Intercultural Communication – Cultural Reflection Assignment

| July 11, 2016

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Cultural Reflection Assignment Overview of assignment: interview a person from a different cultural background than yourself and reflect upon the understanding you gained in a short reflection paper. Objectives of assignment: 1.Gain experience with writing and asking interview questions. 2.Explore a topic related to culture and communication that is of interest to you. 3.Reflect upon the interview experience and content; share your understanding through a reflection paper. Steps of the assignment: 1.Find a partner from a different cultural background than yourself (consider a different religion, ethnicity, nationality, etc.).  It is expected the interview be conducted face-to-face. Depending upon your interviewee and your questions, your interview should run at least 20 minutes, but could definitely run longer. 2.Select a fairly specific topic as the theme for your interview. Example topics: 1.Maintaining health & wellness 2.Role of senior/elderly adults in society or family 3.Storytelling 4.Learning one’s gender role. 5.Taboo subjects or behaviors; purpose for taboo. 6.Communication of love and affection, verbal or nonverbal. 7.Most important value or belief. 8.Dominant cultural patterns and examples. 9.How religion is practiced. 10.Communicating through food and dining 11.Demonstration of emotions. 12.Conflict management among family members 13.Crime and punishment in society and community 14.The emphasis on listening in their culture (vs. talk). 15.For other ideas, refer to your text or look around the internet—you can always run your topic by me if you wish. 3.Prepare at least ten questions in advance of the interview. 1.Write approximately ten questions in advance of the interview. You can add to or change them later if necessary. You must start the interview with these ten questions written. You must attach the list of questions to your paper. 2.Write open-ended questions (those that require more than a “yes” or “no” response). So instead of: “do males express sadness differently than females” (yes/no), rewrite as “In what way do males and females express sadness differently” or “can you give me an example of males…” I recommend beginning with more general questions and moving to more specific questions. 3.If you receive a lot of one or two worded answers, consider offering a follow-up question such as, “can you tell me more about that?” or “what did you think of it at the time?” or “can you give me an example of that?” 4.Plan to offer follow-up questions any time you are interested in more detail or you don’t understand the answer given to you. 5.Ask your interviewee if he/she would permit you to record the interview (with your phone or other recorder). Transcribing and reviewing your interview later is easier with the voice record to reference later. If they will not let you record their interview, plan to take good notes while they are speaking. As quickly as possible after the interview, you should go back through your notes to add anything you remember that you missed while writing during the interview. 4.Reflect upon your experience in a short paper (three to five pages). Be sure you have an introduction, body, and conclusion; also include your list of ten questions (not the answers). The main questions you should answer in your paper: 1.What did I learn about my topic? 2.What did I learn about the process and experience of interviewing, particularly interviewing my intercultural partner? 5.Expectations for your paper: 12 pt. type, double-spaced, 3-5 pages (no title page necessary), and no extra spacing. No outside sources are necessary (except for your interviewee); however, if you use outside sources, please be sure you cite them appropriately

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