INTRODUCTION

One aspect of preparation for effective language trainers is Cross-cultural Communication, which may be described as preparation for working with, dealing with and finding out what barriers to communication may exist, between two or more cultures in an ESL classroom. Although language acquisition and usage is a part of the cultural profiles of mankind, it is only one part of getting the message across.

Decades ago, a Japanese prime minister was asked if he objected to dealing with and negotiating with international visitors, who didn't understand his language. He answered that language was not a problem and that he could always get a competent interpreter. He then added that he didn't expect most foreign visitors to speak his language, however he did want them to be familiar with his culture, so that he and visitors could understand each other on the human levels.
Culture may be defined as the "collective personality of persons who share a sense of common identity, a common history, common values, routines and rituals and a shared system of symbols."
ESL INSTRUCTORS work on the front lines of the intercultural universe for immigrants and refugees, who have come to the U.S.A. to make a new life and assimilate adequately into the American culture to get along, earn a living and fit in as well as they can with the mainstream. Despite rumors, the United States is not as much a "melting pot" as it is a "tossed salad" of humanity. The responsibility of the instructor is to become as familiar with the cultures of the students as possible and to assist students to better understand who we are, and at the same time helping the students to keep their cultural identities.

WORKSHOP OBJECTIVES:

1. To prepare ESL instructors and their students to work comfortably and effectively with persons from other cultures by minimizing barriers caused by differences.

2. To give useful tools to ESL instructors, enabling them to assist their students in the process of adapting to the U.S. American cultures.

3. To make your students more aware of the less obvious barriers between cultures, including differences in forms and styles of communication, values, priorities, human relationships, motivations and body language.

4. To make your students more aware of their own cultures and how outsiders view them, in order to be more sensitive about effects on communication.

5. To enable individuals to experience and enjoy new cultures, rather than trying to fully understand them, which may be impossible.

6. To help your ESL students to adjust to new ways of doing things so that they may be more employable, socially adept, and able to minimize culture shock, while retaining their own cultural identities.  DIFFERENT IS O.K.

WORKSHOP CONTENTS

Participants in this four-hour workshop will get a thorough introduction to what culture is and how it affects persons living in new environments. Features that confuse visitors and immigrants in the U.S.A. will be discussed and ESL instructors will learn methods and sources to integrate language and intercultural training in the classroom, on both the cognitive and experiential levels. Participants will receive copies of "A Field Workbook in Intercultural Communication," by Ted Klein, which contains a wide-ranging variety of cultural features in workbook format, useful to both instructors and their students.

For further information contact Ted Klein
(512) 266-1801