Interpreting culture

Improving cross-cultural communication
Our cultural background has a profound influence on each of us.  It shapes our behaviour, values and beliefs.  It even affects our thought processes and how perceive the world.  In this half-day course, we examine where culture comes from and identify many extraordinary examples of its diversity.  A simple gesture or phrase can mean dramatically different things from one culture to another and can cause unintended embarrassment, confusion or even offence.  We learn to consider how others might interpret our behaviour and also examine our own interpretations, focusing on some of the areas that can cause division such as gender norms, perceptions of rudeness and body language.

Culture as an iceberg
The iceberg metaphor of culture

Learning Objectives – By the end of the course delegates will be able to:

  • Describe the wide-ranging influence of cultural background on people’s behaviour, expectations and beliefs
  • Use a simple tool for recognising and responding to misinterpretations stemming from cultural difference
  • Reconsider their responses to the behaviour of others, to avoid cultural difference becoming a barrier
  • Show improved communication skills when communicating with those from other cultures

‘A fascinating course. Insightful, practical and funny!’
Feedback from a delegate at Glasgow ESOL forum.


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