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Culturally Effective Communication

Source: Honolulu Community College,
www.honolulu.hawaii.edu

Communication is an essential skill utilized by any teacher. It is important to be a culturally competent communicator. It is also important to identify the belief systems of both the student and teacher to spot blocks to communication:

ETHNOCENTRISM

Inability to accept another culture's worldview; "my way is the best"


DISCRIMINATION

Differential treatment of an individual due to minority status; actual and perceived; e.g., "we just aren't equipped to serve people like that."


STEREOTYPING

Generalizing about a person while ignoring presence of individual difference; e.g., "she's like that because she's Asian -- all Asians are nonverbal."

CULTURAL BLINDNESS

Differences are ignored and one proceeds as though differences did not exist; e.g., "there's no need to worry about a person's culture -- if you're a sensitive teacher, you do okay."


CULTURAL IMPOSITION

Belief that everyone should conform to the majority; e.g., "we know what's best for you, if you don't like it you can go elsewhere."

CONCEPTS RELATED TO BRIDGING CULTURAL DIFFERENCES (ETHNIC)

E --Everyone has a culture.
T --Take time to collect relevant cultural information.
H --Hold all judgments; i.e., be careful about interpreting the culturally different
      student's behavior, especially if unfamiliar with the culture.

N --Notice and negotiate differences in understanding of teaching and learning.
I -- Involve cultural resources as appropriate.
C --Collaborate to develop objectives and educational strategies.

 

 
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