عنوان البحث :The Application of Intercultural Education in EFL programs at Sudanese Educational Institutions

اسم الباحث :Dr.Ahmed Gasm Alseed Ahmed Associate Professor/Applied Linguistics Department of English Language Faculty of Education/Hassahiesa :

Abstract
Bicultural and bilingual societies became one of the globalization agenda which facilitate communication between different communities. Education is influenced by this phenomenon. Sudan is one of the multicultural and multilingual communities because of the big number of tribes living there. This property made it necessary to design a curriculum which can deal with these differences. When the English language is introduced in Sudan ,it came with a new culture, carrying differences in religion, traditions and values which are included in the syllabus. So this paper is supposed to discuss intercultural learning in Sudanese institutions.
المستخلص
أصبح التداخل الثقافي واللغوي الموجود في كثير من المجتمعات أحد أجندة العولمة التي ساعدت فيها سهولة الاتصالات وقد تأثر مجال التعليم بذلك.السودان أحد الدول التي توجد بها عدد من اللغات والثقافات وذلك بسبب التعدد القبلي والتمايز الثقافي مما استوجب وضع مناهج تستوعب هذا التعدد.وأصبح هذا النهج أكثر ضرورة عند إدخال تعليم اللغة الإنجليزية والتي تحمل عناصر ثقافية مختلفة فى مجال الدين, والعادات والتقاليد ولابد أن يستوعب المنهج الدراسي كل هذه المعطيات. وعليه فان هذه الورقة تبحث في تطبيق منهج دراسي يستوعب التداخل الثقافي مع فهم اللغة الإنجليزية في المعاهد التعليمية في السودان.
1.1 Background
Education does not only reflect society but also influences its development. As such, schools have a role to play in the development of an intercultural society. While education cannot bear the sole responsibility for challenging racism and promoting intercultural competence, it has an important contribution to make in the development of the child’s intercultural skills, attitudes, values and knowledge. An intercultural education is valuable to all children in equipping them to participate in an increasingly diverse society.
1.2-Objectives
1/To recognise the normality of diversity in all areas of human life.
2/To sensitise the learner to the idea that humans have naturally developed a range of different ways of life, customs and worldviews, and that this breadth of human life enriches all .
3/To promote equality and human rights and challenges unfair discrimination.
4/To explore cultural self-awareness or the others culture awareness, and the dynamics that arise in interactions between the two.
5/To understand how communication processes differ among cultures.
6/To identify challenges that arise from these differences in intercultural interactions and learn ways to creatively address them.
7/To discover the importance of the roles of context and power in studying intercultural communication.
8/ To acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes that increase intercultural competence.
1.3-Hypotheses
a/ Sudanese learners are not interested in the English culture because it is different from theirs.
b/ Sudanese learners do not accept the English culture because of the difference in values.
c/ English culture can be accepted by Sudanese learners because of human similarities between cultures.
d/ English language learners are aware of the English culture.
e/ English culture helps the understanding of the English language.
f/ Understanding the English language and its culture ,E FL learners can adapt themselves to the community of that culture.
2-Literature Review
2.1-Intercultural Bilingual Education
Intercultural bilingual education (IBE) or bilingual intercultural education (BIE) is an intercultural and bilingual model of education designed for contexts with two (or more) cultures and languages in contact, in the typical case a dominant and an underprivileged culture. The IBE could be applied in almost any country in the world; however, it is discussed and also applied above all in Latin America, where it has been offered to indigenous people as an alternative to monolingual education due to the efforts of indigenous movements. In recent years, it has become an important, more or less successful instrument of governmental language planning in several countries.
2.2Types of Education In Bilingual And Bicultural Contexts
Baker,C.(2006:12) distinguishes four models of education for bilingual or multilingual contexts. The first two of them are models of assimilation of the minority to the dominant culture and language, while the two others have the aim of multilingualism and multiculturalism.

Table (1) Types of Bilingual And Bicultural Education.
Type of education Learners' mother tongue Language of instruction Social and educational goals Linguistic goals
Submersion Minority language Majority language Assimilation Monolingualism in dominant language
Transition Minority language Transition from minority language to majority language Assimilation Relative monolingualism in dominant language (subtractive bilingualism)
Immersion
Majority language Bilingual, with initial importance of L2 (minority language) Pluralism and development Bilingualism and biliteracy
Maintenance Minority language Bilingual, with emphasis on L1 (minority language) Maintenance, pluralism and development Bilingualism and illiteracy
2.3-Intercultural Learning
Intercultural learning is an area of research, study and application of knowledge about different cultures, their differences and similarities. On the one hand, it includes a theoretical and academic approach e.g. "Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS)" by Milton Bennett(1993), Dimensions of Culture by Geert Hofstede(2005). On the other hand, it comprises practical applications such as learning to negotiate with people from different cultures, living with people from different cultures, living in a different culture and the prospect of peace between different cultures.
Currently, intercultural learning is a topic which receives much interest. This is mainly due to the rise of cultural studies and globalization. Culture has become an instrument for social interpretation and communicative action. Intercultural learning is primarily important in the context of the foreign language classroom whose basic training modules include:
a. Information about the country, introduction to culture and history
b. The norms and values of the society
c. The role and the characteristics of communication
d. Social contacts: Friends and acquaintances
e. Women - life and role
f. Leisure activities and customs
g. Eating and drinking
h. The relations at work and management
i. Doing business in the country
j. Education
k. Studies and professional training
l. Norms, laws, and taboos
m. Action plan for the first two months in the country
2.3.1-Definition of intercultural learning:
The main goal of intercultural learning is seen as the development of intercultural competence, which is the ability to act and relate appropriately and effectively in various cultural contexts:
• Appropriateness refers to valued rules, norms, and expectations of the relationship are not violated significantly whereas,
• Effectiveness refers to values goals or rewards (relative to costs and alternatives) are accomplished.
Intercultural competence is generally thought to require three components on the learner's side: a certain skill set, culturally sensitive knowledge, and a motivated mindset. In greater detail, the skills, values, and attitudes that constitute intercultural competence include
i. intercultural attitudes (like openness, curiosity, readiness)
ii. general knowledge (of the theoretical aspects of how social groups/products/practices work and interact)
iii. skills of interpreting and relating (a document of another culture to one's own culture)
iv. skills of discovery and interaction (like the ability to discover information about another culture and the ability to communicate in real-time interaction)
v. critical cultural awareness (that there are different cultures next to one's own)
The teacher's task is to induce the learning of all in these aspects in the learner. Being successful, intercultural learning results in culturally competent learners.
2.4-Theories in Approaching Culture
In the context of intercultural learning, it is important to be aware of different subcategories of culture, such as "little c" and "big C" culture. While the latter one is also called "objective culture" or "formal culture" referring to institutions, big figures in history, literature, etc., the first one, the "subjective culture", is concerned with the less tangible aspects of a culture, like everyday patterns. In intercultural learning, a mixture of these two is to be employed, but it is especially the apprehension of subjective culture that triggers the development of intercultural competence. It is also important to differentiate between "culture-specific" and "culture-general" approaches when intercultural learning is concerned with respect
• to "culture-specific" approaches mainly aim at the achievement of competence in a particular target culture (C2) and are closely connected to specific language learning (L2). Competence in both C2 and L2 is usually thought to generate culturally appropriate behavior in a particular cultural context.
• Whereas,"culture-general" approaches, on the other hand, are not targeted on a particular culture. Instead, they are concerned with "universal categories" which function as general characteristics of cultures in general. These categories can be used to make cross-cultural comparisons, for example. Thus, "culture-general" approaches provide a cognitive framework for cultural analysis.
Intercultural learning requires the teacher to employ a mix of "culture-specific" and "culture-general" approaches in order to address the larger issues of ethnocentrism, cultural self-awareness, etc. because intercultural competence cannot be achieved by the single acquisition of knowledge about a specific culture or the pure ability to behave properly in that culture.
2.5-Contexts for Intercultural Learning in the Classroom
Contexts that are seen as appropriate for intercultural learning in the classroom are those which promote the acquisition of intercultural competence consisting of the components mentioned above. The following examples will illustrate the point:
1/ communication between members of different cultures via e-mail: not yet a standard in everyday schooling, but it serves many useful purposes for intercultural learning
2/ authentic print text: fictional texts are the ideal medium for intercultural learning since it is the substrate of a specific culture and its history, while it simultaneously contains culture-general aspects; it stimulates personal identification and it offers numerous options for creative activities; also it may induce discussions of aspects of subjective, as well as objective, culture.
3/ film: authentic film especially improves the language proficiency (and thus intercultural sensitivity), because it means direct and authentic contact with the L; 2 it also guarantees access to the evaluation of audiovisual media and may be even new media.
2.5.1-Cultural Differences in Learning
understanding cultural differences in learning processes is of particular importance to intercultural learning . Intercultural learning programs could benefit greatly from the analysis of cultural trends in these processes. By doing so, educators can see how indigenous people of America are affected by classroom norms. In indigenous American ways of learning, children are included in the community and have lots of experience collaborating with each other and adults in productive ways. Those differences are caused by these elements:
• Formal and informal learning are different among westernized cultures and indigenous cultures. Both formal and informal learning have two components one looking at it from situations/practices and the second one from the learning process. Indigenous ways of learning has often been marginalized or discriminated against in formal schooling because it does not follow society ways of learning. Being able to understand the learning process through informal learning and making the connection of how it happens in today's society through formal learning can benefit and help us learn much more. It is overly simplified when saying that formal learning happens in institutions and that informal learning happens only outside of institutions.
The analysis of cultural differences in learning can provide new and useful insight that can be applied to intercultural learning practice. In other words, learning trends in students’ cultural backgrounds can be used by teachers to create more well informed pedagogy. For example, if indigenous American or indigenous-heritage American students were in an intercultural learning program, teachers could communicate knowledge by creating a more collaborative setting, and by adjusting pace of speech to be consistent with the students'.
2.5.2-Intercultural Learning Activities
As with most activities employed in the classroom, activities for intercultural learning are supposed to keep the affective domain of learning in mind, that is, they are to keep the students motivated and enable them to somehow identify with topic that is dealt with. For intercultural learning this is especially true because this field is likely to turn into a delicate matter. Here are some of the activities:
a/ An example of an activity which focuses on the stereotypes and prejudices that people are likely to have is called "Who should be hired?" This exercise animates students to choose from a huge number of people (from different cultures, of different sexes, and different ages, etc.) the person they would hire from an employer's point of view.
b/ Most suggested exercises that are believed to support intercultural learning, and in this especially to promote empathy, are of a role-play nature. They especially support students in making the shift in perspective: their own culture becomes a strange one and is looked at from the outside, while the target culture becomes familiar.
c/ Events that relate to family and community, such as working together help students in some classroom aspects. Many are used to collaboration, so they work in groups and interact with their peers. However, they still pay attention when working individually. Because students are used to collaboration they are able to participate in group activities that don’t create a distinction between individual performer and audience. On the other hand, they had less willingness to perform or participate verbally when they had to talk alone (as an individual rather than group). It was also observed that the students didn’t want to talk when the teacher was addressing the whole class, which shows their preference of working in groups.
2.6-Future prospects -
The concept of intercultural learning aiming at the development of intercultural competence also requires a new understanding of the teacher him/herself. S/He is no longer a mere communicator of knowledge, but a mediator and moderator, and has to be educated accordingly. In times of globalization and hope for peace, this issue needs to be researched further and remain of huge interest.
2.6.1-Global Rise
However, with globalization, especially the increase of global trade, it is unavoidable that different cultures will meet, conflict, and blend together. People from different culture find it is difficult to communicate not only due to language barriers, but also are affected by culture styles. For instance, in individualistic cultures, such as in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe, an independent figure or self is dominant. This independent figure is characterized by a sense of self relatively distinct from others and the environment. In interdependent cultures, usually identified as Asian as well as many Latin American, African, and Southern European cultures, an interdependent figure of self is dominant. There is a much greater emphasis on the interrelatedness of the individual to others and the environment; the self is meaningful only (or primarily) in the context of social relationships, duties, and roles. In some degree, the effect brought by cultural difference override the language gap. This culture style difference contributes to one of the biggest challenges for cross-culture communication. Effective communication with people of different cultures is especially challenging. Cultures provide people with ways of thinking—ways of seeing, hearing, and interpreting the world. Thus the same words can mean different things to people from different cultures, even when they speak the "same" language. When the languages are different, and translation has to be used to communicate, the potential for misunderstandings increases. The study of cross-cultural communication is a global research area. As a result, cultural differences in the study of cross-cultural communication can already be found. For example, cross-cultural communication is generally considered to fall within the larger field of communication studies in the US, but it is emerging as a sub-field of applied linguistics in the UK.
As the application of cross-cultural communication theory to foreign language education is increasingly appreciated around the world, cross-cultural communication classes can be found within foreign language departments of some universities, while other schools are placing cross-cultural communication programs in their departments of education.
2.6.2- Incorporation into College Programs
With the increasing pressures and opportunities of globalization, the incorporation of international networking alliances has become an “essential mechanism for the internationalization of higher education” Many universities from around the world have taken great strides to increase intercultural understanding through processes of organizational change and innovations. In general, university processes revolve around four major dimensions which include: organizational change, curriculum innovation, staff development, and student mobility. Ellingboe emphasizes these four major dimensions with his own specifications for the internationalization process. His specifications include: (1) college leadership; (2) faculty members' international involvement in activities with colleagues, research sites, and institutions worldwide; (3) the availability, affordability, accessibility, and transferability of study abroad programs for students; (4) the presence and integration of international students, scholars, and visiting faculty into campus life; and (5) international co-curricular units (residence halls, conference planning centers, student unions, career centers, cultural immersion and language houses, student activities, and student organizations). Above all, universities need to make sure that they are open and responsive to changes in the outside environment. In order for internationalization to be fully effective, the university (including all staff, students, curriculum, and activities) needs to be current with cultural changes, and willing to adapt to these changes. As stated by Ellingboe (1977), internationalization “is an ongoing, future-oriented, multidimensional, interdisciplinary, leadership-driven vision that involves many stakeholders working to change the internal dynamics of an institution to respond and adapt appropriately to an increasingly diverse, globally focused, ever-changing external environment". New distance learning technologies, such as interactive teleconferencing, enable students located thousands of miles apart to communicate and interact in a virtual classroom.
Research has indicated that certain themes and images such as children, animals, life cycles, relationships, and sports can transcend cultural differences, and may be used in international settings such as traditional and online university classrooms to create common ground among diverse cultures (Van Hook,( 2011). The main theories for cross-cultural communication are based on the work done looking at value differences between different cultures, especially the works of Edward T. Hall(1977), Richard D. Lewis, Geert Hofstede(2005), and Fons Trompenaars. Clifford Geertz was also a contributor to this field. Also Jussi V. Koivisto's model on cultural crossing in internationally operating organizations elaborates from this base of research.
These theories have been applied to a variety of different communication theories and settings, including general business and management (Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner(1986) and marketing (Marieke de Mooij, Stephan Dahl). There have also been several successful educational projects which concentrate on the practical applications of these theories in cross-cultural situations. These theories have also been criticized mainly by management scholars (e.g. Nigel Holden) for being based on the culture concept derived from 19th century cultural anthropology and emphasizing on culture-as-difference and culture-as-essence. Another criticism has been the uncritical way Hofstede’s(2005) dimensions are served up in textbooks as facts (Peter W. Cardon). There is a move to focus on 'cross-cultural interdependence' instead of the traditional views of comparative differences and similarities between cultures. Cross-cultural management is increasingly seen as a form of knowledge management. Cross cultural communication gives opportunities to share ideas, experiences, and different perspectives and perception by interacting with local people.
2.7-Bennett Scale
The Bennett scale, also called the DMIS (for Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity), was developed by Dr. Milton Bennett(1986:179-186). The framework describes the different ways in which people can react to cultural differences. Organized into six “stages” of increasing sensitivity to difference, the DMIS identifies the underlying cognitive orientations individuals use to understand cultural difference. Each position along the continuum represents increasingly complex perceptual organizations of cultural difference, which in turn allow increasingly sophisticated experiences of other cultures. By identifying the underlying experience of cultural difference, predictions about behavior and attitudes can be made and education can be tailored to facilitate development along the continuum. The first three stages are ethnocentric as one sees his own culture as central to reality. Moving up the scale the individual develops more and more an ethnorelative point of view, meaning the experience in one's culture as in the context to other cultures. At the next stage these ethnocentric views are replaced by ethnorelative views.
2.8.-Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity
A. Denial of Difference
Individuals experience their own culture as the only “real” one. Other cultures are either not noticed at all or are understood in an undifferentiated, simplistic manner. People at this position are generally uninterested in cultural difference, but when confronted with difference their seemingly benign acceptance may change to aggressive attempts to avoid or eliminate it. Most of the time, this is a result of physical or social isolation, where the person's views are never challenged and are at the center of their reality.
B. Defense against Difference
One’s own culture is experienced as the most “evolved” or best way to live. This position is characterized by dualistic us/them thinking and frequently accompanied by overt negative stereotyping. They will openly belittle the differences among their culture and another, denigrating race, gender or any other indicator of difference. People at this position are more openly threatened by cultural difference and more likely to be acting aggressively against it. A variation at this position is seen in reversal where one’s own culture is devalued and another culture is romanticized as superior.
C. Minimization of Difference
The experience of similarity outweighs the experience of difference. People recognize superficial cultural differences in food, customs, etc.,. but they emphasize human similarity in physical structure, psychological needs, and/or assumed adherence to universal values. People at this position are likely to assume that they are no longer ethnocentric, and they tend to overestimate their tolerance while underestimating the effect (e.g. “privilege”) of their own culture. In other words, as explained by the Canadian Center for Intercultural Learning, “people who adopt this point of view generally approach intercultural situations with the assurance that a simple awareness of the fundamental patterns of human interaction will be sufficient to assure the success of the communication. Such a viewpoint is ethnocentric because it presupposes that the fundamental categories of behavior are absolute and that these categories are in fact our own."
D. Acceptance of Difference
One’s own culture is experienced as one of a number of equally complex worldviews. People at this position accept the existence of culturally different ways of organizing human existence, although they do not necessarily like or agree with every way. They can identify how culture affects a wide range of human experience and they have a framework for organizing observations of cultural difference. We recognize people from this stage through their eager questioning of others. This reflects a real desire to be informed, and not to confirm prejudices. The key words of this stage are “getting to know” or “learning.”


E. Adaptation to Difference
Individuals are able to expand their own worldviews to accurately understand other cultures and behave in a variety of culturally appropriate ways. Effective use of empathy, or frame of reference shifting, to understand and be understood across cultural boundaries. It is the ability to act properly outside of one’s own culture. At this stage, one is able to “walk the talk.”
F. Integration of Difference
One’s experience of self is expanded to include the movement in and out of different cultural worldviews. People at this position have a definition of self that is “marginal” (not central) to any particular culture, allowing this individual to shift rather smoothly from one cultural worldview to another.
2.8.-Evolutionary Strategies
In his theory, Bennett describes what changes occur when evolving through each step of the scale. Summarized, they are the following:
a. From Denial to Defense: the person acquires an awareness of difference between cultures
b. From Defense to Minimization: negative judgments are depolarized, and the person is introduced to similarities between cultures.
c. From Minimization to Acceptance: the subject grasps the importance of intercultural difference.
d. From Acceptance to Adaptation: exploration and research into the other culture begins.
e. From Adaptation to Integration: subject develops empathy towards the other culture.
3-Methodology
3.1. Introduction
This section included the methods and procedures for conducting the study, instrumentation of data collection and the description of the subjects. The methods were standardized highlighting validity and calculating their reliability.
3.2 Participants
The subjects of this study who answered the questionnaire were all the students who studied in the academic year 2013-2014 in the Department of English at Gezira University. The total number of the students was 105 .
3.3 Questionnaire Design
The instrument was a structured questionnaire that had 15 items. The items of this structured questionnaire were grouped into the following sections:
3.3.1. Section A
It consisted of seven items which included questions to identify students’ motivation to learn the English language. The researcher adapted these questions from related studies based on two scales of Gardner’s (1985) Attitude/Motivation Test Battery (AMTB) (the instrumental and integrative orientation scales) and Cooper and Fishman’s (1977) personal motivational construct.


3.3.2. Section B
Section B of the questionnaire was designed to elicit information regarding the students’ attitudes towards the English language. In section(B), the students were given (8) statements (items), for which they were requested to specify their responses by choosing any of the three options provided, namely, agree, disagree and don't know. The items were designed according to Bennett Scale.
3.4. Questionnaire’s face Validity
Several studies were reviewed by the researcher in order to design the questionnaire. To ensure face validity, the researcher has provided sufficient insights into the importance of “member check” (Creswell, 1998) by showing it to three experts who approved it.
3.5. Reliability of the questionnaire
The reliability of the data collecting instrument of the present study was calculated using Cronbach's Alpha coefficient formula. The degree of reliability for the motivation items is( 0.79), for attitudes is( 0.82).This means that the instrument used in the study was reliable.
3.6-Data Analysis
The data collected in the present study was of two types i.e. quantitative and qualitative. The quantitative data of the questionnaire were analyzed in terms of frequencies, percentages and means, using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS).
It is divided into two sections: the students' motivation to learn English and their attitudes towards the English language and its culture according to Bennett Scale.
3.6.1- Motivation to learn English
Table( 2) motivation and reasons for learning English.
Rank SD Mean N Statements
2 1.13 4.26 105 1/It will enable me to carry my tasks more efficiently
1 0.820 4.54 105 2/ Enables me to get a job easily
3 1.06 4.21 105 3/I hope to further my education
4 1.42 3.76 105 4/It is a university requirement
5 1.30 3.62 105 5/For a personal development
6 1.37 3.57 105 6/It will enhance my status among my friends
7 1.44 2.50 105 7/To integrate with the western culture.
From the three motivational constructs namely, instrumental motivation, integrative motivation and personal motivation, instrumental motivation (items 1, 2, 3, and 4) received the highest mean scores, of all the subjects' results, (overall mean=4.16) as shown in the Table 1.
Next to the instrumental motives, personal reasons (items 5 and 6) come as the second source of motivation of the students with overall mean (3.67). The subjects admitted that learning the English language for a personal development (mean=3.62) and to enhance their status among friends (mean=3.57) are important motives to learn the English language.
For the integrative type of motivation, the results in Table 1 indicate that it had the least impact on students’ English language learning. That is, the least number of the subjects (mean=2.5043) had the view that they would like to learn English “to integrate with the western culture”.
The above results in (table 1) indicate that subjects in this investigation perceived instrumental reasons as more characteristic of them.
3.7 Questionnaire results:- Attitudes toward the English Language and its culture:-
Analysis of the data was based on the students' responses to eight statements, for which they were required to tick any of the three alternatives, namely agree, disagree and don't know.
Table (3): Percentages regarding Students’ attitudes towards learning English language and culture according to Bennett Scale:-
variables No Agree Disagree Don’t know
Frequency Percentage Frequency Percentage Frequency Percentage
1) The development of our country is possible mainly by educated people who know English well 105 76 72.4 21 20.0% 7 6.6
2) I don’t accept the English Culture because most of its values do not agree with our religious point of view. 105 32 30% 67 64.8% 6 5.2
3) I am not interested in the English Culture because it is different from the Sudanese one.
105 20 19% 80 76.2% 5 4.8
4) English culture can be accepted because there are human similarities although some cultural differences exist. 105 50 46.6% 48 45.7% 7 6.7
5) I learn the English Language and I should be informed about its culture which may be accepted. 105 71
67.6%
28 26.7% 6 5.7
6) When I learn the English language ,its culture can help me to understand and be understood well. 105 87 67.6%
15 14% 3 3%
7) After understanding the English language and its culture ,I can adopt some of it or adapt myself when I face it.
105 66 62.9% 31 29.5% 8 7.6%
8) When I hear someone speaks English well, I wish I could speak
Like him
105 89 84.8% 12 11.4% 4 6.7%
1-Denial of Difference
People at this position are generally uninterested in cultural difference, but when confronted with difference their seemingly benign acceptance may change to aggressive attempts to avoid or eliminate it.
2-Defense against Difference
This position is characterized by dualistic us/them thinking and frequently accompanied by overt negative stereotyping. People at this position are more openly threatened by cultural difference and more likely to be acting aggressively against it.
3-Minimization of Difference
People at this position are likely to assume that they are no longer ethnocentric, and they tend to overestimate their tolerance while underestimating the effect (e.g. “privilege”) of their own culture.
4-Acceptance of Difference
People at this position accept the existence of culturally different ways of organizing human existence, although they do not necessarily like or agree with every way. They can identify how culture affects a wide range of human experience and they have a framework for organizing observations of cultural difference.

5-Adaptation to Difference
Effective use of empathy, or frame of reference shifting, to understand and be understood across cultural boundaries. It is the ability to act properly outside of one’s own culture. At this stage, one is able to “walk the talk.”
6-Integration of Difference
People at this position have a definition of self that is “marginal” (not central) to any particular culture, allowing this individual to shift rather smoothly from one cultural worldview to another.
4. Conclusion and Recommendations
4.1-Institutionalization of Cultural Knowledge
The knowledge developed regarding culture and cultural dynamics, must be integrated into every facet of a school, program, or agency. Staff must be trained, and effectively utilize the knowledge gained. Administrators should develop policies that are responsive to cultural diversity. Program materials should reflect positive images of all people, and be valid for use with each group. Fully integrated cultural knowledge may affect global changes in human service delivery. For example, educational institutions and accreditation bodies might develop cultural competence standards to ensure teacher and administrator preparation. Then these same professionals could collaborate with families to develop school policies that reinforce culturally familiar values to improve children's behavior. The culturally competent teachers might use these policies to avoid more expensive interventions. When interventions do become necessary, family and community input on cultural issues might be used in determining effective treatment. Institutionalized cultural knowledge can enhance an organization's ability to serve diverse populations.
4.2- Course Objectives
Intercultural Communication focuses on the importance of culture in everyday life, and the ways in which culture interrelates with and effects communication processes. We live in an era of rapid globalization in which being able to communicate across cultures is imperative to our ability to function in a diverse workplace, city, and world. The intercultural course will take us on a journey. Using our stories and our online discussions, this course will be designed to increase our sensitivity to other cultures. Just as importantly, this journey will increase our awareness of our own cultural backgrounds, and the contexts (social, cultural and historical) in which we live and communicate.
The intercultural course is designed to fulfill these objectives:
1/ To explore cultural self-awareness, other culture awareness, and the dynamics that arise in interactions between the two.
2/ To understand how communication processes differ among cultures.
3/ To identify challenges that arise from these differences in intercultural interactions and learn ways to creatively address them.
4/ To discover the importance of the roles of context and power in studying intercultural communication.
5/ To acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes that increase intercultural competence
You will be expected to maintain an intercultural journal, explore another culture in depth, take exams and reflect on your own cultural assumptions in various forms through the course.
4.3-Intercultural Education in the School
The NCCA has developed Intercultural Education in the School, Guidelines for Schools (2006). These guidelines provide guidance for teachers and school management on:
a/ mediating the curriculum in a way that reflects cultural diversity
b/ making the curriculum as accessible as possible for children from ethnic minority groups
c/ enhancing the intercultural experience of all pupils
d/ creating an inclusive school culture.
The guidelines are designed to provide information for teachers and schools on ethnic and cultural diversity, racism and intercultural education as well as a practical resource that teachers can use in their everyday planning and teaching. It includes a range of exemplars based on classroom practice showing how to use an intercultural approach in a wide range of Junior Certificate subjects and a comprehensive resource list for teachers to access further information and teaching resources.
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