For your concluding essay, think about the most likely or significant area of your life where you think you will have some form of intercultural interactions (example: doing business, travel, in the workplace, charity work, relations with people where you live, friendships, etc.). Then, select and write about the two most important topics (concept, exercise, an article, an image or video) from this course that will have a positive impact on those future intercultural interactions.
You must structure your essay as follows and include the part numbers/letters in your essay:
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- Part 1- In one short introductory paragraph, describe the circumstance where you anticipate you will have those intercultural interactions, characterize what type of cultural difference you expect to encounter, and describe what potential challenges you might encounter (stereotypes, communication issues, etc.) and why you selected that particular circumstance. Note: If you anticipate encountering intercultural difference in several areas of life, focus on just one area. If you already encounter this scenario (for example, if you travel a lot already) you can use that scenario if you anticipate that you will continue encountering this scenario in the future. If you seriously do not anticipate having intercultural encounters or really have no plans to come into contact with culturally different people, then you could write about coming into contact with another culture on a dream vacation that you win as a prize and that would take you to any desired location in the world.
- Part 2- Briefly introduce and describe the two very specific topics from this course that you chose to write about here and why you chose them. Important suggestion: Although there is no right or wrong topic, in most cases, try to strike a balance between too general (e.g. choosing a general concept like “culture” or “stereotype”) or too specific (e.g. simply describing the “video about saying no in Japan” without explaining its broader significance to your situation). Examples of appropriately specific topics might be things like, “Bennett’s stages of intercultural awareness”, or “rules for forming accurate generalizations rather than stereotypes”. Focus on picking topics that you can clearly see yourself using as tools to improve your intercultural interactions. This can include topics that improve your intercultural understandings, attitudes, or behaviors. You may have to select a variety of topics, and start writing a bit before you decide what your best two choices are.
- Part 3 – For the first of the two topics you select, write a paragraph or two with the following structure:
- Part 3A. Number and name the topic using all capital letters (e.g. “1. LEVELS OF CULTURE”) and cite its source (example: “Module 3: Part 1: Definitions of Culture“, section subtitled ”Levels of Culture”). In most cases, you will write a better essay if you do not pick something too general such as “culture” or “stereotypes” instead, you’d want “levels of culture” or “media based stereotypes”. Or instead of choosing “cautions about culture” which refers to a long list, say “culture is contextual” which is one of the cautions about culture we mentioned.
- Part 3B. Write 2 to 3 sentence summary or description of what this topic is about and say whether the topic is explained with text, audio, video or images in the module.
- Part 3C. The rest of the paragraph explains how this concept relates to the intercultural interaction scenario you anticipate encountering. Please clarify the relationship by citing specific aspects of your essay and if necessary adding more details about your own culture or the intercultural encounter you cited in your initial essay (for example, if you mention a concept related to “media stereotypes” and you did not talk about stereotypes in your initial essay about culture, then add a few words about how this gives insights into your culture or the intercultural encounter you had).
- Part 4: Do the same thing as describe above in Part 3 but for your second topic. Remember to include part 4A, 4B, and 4C.
- Part 5: After you’ve done the above for the two topics, write one concluding paragraph where you summarize what you wrote about and its significance, and whether you would change/improve how you teach about these topics (for example, if the module covered the topic using text and you feel a short video clip would be better).