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IATEFL 2013 Activities to help learners improve their intercultural communication Adrian Pilbeam LTS training and consulting Bath, UK.

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Presentation on theme: "IATEFL 2013 Activities to help learners improve their intercultural communication Adrian Pilbeam LTS training and consulting Bath, UK."— Presentation transcript:

1 IATEFL 2013 Activities to help learners improve their intercultural communication Adrian Pilbeam LTS training and consulting Bath, UK

2 Aims for today What is intercultural competence and effective intercultural communication? How can we develop effective intercultural communication in our learners? What are some intercultural communication activities you can use with your learners?

3 Hello activity 1.What are the positive aspects of communicating with other cultures? 1.What are the challenges of communicating with other cultures? 2.In what situations and contexts do people need to communicate across cultures? 3.Can you define intercultural competence?

4 Intercultural competence is.. … having the knowledge, attitudes, awareness and skills to communicate effectively with cultures other than your own Robert Kohls

5 Knowledge Facts and figures about your culture and other cultures What behaviour will be well or badly perceived Cultural dos and don ts Knowing some of the key cultural dimensions and their implications for communication

6 Quiz about India 1.How many official languages are there in India – 1; 2; 18 ? 2.What is the official religion? 3.Match the religious groups to percentages 1. Sikh a. 2.3% 2. Buddhist, Jain, Parsib. 13.4% 3. Hinduc. 1.9% 4. Muslimd. 80.5% 5. Christiane. 1.8%

7 Typical behaviour Describe to each other a typical kind of behaviour in your culture or in a different culture where you have lived or which you know well. Explain why this behaviour is important, and what the reaction would be if a foreigner behaves differently.

8 Attitudes and Awareness Awareness of your own culture – attitudes, values, communication styles Awareness of other cultures Realising that what is normal to you may not be normal to other cultures Awareness of potential cultural gaps

9 When communicating with other cultures initial impressions can be misleading we can make incorrect assumptions behaviour can be interpreted differently different rules often apply What is normal to us may not be normal in other cultures

10 What is normal? 1.What are some examples of normal behaviour in your culture? 2.What examples have you found of normal behaviour in other cultures, but which you considered different or even strange?

11 LTS Training & Consulting



14 Assumptions – it's obvious, isn't ?

15 Assumptions – which is right?

16 D I E Model 1.Describe 2.Interpret 3.Evaluate

17 Cultural artefacts Think of an artefact – an everyday object, big or small – from your culture or another culture that you know well. Say how it illustrates some aspect of the culture of the country – its values, traditions, beliefs, customs, etc.






23 What is culture? Language, non-verbal communication, behaviour Food, dress, buildings, material things Traditions, history, customs, religion Attitudes, norms, beliefs, values, assumptions, mindsets

24 Iceberg of culture

25 Elements we are aware of Elements we are less aware of Behaviour Language Dress Food Implicit assumptions Values Mindsets Attitudes Iceberg of culture

26 Sayings and proverbs Think of some common sayings or proverbs which tell us something about the culture (values, attitudes, expected behaviour) of a country.

27 Lets play it by ear Itll be alright on the night Itll be alright on the night Well just have to wing it Well just have to wing it As a general rule of thumb … As a general rule of thumb … Some British sayings

28 Dafür bin ich nicht zuständig Dienst ist Dienst und Schnaps ist Schnaps Erst die Arbeit, dann das Vergnügen Ohne Fleiss kein Preis Some German sayings

29 Skills Being observant – describe what is happening before interpreting and evaluating Adjusting your behaviour Adjusting your communication style Modifying your use of English Mirroring your counterparts style Showing patience, tact and resilience

30 E-mail activity You need to write a report by the end of next week. To do this, you need some input (facts, figures, etc.) from some other team members. Write a short email to one of them, requesting their input in time for you to integrate it into your report.

31 Biodata activity Write a short biodata paragraph (50 words) about yourself that will go into the programme of a conference where you will be speaking

32 Biodata US style Beth Shanes consulting philosophy is one of true partnership and shared success. She specialises in the areas of global, diversity, cross-cultural communication, organisational development, team building, and gender issues. Everything Beth does is approached with high energy and a positive attitude. She also has extensive project management experience handling the roll-out of large, complex, global training initiatives. Beth has a Masters degree in International Communication from The American University School of International Service. She studied one year in Sweden and has travelled extensively in Europe, South America, and Japan. She volunteers with the Rotary Youth Exchange Program. Maryann enjoys in-line skating and music.

33 Biodata UK style Adrian Pilbeam is British and is a training consultant at LTS Training and Consulting in Bath, UK. He specialises in training for business communication skills and intercultural communication. He has many years experience of working with multinational clients in all parts of Europe, as well as in Asia and the US. He is also a published author of many training materials, including Working Across Cultures and Logistics Management (Pearson). He has a degree in English from Oxford University and a postgraduate qualification in Education and ELT from the Institute of Education, University of London. Now resident in the UK, he has also lived in France, Portugal and Belgium.

34 Working across cultures What are some of the problems that might arise when advertising or marketing products in different countries? Can you think of some examples where differences in communication styles might cause problems when communicating across cultures? How do Asian ways of working contrast with western working styles?

35 Some things to keep in mind Don t assume sameness Your norms and values might not be shared Familiar behaviours may have different meanings Don t assume what you meant is what has been understood Don t assume what you understood is what was meant You don t have to like different behaviour, but you should try to understand why it is like it is Most people do behave rationally, you just have to discover the rationale

36 To learn more Working Across Cultures (Pearson) Attend the LTS trainers course in Bath - Developing intercultural training skills (

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