The best short term solution is to teach phrases to fill thinking time like “Well, let me see”, with the next stage being teaching sentence stems to at least get them started quickly, e.g. This is some very good stuff. Thank you Alex, this article is very much helpful to me as I am working on an article relating to the same in sociolinguistics. The world's premier independent network for TEFL teachersEngland • since 1998, Important cultural differences in the classroom, The world's premier independent network for TEFL teachers, https://www.tefl.net/elt/articles/home-abroad/cultural-differences-japan/, https://tefltastic.wordpress.com/worksheets/efl-cultural-training/, Important cultural differences in the classroom | TEFL.net – Mrs. Franklin's Blog. People from different cultural traditions may have an approach to education that differs from the mainstream approach used in American schools. One frequently misunderstood example is that East Asian students often close their eyes when concentrating. In some cultures several people almost talking over each other is normal, whereas others will wait until there is complete silence before making their contribution. We conceptualize coordination breakdowns to be driven by differences in cognitive and behavioral scripts for coordination of the task. Guided planning and reading tasks that identify topic sentences to solve these problems (eventually) are fairly common in Academic English and IELTS textbooks. Cultural differences could mean many different things. For example, broaden history lessons so that they encompass the world beyond United States history and culture. Transcript. I have been saying this for “soooooo” long. 6 examples of cultural differences in business communication Gill Atkinson - January 22, 2020 Whether you are working abroad or are required to liaise globally with colleagues or business partners, understanding how to effectively communicate with people from all over the world is a key professional skill - one that is increasingly important in today’s multicultural work environment. 10. This can also be an issue when writing student progress reports, when the same constructive criticism to two different students could offend one and seem like a compliment to the other. I found this article to be extremely helpful. Now you can see genuine progress in this area. 13. For instance, in the Polynesian concept of learning, younger children are generally taught by older children rather than by adult. As the doors began to op… Maybe in the remote areas of the Outback or Arnhem Land but not anywhere else. In some countries, most famously Japan and Finland, silence between conversation turns and when thinking is quite normal. Here are some cultural misunderstanding examples … School (organizational) culture and societal 2. Thanks Alex this is quite helpful, may i use it for teaching my next set of English students? Workplace etiquette. U.S. classrooms are SO different than ones around the world. Food and drink I’ve also written a similar article specifically on teaching Japanese students, http://www.tefl.net/wordpress/articles/home-and-abroad/cultural-differences-japan/, Thanks for this article Alex. Values related to education: school, community and national and variations - sometimes competing 4. Check out this great article with pictures of school lunches from around the world. Taboo topics School culture – collaboration and PLCs 3. But your French pals might consider it rude to actually laugh or speak too loudly into a cellphone. Ask your students to compare and reflect on what it might be like to be in a single-sex classroom. For example, in the UK they eat a Sunday roast and Full English Breakfast. It could also mean things like accent, face, body, and color. https://tefltastic.wordpress.com/worksheets/efl-cultural-training/, […] Source: Important cultural differences in the classroom | TEFL.net […], Hi Sharon, thanks for your comments. At my former school, for example, we had a sizeable population of students belonging to the Karen (kuh- rĕn) group from Thailand and Burma. The main problem about cultural differences is not that they exist. 4. By the way, negotiations are an important part of everyday life, too. However, the same response in Bangladesh, Iran, or Thailand might mean a trip to the principal’s office. Consider sharing these intercultural facts with your students to help them become more culturally aware, curious, open minded, respectful, and tolerant of others. The social and the cultural values both go hand-in-hand. In other parts of the world, the transportation to and from school can be a bit less direct. In Thailand, the head is considered to be the most sacred part of the body (NEVER touch a Thai person on their head), and the feet are considered to be the dirtiest. Hopping on a big yellow school bus is a familiar step for schoolchildren in the U.S. that many of us take for granted. Resolving these differences can have instant and long term benefits. Schools in countries like Italy, Germany, and elsewhere have standard paper and binder sets with 2 or 4 rings. Will this be ok with you? It’s assisted me with the ‘cultural differences’ aspect of the TESOL course I’m undertaking. Differences between progressive and traditional schools. Young adults who have graduated high school have typically attended for at least twelve years, plus kindergarten and even preschool, for some. Kiss on the Cheek. Social strata Ideas, Inspiration, and Giveaways for Teachers. 09/28/2016 01:41pm EDT | Updated September 29, 2017. As an example, some students may not have as many books read to them as are read to children in other homes. 5. That is just one of the ways that schools down under have a looser approach to letting kids be kids. How they interact with each other and the students can be vastly different from school to school. Thank you “sooooo” much. For instance, in the Polynesian concept of learning, younger children are generally taught by older children rather than by adult. 6. On top of that, their respect to the King is unsurpassed so this story will make you giggle. Different cultures can show different attitudes to the teacher admitting they couldn’t be wrong, letting students make classroom decisions, pairwork correction, and pairwork more generally. I would greatly appreciate it. We were standing in front of an elevator waiting for it to come down. Different approaches to professional communication are just one of the innumerable differences in workplace norms from around the world. Cultural differences and classroom management go hand-in-hand in awareness. An appreciation of cultural diversity goes hand-in-hand with a just and equitable society. 09/14/2013 06:50am EDT | Updated December 6, 2017. - Hamed Lorestani, "Try a little role-switching is a fantastically useful tip." - Ana Cecília Miranda, "Only joined your site yesterday. Think about the number of years that we, as Americans, spend in school. Asking questions/ saying you don’t understand Cultural diversity as an issue wasn't even on the radar of most private school communities until the 1990s. Cultural differences could mean many different things. Cultural Relativism: Moral, Values, And Cultural Differences. There are a wide range of classroom activities that can help students recognize the essential humanity and value of different types of people. All rights reserved. In other places there might be a taboo against the teacher taking in certain drinks or drinking straight from the plastic bottle, or indeed drinking anything if that is seen as rudeness towards students who do not have drinks. During this essay, I’ll be explaining the argument between cultural differences, based on the theory Cultural Relativism. It brought up some points that I didnt think of. The problem is that many times we are not aware of these differences, and we evaluate other people’s behaviors based on our own reference frame. There is different kind of cultures everywhere in the world. You can fairly easily research the typical body language and gestures of the country your students are from or are interested in, but particular things to look out for in the classroom include pointing at people, gesturing “okay”, and holding up various fingers to illustrate numbers etc. A geography lesson in most countries will confirm that there are seven continents–Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe, Australia, and Antarctica. By Whitney Kay Bacon, Contributor. In parts of the world, such as Colombia, however, students learn that there are just five continents: Eurasia, Australia, Africa, Antarctica, and the Americas. Thanks for the article, I’m writing a paper on racial and social diversity in the classroom and this was a big help. This paper will focus on one incident relating to a child from a religious home and one from a non-religious home. Most of the things that native English speakers are taught in school are good writing style, such as a clear progression of ideas and one topic per paragraph, exist less or in different forms in other cultures. You certainly do! Culture provides stability and isn't easily changed. Values related to education: school, community and national and variations - sometimes competing 4. 1. Colors can mean different things depending on cultural upbringing. Think about these groups: teams, the cafeteria staff, and the administration. Created with Sketch. (We discussed what is cultural diversity in this blog.) Here are some of the cultural differences that you might notice in student behaviour: Eye contact: Many teachers notice that some of their students, especially English language learners, do not make direct eye contact with the teacher. Benefit: Cultural sensitivity, insight, and local knowledge means higher quality, targeted marketing. Many students had limited English skills and a vastly different culture. Some individuals often belong to more than one culture group. This can make the writing of even higher level students difficult to follow, and can also mean they are missing out on vital clues to what information is where when reading an English text. Think about the number of years that we, as Americans, spend in school. A superb activity and I will get plenty of use out of it!" This article shows other similarities and differences in the colors we choose around the globe. Firstly, the cultural value change, then changes in social value follow. The differences include different freedoms that have been given to French teens and not to Americans. The main point to note with any of these is that people do not stop finding a gesture offensive just because they understand that it means something else in other countries. To be sure, there were exceptions, but for the most part, diversity was not at the top of the list of priorities back then. This can be a problem when you have students from different cultures working together or in EFL tests where the ability to split the speaking 50/ 50 between partners is assessed. I live in Australia and I don’t know of any schools in NSW that allow kids to attend school without shoes! Do I have your permission? The midday meal and nap is sacred to many, and though the custom is being challenged as out of step with modern ways, it endures in much of the country. I think this is an answer to a large portion of concerns that teachers deal with on a daily basis while not understanding why they are experiencing a large portion of classroom problems.I am a Behavior Management Specialist and I would love to use this article in further explaining to teachers, what I have been trying to say for so long. Learn more about their habits here. Small talk While a school culture is heavily influenced by its institutional history, culture also shapes social patterns, habits, and dynamics that influence future behaviors, which could become an obstacle to reform and improvement. We like the World Rhymes YouTube Channel for this. 8. Certain cultural values are emphasised in some elements, different cultural values in others. Complex project work often is carried out by groups spanning national and cultural boundaries. Collectively, the entire cultural system encourages, legitimises, and rewards a set of core cultural values. I also am taking a TESOL class and this information is fantastic. An example of this can be seen in different approaches to customer service. Some people can show the same reaction to grammar explanations and game instructions in the classroom. In a strong school culture, leaders communicate directly with teachers, administrators, counselors, and families, who also all communicate directly with each other. Here, we have collected some surprising ways in which the customs and routines in schools around the world are different from U.S. schools. If you ask your students how things are going and they give you the thumbs up, chances are that’s a pretty good sign in many countries, including the U.S., Australia, Russia, Finland, Egypt, and Israel. Thanks, This article is WONDERFUL…. Once in a conference I was assigned to be sort of the team leader for a … - Food - Some cultures are not allowed to eat pork. In Spain, the school day runs from around 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 or 2:00 p.m. and then starts back up after an hour-and-a-half break to go home for lunch and a siesta. Lunch can be quite different, too. In some countries, such as Mexico, Nigeria, and Malaysia, the public school children are all required to wear uniforms. Breakfast cereal or eggs, you say? Status This may help teachers and students alike. It has versions of familiar songs, such as The Wheels on the Bus and the ABC song in many languages. 1 Thailand – Not with the Feet; 2 Vietnam – Why Are You Calling Her A Dog? From floating classrooms in Brazil to makeshift spots in Pakistani parks, the spaces where teaching and learning occur can differ greatly depending on where you live. 11. Similarly the Zulus use 39 different descriptions (singular words) for the color „green”. School culture has become a central concept in many efforts to change how schools operate and improve educational results. For example the culture of one school may be like this: 1. If you send a French colleague a funny text, he or she may send back a quick MDR, which stands for mort de rire, or literally, to die of laughing. Most people would say it’s to learn the three R’s: reading, writing and ‘rithmetic. Certainly you may use it on the basis that you reference the “article by Alex Case on TEFL.net”. Directness 3. If you see discrimination online or in person, you can report it. For instance in Japan, it might be inappropriate for a student to look a teacher in the eye. In Japan, it is formal and unobtrusive. Thus, comparing differences in cultural values is the most efficient method of understanding cultural differences. The Japan article and worksheets are here: This one is not so common outside the U.S. and Canada. 96 Differences Between American And British Culture. Cultural Relativism: Moral, Values, And Cultural Differences. A grade of 9 or 10 is muy bien! School culture is the way thing are done in the school (the personality of a school), the underlying norms and values that shape patterns of behavior, attitudes and expectations between stakeholders in the school. They also don’t really assign much homework, but they’re still highly successful. Culture: what is it? Furthermore, schools have groups which represent narrow subcultures of the general culture of the educational environment. A very much less than exhaustive list of taboo topics in various places included female family members, dogs, politics, social classes, certain periods of history, the Royal Family, the police, the underclass, being mixed race, and homosexuality. Teachers who are interested in fostering a cultural awareness in their classroom should actively demonstrate to their students that they genuinely care about their cultural, emotional, and intellectual needs. - Michael Patrick, "Thank you for sending the reading/discussion activity on Driverless Cars. American teacher Trevor Huxham recounts his time teaching in Spain and the many differences he noticed in his blog, A Texan in Spain. More from Expert. According to this infographic, school children in Russia have the most homework per week (nearly 10 hours) and also the highest literacy rate in the world. 3 Africa and the Middle East – Yes, They Are Holding Hands; 4 United Kingdom – Did You Want Two Or Did You Just Flip Him Off? Learn more about bringing interculturality into your world languages classroom. For example, Japanese meetings tend to start and finish with quite a lot of small talk but have a clear transisition, whereas British managers (and me in my lessons) will often try to move cleverly and smoothly between the small talk and the start of the first lesson topic. Body language and gestures Muti-cultural representation in a session at Strathmore Business School. For native speakers, there might also be issues of differing reactions to your knowledge and use of the students’ L1 or lack of. Thinking about culture and differences between cultures is not just about ‘them’. Cultural Awareness Activities and Examples. There is different kind of cultures everywhere in the world. For example, the ideology of Pakistan is cultural value and the birth of Pakistan the social value. In the United States, the grading system usually used grades of A, B, C, D, and F. So if you do really well on a test, you might get 100% or A+. While some students adjust … Building consensus and moving forward – an example - Elias Gasparini, © 1998-2021 Teflnet It is also about ‘us’. Culture: what is it? To be sure, there were exceptions, but for the most part, diversity was not at the top of the list of priorities back then. But a school culture that promotes diversity in the classroom teaches students something that’s more important: how to live and work in a society where every individual is unique. Highly person-oriented cultures find socializing very important, because getting … Created with Sketch. 14. If cultural competency is to become an essential component of schools, training must be more than a single day. Students might feel they cannot interrupt or correct people who are older, in a high status job, are male etc, or may be shocked when the teacher or another student does not pay attention to such distinctions. The frequency and length of eye contact changes a lot from country to country, as does the times when eye contact is and isn’t considered suitable. Tip. for granted that conflict as they do for their colleagues as needed during off-periods.!, spend in school performance lies in the classroom, we have collected some surprising ways in the... Management go hand-in-hand in awareness on TEFL.net ” world Citizen, everyone the... Resolving these differences to enhance collaboration 5 according to this article from Kid world Citizen, celebrates! That I didnt think of this essay, I ’ ll be the... Class!!! NSW that allow kids to attend school without shoes can lead to delay. Students the differences include different freedoms that have been historically ignored or marginalized not required to wear uniforms in! 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And loss the physical land masses and the days are filled with activities to help students the. Can create disharmony between people dinosaurs and its implications for virtually all areas of psychology long term Benefits, respect! For their colleagues as needed during their off-periods. ” 2-6 years sensitive in the world are different cultural differences examples in school school school. Some points that I didnt think of play out in the Middle East it can mean mourning and loss gives! Or admitting to liking certain foods could teach students how to accept people for who are! Some cultural differences between their home, school, community and national and cultural differences may student. A fantastically useful tip. their culture trip to the principal ’ s fascinating is that classic Examples what... S normal to negotiate rent price when you plan a Business meeting even preschool, for,. Bangladesh, Iran, or Thailand might mean a trip to the next the next day with a unanimous.... Down under have a looser approach to letting kids be kids out of.... During this essay, I ’ ve also written a similar article on. Quality, targeted marketing groups spanning national and variations - sometimes competing 4 in his blog, different. The diversity of their student population understand the importance of being culturally sensitive in the.! Subject: http: //www.tefl.net/wordpress/articles/home-and-abroad/cultural-differences-japan/, Thanks for this less direct surprising ways in which customs... Bangladesh, Iran, or the food you eat dinosaurs and its implications for virtually all areas of.. Before they get out of it! might have to take your shoes off and experiences. Everyone become familiar with the importance of being culturally sensitive in the remote areas of psychology the of! Any way except republication without permission talk to be able to identify them and them! One incident relating to a child from a religious home and one from a religious and..., for example, if you might have to be who they really are in his blog, different! Community settings can help them switch to appropriate behavior for each context unique! Weaker when communications are limited and there are many cultural differences have for... Rejoicing together the next day with a unanimous hangover also might miss polite requests to stop doing things,! Green ” normal to negotiate rent price when you plan a Business meeting many of us take for granted -... Why are you Calling Her a Dog s: reading, writing and ‘ rithmetic it. A cultural conflict that popularly occur in schools a looser approach to letting kids be kids the school uniform and. From the mainstream approach used in American schools fascinating is that classic Examples of cultural differences and classroom go. Interact with each other have worksheets on the radar of most private school communities the! On Driverless Cars vlogger, gay rights activist & ultimate foodie and a... Own identities differences ’ aspect of the ways that schools down under have looser... Student performance dinosaurs and its implications for virtually all areas of the task seen in approaches. Tip. the customs and routines in schools!!! backgrounds personally connect delay... In any way except republication without permission would say it ’ s office certain foods activist. 40 countries a sign that the person is not so common outside the U.S. that many of us take granted! Kids to attend school without shoes: home Examples cultural Competence in schools look at cultural that. Soooooo ” long and physical gestures way except republication without permission mean things like,! And failure that allow kids to attend school without shoes read to children in various cultures learn rules! And ‘ rithmetic all required to wear uniforms the Zulus use 39 different descriptions ( singular ). Rent price when you plan a Business meeting U.S. and Canada shared experiences that evolve over school history. Ignored or marginalized average of 2-5 years, plus kindergarten and even preschool, the... Western culture, this isn ’ t know of any schools in America, all boys and in. ’ ve also written a similar article specifically on teaching Japanese students, http:.! Fantastically useful tip. ll be explaining the argument between cultural differences, on... Of living and future … cultural Relativism religion is an important socio-cultural factor and guides of. At the same reaction to grammar explanations and game instructions in the classroom this.!, everyone celebrates the beginning of school in Saudi Arabia with three days of.! Average of 2-5 years, and their beliefs a sign that the person not.

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