Intercultural Evidence

Activity Design 3: Intercultural Field Research

Name: Lindsay K Decker

Communicative Mode: Presentational Speaking/Writing

Intercultural Elements :

Knowledge/Reflection     Interpreting & relating   Critical cultural awareness

PPT Presentation: decker_portfolio_culturalrequirement_activity3_presentation

Live Presentation

Source Activity: Intercultural Field Research (Corbett, 2010) This particular activity did not make it to the final version of our textbook. I found it in pdf format at: file:///Users/lkorourke/Downloads/Intercultural_ART_JohnCorbettIntLangTeaching.pdf


Description: The activity should be broken up into three different lessons. Day one students explore and observe interactions in their community. Day two students will prepare a presentation. Day three they will present their findings to the class.
Context: High School: Beginning Chinese

·         Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of cultural practices in their own culture.

·         Students will be able to analyze the principles behind these cultural practices.

·         Students will be able to reflect on their own practices in similar situations.

Class Time: Day 1 Pre-Observation Activity + Outside of Class Observation Time: 30-40 minutes; Day 2 Prepare Presentation: 40 minutes; Day 3: Present Findings.
Materials / Preparation: Observation log, self-reflection, PPT to introduce activity elements, and “” accessibility (individual computers or computer lab) assessment rubrics, butcher paper or poster board for presentation of etiquette rules
Procedure: Explain to the learners, in pairs or groups of 3, are going to explore some public places of their choice, observe the interactions that take place there, compare with “” Chinese partner and then report the findings to the class.


Day 1: Brainstorm with the class of places that they might visit and observe, e.g: (a local shop, supermarket or shopping mall, a bar or restaurant, a bookshop or library, a community centre or gymnasium, a cinema, theatre, or concert hall, a dance class, a church, temple, or synagogue, etc.

In pairs or groups the students should choose their locations and then discuss the following questions:


1)      Will permission be required to be there? If so, how do we get it?

2)      How will we record our observations? (Notebook, Video Camera, Phone recorder, etc) (Ultimately an “Observation Log” will need to be turned in combining each group member’s observations)

3)      Will the students interview anyone? If so, what questions will they ask?

4)      Discuss the kinds of behaviors and interactions they expect to observe


Day 2: The students will get back into their groups and consolidate their findings on the observation log. Based on their collective findings, the groups will then recreate behavioral etiquette rules by finishing the following phrases:


1)      In this situation, you can…

2)      …is permitted.

3)      …is encouraged.

4)      …is expected.

5)      However, you are not allowed to…

6)      You must never…

7)      …is completely un acceptable.


Students will need to present their findings to the class accompanied by a visual. They should spend the rest of class-time completing the visual.


Day 3 Presentation:


Students will present their findings to the class. Following the presentation, students will engage their Chinese partners on “” The will write a self-reflection to their partners. In these reflections, they should tell their partners about culture practices in their own culture, analyze what the principle is behind each practice, and reflect on how their own actions align with cultural norms. In closing they should challenge their partners to conduct some observations about their own culture, and answer the same questions they answered in their self-reflections. Students will write about their partners’ answers in a follow-up journal assignment.

Recommendations / Variations: It is recommended that the teacher model a self-reflection of a particular practice to help students understand how to analyze the principle behind the practice. This activity will be conducted in English for beginning Chinese students in secondary schools. It could be modified to accommodate students at more advanced levels by conducting the activity in Chinese.
By conducting observations about their own culture and presenting them in rule format to the class, students will be demonstrating their knowledge of the culture. While presenting their findings to their online partners, students will conduct an analysis of the principles behind these practices as well as a personal inventory of how they conduct themselves relative to cultural norms. Ultimately, through this activity students will help their partners develop intercultural competence about American culture and provide an example for their Chinese-speaking partners of how to do the same for Chinese culture.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s