This post reproduces a post made in 2009 in the now unused Google blogspot. It’s reproduced here because much of what is said is still valid and useful.
I recently had the pleasure of attending a course on teaching culture designed and moderated by Barry Tomalin for International House London. The Business Cultural Trainer’s Certificate course provided an excellent theoretical grounding, but what I found particularly impressive was the manner in which the theory was always translated into practical ideas for training managers with a view to providing them with the kind of working models and practical takeaways that business people find so appealing and helpful.
To give you some insight into what Barry terms the “narrative” of the course and to illustrate the collaborative nature of many of the activities and discussions, here below, Barry introduces the course in his own words and provides a brief commentary on two short video clips filmed on the last day:
The Business Cultural Trainer’s Certificate course teaches trainers how to research, design, market and deliver a cross-cultural training course for business. As part of the delivery, we demonstrate and discuss a number of training activities. Here are extracts from two discussions about synergies and differences and about culture and perception. In the first activity, we invite participants to identify three synergies and three differences between their country and the country they have chosen to discuss. In this extract Claire, Annette and Fei are discussing China.
As you can see the discussion opens people’s minds to the idea that differences aren’t always differences and synergies aren’t always synergies!
As we see from this extract, cultural awareness is about changing the way you think about people as a result of understanding more about them. It’s about changing cultural perception.
As well as training teachers to provide effective cultural training, Barry has himself helped many organisations around the world resolve their cross-cultural problems and is also co-author of the excellent World’s Business Cultures: And How to Unlock Them, which I can thoroughly recommend to anyone looking to teaching cross-cultural communication, or planning to incorporate elements of cultural training into their language classes.
And lastly, here are some resources that Barry suggests for cultural research and training:
- Bennett M and J, 1998 Basic Concepts of Intercultural Communication, London, NB Books
- Gesteland R, 1999 Cross-Cultural Business Behaviour, Copenhagen, Copenhagen Business SchoolPress
- Guirdham M, 2005 Communicating across Cultures at Work, London, Palgrave Macmillan
- Hall E T 1990 The Silent Language, New York, Anchor Books
- Hofstede G, 1994 Cultures and Organisations, London, Harper Collins
- Trompenaars F and Hampden-Turner C, 2003 Riding the Waves of Culture, London, NB Books
- Gesteland R, 1999 Cross-Cultural Business Behaviour, Copenhagen, Copenhagen Business School Press
- Lewis R D, 2006 When Cultures Collide, London, NB Books
- Mole J, 2003, Mind your Manners, London NB Books
- Morrison T et al, 2007 Kiss Bow or Shake Hands, New York, Abrams Media
- Tomalin B and Nicks M, 2007 World’s Business Cultures: And How to Unlock Them, London, Thorogood Publishing
Language and Culture
- Kramsch C, 1998 Language and Culture, Oxford, OUP
- Stempleski S and Tomalin B, 2001 Film, Oxford, OUP
- Tomalin B and Stempleski S, 1995 Cultural Awareness, Oxford, OUP
- Regional Language Network
- POD – Professional & Organisational Development
- CIA – World Factbook
- World Business Cultures
If you have any questions or comments please feel free to add them here and either Barry or I will be happy to respond.