INTERCULTURAL COMPETENCE

In this world world human interactions are greatly affected by culture, cultural differences , and the ability of humans to understand and interact with multiple cultural frame works. In short, the quality of your daily life-from work to play to family and to community interactions-will depend on your ability to competently communicate with people from different cultures. Your neighbors may have speak different languages, have different values and celebrate different customs than yours. Your colleagues may be from various cultures. Your family members may consist of individuals from different cultural backgrounds and you may be expected to participate in intercultural teams with them.

There are consequences to maintaining competent interpersonal relationship in an intercultural world. Such relationships will inevitably introduce doubt about others’ expectations and will reduce certainty that specific behaviors, routines and rituals mean the same things to everyone. Cultural mixing implies that people will not always feel comfortable as they attempt to communicate in another language or as they try to talk to individuals who are not proficient in theirs. Their actions of ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ will be threatened when challenged with those who are from alternative cultural frame works. Many people will need to live in two or more cultures concurrently, shifting from one place to another as they go from home to school, from work to play and from neighborhood to shopping mall. The tensions inherent creating successful intercultural communities are obvious as well.

It is difficult for groups of culturally different individuals to live, work, play and communicate harmoniously. The consequences of failing to create harmonious intercultural society are also obvious – human suffering, hatred passed on from one generation to another , and unnecessary conflicts that asap peoples creative talents and energies and that siphon off scarce resources from other important societal needs.

REFERENCES

p.241 “Athabaskan-English Interethnic Communication’ by Ronald Scollon and Suzanne in Cultural Communication and Intercultural Contact, edited by Donal Carbaugh, p.284. copyright 1981 by Taylor and Francis

p.119; From Myron W. Lustig and Jolene Koester, Among Us; Essays on Identity, Belonging, and Intercultural Competence, 2/e. Published by Allyn and Bacon, Boston M.A. copyright 2006 by Pearson Education. Adapted by the permission of the publisher

Published by aliceonyango

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