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Communicating With Different Cultures

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Communicating with Different Cultures

Communicating with different cultures can be a difficult task. All of our cultures have a distinct set of beliefs, customs, and rules. We may not be aware that we relate to each culture differently because of personal biases and stereotyping that has been embedded is us from birth. We react in a subconscious manner based on beliefs about that particular culture(O‘Hair, D., Wiemann, M., Mullin, D. I., & Teven, J. (2015)

The challenge for communication should be addressed because of our diverse society in the classroom and workplace. We are all products of our individual culture. We respond to cultures differently, because we are different. It is important to recognize our similarities and differences with respect to our cultural beliefs and customs.

I am aware that that I communicate with special needs community with more compassion than others. My tone and understanding are different when I am speaking to them. I tend to use more gestures and body language. I am more direct and precise when speaking to my co-workers. I think I am more polished and probing when I communicate in the political arena. When I am addressing parents, I tend to speak in an empathetic manner, always trying to show support and remain professional.

Here are some strategies I use to help me communicate more effectively.

  • Watch for non-verbal cues: This is very important to ensure effective communication with your audience. Often times we can get cues from the group we are communicating with by body language and gestures. A nod can mean that we are communicating with each other and ensuring a sense of agreement.

  • Be honest and open-minded with the audience: The audience will respect you if you are open-minded to their opinions and do not come off as a know it all. Communicating can be a difficult for the best communicators. Respect your audience as contributors not the enemy (O’Hair, D., Wiemann, M., Mullin, D. I., & Teven, J. (2015)

  • Check for understanding and feedback: Give your audience a chance to ask questions for clarity. Sometimes we think the audience understand everything we have communicated, but this simply is not true. An effective communicator will seek for understanding of subject matter. In the end allow time for positive and improved feedback. An effective communicator will want to know how they can improve. This can be done in written form or oral.

    Although communication can be difficult at times (especially, when we are focused on using the Platinum Rule). There are numerous strategies that can be demonstrated in effective communication that can make many of us great communicators. It takes time and a lot of practice. I am elated to know it is an attainable goal. A great communicators will excel in life and will most likely improve the life of others. One of my personal goal in life is to be an effective communicator.

    Reference:

  • O’Hair, D., Wiemann, M., Mullin, D. I., & Teven, J. (2015). Real communication (3rd. ed). New

    York: Bedford/St.Martins

     

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Communication Style and Skills

Communication Skills and Styles

The characters relationships appear to be  non-agreeable and oppositional. The characters appear not to like each other at all. I see pounding on the podiums and tables with fists. I observed rapid eye movement and eye rolling. I see the characters looking around and turning their backs on the communicators. Some characters looking at their watches and on the floor. Some characters are smiling, others are laughing really hard, and some are frowning. Some characters were shaking their heads in a No! No! Manner. Some characters seemed agitated.

I was watching a debate between a mayor and city councilmen. The debate was over an increase in the customer’s city’s electric bill. I assumed that all the characters truly believed in what they were communicating. They are firm believer in their plot. Some of the characters were in agreement about the issue being debated and some were not.

The nonverbal and verbal cues were strong as the community shared their opinions and oppositions to the rate increase and the councilmen suggested that all customers cut back on the usage. The community leaders could not believe the mayor and councilmen wanted them to cut back and increase their monthly rates. I assumed the community leaders felt they had valid reasons to roll their eyes and become agitated.

My assumptions would have been the same if I had known the characters in the debate. Nonverbal communication is ambiguous (O’Hair D., Wiemann, M., Mullin, D. I., & Teven, J.  (2015). Uncontrollable eye movements, changes in speech, and body language are all very strong nonverbal cues when communication is taking places. I hope my colleagues will focus on the fact that ,”Nonverbal cues are used to manages the impression and regulate interactions of communication in a variety of relationships and situations.”(O’Hair, D., Wiemann, M., Mullin, D. I., & Teven, J.  (2015).

Reference

O’Hair, D., Wiemann, M., Mullin, D. I., & Teven, J. (2015). Real communication. (3rd. ed). New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

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A Competent Communicator

  •                                      President Obama at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem on Thursday (Jan. 19 ...

I have chosen President Barack Obama as my model representing an effective communicator. Read on as I express why I have chosen him. When I listen to President Obama deliver any message, I do not just hear just words. I watch “body language.” I see penetrating eyes, conviction, confidence, knowledgeable, and a sense of belief in his articulation of the subject matter. I think President Obama is a competent communicator because he possesses skills that conveys a message that is filled with authority, sincerity and promise in his delivery. These are only a few characteristics of an effective communicator that I one day want to possess.

President Obama connects with the audience. When he speaks he gets the attention of the audience in a manner that he is speaking to each person individually .He know the appropriate time to use humor to address delicate and serious topics.  His eloquent speaking skills along with his wit and being able to relate to the audience is what made him go from an unknown to someone that the public could not get enough of. He has raised the bar for future presidents that run for office.

Many people want to know why President Barack Obama is such a competent communicator.  I think it comes naturally and he is comfortable speaking, therefore he is able to communicate his message and be more persuasive. This is where practice with speaking in general, and the speech in particular, will be most effective. Confidence and belief in the message will come across as convincing. The only way to develop confidence in speaking is to practice at every opportunity. I get very nervous when it is time to speak in public.

I want to emulate President Obama speaking skills. I have learned some significant speaking tips by watching President Barack Obama speak. He is always very familiar with the content of each speech and committed to the message. He shows no sign of doubt that what he is speaking about is the most important thing at the time. The tactics he uses make him seem approachable, real, and believable. A good speaker will come across as very trustworthy. His speeches always start with a friendly joke, often about an on the spot observation. Once he has the crowd in a good mood, he then can make his points and defend them. I try to remember the tactics when speaking to an audience.

Those who are comfortable speaking will be able to better communicate their message and be more persuasive. This is where practice with speaking in general, and the speech in particular, will be most effective. Confidence and belief in the message will come across as convincing. The only way to develop confidence in speaking is to practice at every opportunity. Putting political views aside, it will be hard for anyone to win the presidency over Obama because there is no candidate thus far that has his speaking skills in my opinion.

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Professional Goals and Hopes

Professional Goals and Hopes

  • One hope that you have when you think about working with children and families who come from diverse backgrounds (any format and any length)

One hope and aspiration for me as a professional working with culturally diverse students and their families is to possess and develop great and helpful teachers’ communication skills.   I want to better understand the communication patterns and styles that emerge during parent-teacher conversations that will be sufficient to both parent and child.

The more aligned the families and teachers were in their life values and experiences the more likely they were to develop shared meanings.  Teacher preparation courses are needed  to prepare teachers to teach divers need and incorporate more interpersonal communication skill building into curricula so that teachers are better prepared to develop shared meaning with families..

It is important for teachers to examine their own attitudes toward people who think and look different than they do. In the classroom, it’s comfortable to call on the students whose opinions, speech, and attitude match the teacher’s. But it’s often the quiet students feeling uncomfortable with a new culture and a new language who need personal attention from the teacher to empower them to participate more fully.

Many immigrant parents don’t feel comfortable at school, at home they are actively supporting their children’s education making sure homework is done, checking up on their friends, keeping tabs on their time after school, and helping them plan for the future. When you investigate beyond the surface, you find that these parents face similar parenting issues as their American-born peers.

Teachers also need to identify nonthreatening opportunities to welcome parents with diverse backgrounds to the school. At the end of a unit of study, teachers can invite parents into the classroom so the students can share their achievements with them. As opposed to the stereotype of not caring, parents frequently feel left out, just waiting to be asked to be involved.

Teachers must ask themselves tough, challenging questions about their expectations and how they respond based on them. Are classroom discussions dominated by students from mainstream American families who appear more engaged and have views closer to the teacher’s? Are white, middle-class students chosen for select programs because their parents know how to advocate for them? Are students of color and those from lower-income backgrounds placed in low reading groups because their parents don’t connect well with the teacher? Teachers need to move beyond stereotypes that may be grounded in their own limited frame of reference or myths about “good families.”

One goal you would like to set for the early childhood field related to issues of diversity, equity, and social justice (any format and any length)

I want to see classroom free of biases and stereotyping.

  • A brief note of thanks to your colleagues:

Thank you classmates! I learn many new insights and developed a more in-depth knowledge concerning “isms” and microggressions.

Reference:

http://www.diversityissues.com

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Welcoming Families From Around the World

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Africa has a rich culture and I am excited to learn more about the differences and similarities as they relate to each tribe. Culture is more than singing songs, holiday cooking, religious traditions, or language; it is an experience unique to each family. Educators will need to stimulate the intellectual development of all children and their individual cultures.

  • At least five ways in which you will prepare yourself to be culturally responsive towards this family:

 Educators will need to engage students in activities that reach out to the students in ways that are culturally and linguistically responsive and appropriate.

  • Educators will need to look carefully at cultural assumptions and stereotypes that enter the classroom that may affect connectivity.
  • Educators will need to over biases
  • Educators will need to motivate students effectively in the learning process.
  • Educators must be knowledgeable of their individual students and their academic abilities, instead of catering to racial or ethnic stereotypes, prior experience with other students, or similarities backgrounds.
  • I would add African artifacts and proverbs written on sentence strips around the classroom and in the Social Studies Welcome Center.African culture is an essential element in understanding and appreciating ones culture. It is crucial to academic success and performance that is crucial to culturally responsive pedagogy.
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A brief statement describing in what ways you hope that these preparations will benefit both you and the family

Classroom teachers are often time the first person to meet an immigrant that can relate to outside their community nd culture. We want them to feel relax, welcome, and respected as individuals with similarities and differences in American’s culture  It’s a relationship that can provide the emotional scaffolding necessary to cross the linguistic and cultural divide between country of origin and country of residency. Teachers can help English language learners and family members to acquire language skills and foster inclusion in school and community.

Reference:

www.africanculturalcenter.org/5_4culture.html

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The Personal Side of Bias, Prejudice, and Oppression

What memory do you have of an incident when you experienced bias, prejudice, and/or oppression, or witnessed someone else as the target of bias, prejudice, and/or oppression? Keep in mind that one can encounter such incidents in real contexts, including online environments, as well as in fictional ones, such as movies, books, television shows, and the like.

I recently viewed a movie where prejudice and biases were strongly apparent.  An African American male had fallen deeply in love with a Caucasian young lady and she loved him dearly. They wanted to get married. Both fathers expressed many concerns in the beginning and were opposed to the marriage. The concerns went beyond the couple. The fathers were concerned with the biases and prejudices the grandchildren might encounter.  Both mothers supported their son and daughter and was caught-up in the rapture of loving. They totally dismissed any prejudices or biases concerning the marriage.

The maid, who is an African American opposed the marriage, and expressed her concerns vividly. She voiced her angry and biases outwardly to the African American male. She stated, “You are out of your place.” She had no empathy for what the couple felt in their heart and did not see race.

Children of mixed parentage account for a growing population in early childhood programs. The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reported 620,000 births of children with one Black and one White parent in 1990 and predicted a continuing increase. A similar pattern is seen for marriages between other races and for the birth of children with other dual heritages. Much like divorce, the stress related to interracial marriages comes from society’s disapproval of the unions of two people of different races. The stress for children comes from a kind of ambiguous ethnicity or conflicts about their dual ethnic identity (Nagel, 2010).

In what way(s) did the specific bias, prejudice and/or oppression in that incident diminish equity?

The bias and prejudice diminished equity when the maid expressed her biases by stating that the African American male was out of his place, with no regards to his feeling as a human being. A great example of Microaggression was displayed in her reaction to their marriage plans (Sue, 2010).  Microassault was expressed when the maid purposely displayed remarks to hurt the male. The pain is intense when displayed purposefully to hurt and bring you down as a human being.

What feelings did this incident bring up for you?

I can feel the hurt and pain of loving someone regardless of race and my parents did not approve.  I can feel disappointment, anger, and many more emotions. Sadness comes to the surface more than any emotion. How can one not be happy for “love?”

What and/or who would have to change in order to turn this incident into an opportunity for greater equity?

I think the fathers and the maid needed counseling. Later in the movie, the dads came to conclusion that they were old and set in old fashion ways of thinking and problem solving.

Racism has no place in society past or present. This was an old movie, but had some present day problems with biracial courtship and marriages. This was a great opportunity for the dads to look at the positive side of loving and be an example for the neighbors who were disturbed with the courtship and marriage. Sometimes we must lead by example.

References:

Excerpt from Early Childhood Education: Birth – 8: The World of Children, Families, and Educators, by A. Driscoll, N.G. Nagel, 2008 edition, p. 192-193.

Sue, D. W. (2010). Microaggressions in everyday life: Race, gender, and sexual orientation. New York, NY: Wiley