Cross-Cultural Ministry Ministry must embrace the complexities and challenges of a multicultural world. Effective ministers must balance communicating with people who have different backgrounds, values and cultural mores, while representing their faith tradition with integrity.
Rosen, Hiroshima Women's University Interacting with people from other cultures can be stressful, as well as rewarding, for all of us.
To inaugurate this column, Steven L. Rosen describes a course designed to reduce the stress and increase the rewards for Japanese college students in a Study Abroad program in the UK. He advocates a flexible, yet strong, sense of self and sensitivity toward the cultures of others.
His syllabus employs an anthropological approach to achieve these objectives. In the spring of I was invited to go to England as a research fellow in order to design and teach courses in cross-cultural communication at Gyosei International College, a Japanese college in the UK. The president of the college had decided that since many of the freshmen were experiencing severe adjustment problems, so-called "culture shock," the best solution would be to have a required course in cross-cultural communication CCC.
Following Ministry of Education guidelines, other Japanese colleges and graduate schools, in and outside Japan, are also beginning to offer courses in cross-cultural communication and cross-cultural studies. A report on this pilot course, which in the end proved to be a success, should be of interest to other pioneers in this relatively new field.
The syllabus included below, and the accompanying selected bibliography should be useful for anyone intending to design or teach CCC in the future. The Course Generally speaking, research in the field of crosscultural communication seems to have taken one of three approaches: A linguistic approach naturally looks at communication as a rule governed process of signification.
An anthropological approach would focus less on language structures and more on cultural meanings; viewing communication as the expression of cultural ideologies, cosmologies, or world views. The psychological perspective, which usually adopts a cognitivist orientation, is concerned with showing how perceptual schemata frame our experience of the world and our transactions with it, and how this relates to particular emotional needs and personality orientations.
While the syllabus used in our course tried to present all three perspectives, the anthropological approach was most heavily favored.
It was assumed from the start that the best way to help students deal with culture shock and overcome cross-cultural communication problems was not so much by providing them with a fixed set of rules or strategies for communication the linguistic perspectivenor by examining supposedly fixed mental templates for understanding reality the psychological perspective ; rather we tried to sensitize students as to how humans continually invent and reinvent both themselves and culture through certain core symbols, which articulate such things as cosmologies world viewsepistemologies ways of thinking and understandingand ideologies moral values, political orientations.
This first term required course enrollment 80 was taught by a team of three instructors: British, Japanese and American culture were the three main culture areas examined for comparative purposes; other EC countries were also touched upon because of the interesting intercultural communication problems being posed by the EC unification process.
The student body was extremely diverse, with a wide range of motivations and English language abilities which proved to be our biggest challenge. Whereas some students had chosen the school because they couldn't get into a Japanese school of sufficiently high level, others were attaining or higher on the TOEFL and were intending to do graduate work in the U.
The particular emphasis on helping the students overcome culture shock proved to keep interest high regardless of level; students eagerly looked forward to the class because they found that, unlike most of their other classes, the course specifically addressed the emotional and intellectual issues which they were facing.
This is not to say that the course became a kind of mass group therapy, but rather that theory was introduced in such a way that it could be seen to be directly relevant to their own personal life experience; the experience of confronting another culture and trying to communicate within it.
The introductory lecture attempted to set the tone by discussing the concrete aims of the course, which were two-fold: The instructors felt that class participation was vital to such a course and worried from the beginning that the large size of the class would preclude this participation.
We partly overcame this problem by requiring students to bring in written questions for the instructors, either in English or Japanese. Weekly hand-outs to supplement the syllabus plus overhead projector visuals proved to be an invaluable way to give the students a sense of the organization and direction of the course.
The material on American culture was part of the syllabus for a variety of reasons. One was that the main lecturer, this writer, was and still is American. Another was that most students had had more exposure to American culture than British, and this made it easier to show connections between behavior and culture.
A third reason, and one which the other two non-American instructors felt to be salient, was that America is an important country economically and geopolitically, and many students, especially in the business course, expected to be dealing with that country across the Atlantic.
The material on British culture was acutely focused on actual communication problems which Japanese students, living in British resident halls, were facing.
The British instructor was in charge of the residence halls and knew first hand of the intercultural communication problems which the students were facing with British students. The on-going intercultural tensions in the residence halls between the Japanese and the British students were often the result of breakdowns in communication; the instructor tried to show how cultural misunderstandings on both sides were responsible.
The Japanese professor provided support, including translation help throughout most of the course. When it came time to lecture on Japanese culture, he graciously deferred to me, since the students were eager to hear about their culture from a non-Japanese who had lived in Japan long enough to become partly Japanized.
Students said they found these lectures on their own culture the most interesting because it enabled them to think about many things they had taken for granted in a totally new light. The 10 week first term course was, by all accounts, a success.
Many students reported to me or to their tutors that the course helped them deal with culture shock. It did this by giving them concrete, factual information which helped them deal with cultural adjustment, and also by showing them new ways of looking at intercultural interaction so as to make it less problematic.
The aim of the syllabus was to open up the students' minds; to put their own cultural ways of knowing in broad perspective to show that, rather than being fixed models of reality, one's culture is simply one of many possible ways of being in the world.Cultural competence is the ability to successfully teach students who come from cultures other than our own.
It entails developing certain personal and interpersonal. He lives in New York City and teaches at Bard College.
Learning how to read like a writer — to read receptively, parasitically, theftuously — is an important aptitude for a practitioner. The students who decide to hold on to their native culture are those who experience the most problems in their university life and who encounter The assessment of cross-cultural competence is another field that is rife with controversy.
It is important that cross-cultural competence training and skills does not break down into the. 1 THE EFFECT OF STUDY ABROAD ON INTERCULTURAL COMPETENCE AMONG UNDERGRADUATE COLLEGE STUDENTS by Mark Hungerford Salisbury An .
A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Students’ Sense of Community, Degree of Involvement, and Educational Benefits For ethnic students who are first-generation college students, this culture shock is significant and often detrimental to their success in college.
students, which can contribute to lower rates of college enrollment for minority students (Perna & Titus, ). Fewer family resources can also lead to educational situations that produce further barriers to .