted, and at home.
By the end of the course, participants will become familiar with very productive techniques, strategies, and games on how to introduce and teach Intercultural Competency in an intercultural classroom.
The course will help the participants to:
- Realize the importance of introducing Intercultural Competency in multicultural classrooms;
- Discover teaching methods that are more appropriate for intercultural classrooms;
- Lead conversation and dialogue in intercultural settings;
- Apply different techniques for introducing students to different cultures;
- Master several activities to make students from different cultures interact with equity and respect;
- Enhance students’ cultural awareness.
Day 1 – Introduction to the course and to the different definitions of culture
- Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities;
- Icebreaker activities;
- Presentations of the participants’ schools.
Introduction to the concept and different definitions of culture
- Open discussion: Share your experience of teaching an intercultural classroom – cultural gaps: challenges and barriers;
- The cultural iceberg;
- Participants’ expectations for the course.
Day 2 – How to introduce Intercultural Competency in the intercultural classroom
- Models of Intercultural Competency;
- Elements of Intercultural Competency – The Intercultural Competencies Tree;
- Practical activities to get to know and understand each others’ cultures: we speak and behave differently because we belong to different cultures;
- Different cultures, different world views, different attitudes.
Day 3 – Approaches and tools for developing intercultural competency
- Selecting the right tools for developing intercultural competency;
- Story circles and intercultural competency development;
- How to implement story circles in the intercultural classroom to foster cultural differences – guidelines for using story circles/ the role of the facilitator;
- Participants’ involvement in story circles with the aim to become acquainted and being ready to implement them in their classrooms.
Day 4 – Strategies and techniques for teaching about cultural differences
- The three keys to Intercultural Competency;
- Dimensions of Diversity;
- Diversity Wheel activities.
Day 5 – Improving intercultural and cross-cultural communication in the classroom
- Intercultural communication vs. Cross-cultural communication;
- The obstacles to Intercultural Communication:
- Culture shock
- Culture clash
Intercultural learning exercises:
- Recognizing culture shock – Culture shock checklist;
- Cross-cultural communication skills checklist;
- Explore and implement the RADAR technique.
Day 6 – Course closure & cultural activities
- Course evaluation: round-up of acquired competencies, feedback, and discussion;
- Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
- Excursion and other external cultural activities.