Cross-Cultural Learning

2 ways to look at "Cross-Cultural" Learning

1. Educating students about more than just their immediate culture, in order to prepare them for a globalized world

2. Creating a classroom environment that fosters learning in a diverse student population

We're going to focus on creating a positive classroom environment for cross-cultural learners

What is the primary operative in the classroom?

  • Acquired through building on cognitive abilities, understanding patterns, and ultimately making sense of the world around them
  • By age 5, children have mastered the sounds of their native language
  • Through mastering their language, children have an easier time learning to read

What is a way that language can be used?

Language is used to propagate racism and discrimination, just because of the way that it has functioned for hundreds of years.

Race & Racism

  • Race is not a biological concept, but a social/cultural one
  • Racism does exist and pretending that it does not exist will not make it go away
  • Therefore, we need to raise a generation that knows how to effectively deal with race issues

How do we raise a generation that can effectivly deal with racial issues?

  • Make them aware that race issues do exist
  • Place emphasis acceptance and not jumping to conclusions
  • Embrace and celebrate differences
  • Empower students to know that they have a voice that can be the voice of change
By looking at all of these components of culture and recognizing them in both our own culture and other cultures we create an environment that celebrates differences

4 Levels of Interaction with Culture

  1. Tolerance: to endure someone's differences
  2. Accept: to acknowledge the significance and validity of said differences
  3. Value: to believe that the person and their differences are valuable
  4. Celebrate: to deeply care and understand for another's point of view

Resonance: to have a strong feeling of shared belief or understanding

Above all, we do not want to create a division, but rather a dialogue and appreciation for those who are different than our mainstream.

Now, let's take a look at a few different cultures and what we could do to accommodate them in our classrooms


Most of what you need is in the center of the article

Hispanic & Latino

Make sure to make it all the way to the "activity" section


Take note of the "Social Distance & Touching" sections


Jump down to the "German Society & Culture" section


Take a look at the "Indian Society & Culture" and "Meeting Etiquette"


Pay attention to the "Japanese Society & Culture" section

South African

"South African Society & Culture" would be a good place to start


Look at the "Attitudes" section halfway down

It is so important to understand a wide variety of cultures, and as easy as it is to generalize, it is extremely important to remember that every individual is different though they might come from a culture full of "norms."

Cultures of learning - vital feature of international education

Closing Questions

  • How will you personally seek to understand and resonate with other cultures?
  • In your classroom, what are steps you can take in your curriculum in order to bring your students to the "resonate" stage?
  • What will you do to change your use of language in order to not use it as a discriminatory tool?