My Collaborative Workshop on Intercultural Communication

During our Contact Days on April 7-9 a series of collaborative methods workshops were organised by the us -the teacher students- with the purpose to showcase and experiment with different learning methods that are used in educational settings.

This table below shows the programme we followed. Each had to pair or team up and decide upon one learning method to use in order to teach a certain topic.

# Sub-team (names) Method Topic
Tuesday 8.4.2014
9:00-9:45 Chryssa & Leena Role-play Interculturalism in education
9:55-10:40 George & Penny ”Board room” debate Challenges of prioritizing resources in education
10:50-11:35 Daryl & Carlos Buzz Group Remote Learning
11:45-12:30 Faisal & Kevin Learning Cell Learning theories
Wednesday 9.4.2014
9:00-9:45 Lori, Heidi & Taru Art Auction Key words from the curriculum
9:55-10:40 Camilla & Hanna Learning Café Learning by doing
10:50-11:35 Olivier, Tomi & Alex Learning by drawing Music theory

As you can see on Tuesday, April 8 2014 Leena and l organised and facilitated a collaborative work on the theme of ‘Interculturalism in Education‘. The teaching method chosen was role-play. Role-play is one of my most preferred learning methods as I have been performing in the theatre from a young age and I believe that as a method is efficient allowing students to be interactive, have fun and learn at the same time. There might be individuals that cannot loosen up and feel that they don’t feel comfortable role-playing but in my experience the majority of participants are active and enthusiastic.

First, a short presentation on Intercultural Communication on Prezi was given as this is one of the topics that interests me personally and professionally. I am Accredited Lecturer in Intercultural Management and Organizational Culture by The Hofstede Centre and I teach intercultural communication to students and to company representatives.

Prezi Inter

Then, we proceeded to the role-play workshop where participants were transformed into members of mysterious tribes and cultures, the Earth, Fire, Water and Glass people! Meet the Fire people, spicy, talkative, dancers, lovers!


Last, a short debriefing session was held where participants were asked why they had to reincarnate people from ‘another world’ and what learning points they took. As the timeframe was only 45 minutes to achieve all of the above, this session was short and could be longer to go deeper into what where the good points that emerge during the role-play and those could be documented and categorized. When I have been using this learning method to other student groups, the session lasts approximately 2 hours. Therefore, due to the short timeframe and in order to stick to the schedule there was only a few minutes allocated to the debriefing.

In conclusion, from both contact days I found that the Debate and the Learning by Drawing sessions were well-planned by my colleagues and I personally thought that I could use them during my teaching. In reality, earlier this academic year, I have facilitated one Debate with my Culture Export Management student on a hot topic regarding the Return or Not of the Parthenon Marbles in Greece. Regarding Learning by Drawing, I have used the method in classroom assignments where I present complex concepts and students are asked to draw their own interpretations of the topic. Also, last week when my CEM students and I were in Berlin for our study trip the students who organised the trip used the Learning by Drawing method to revive our memories from our trip.

Anastasia showing her drawing Hanna showing her drawing

I will leave you with this photo of my CEM students and I taking a unique pose at Theater Agency Galissas in Berlin! They seem to take on a role-play challenge in a heartbeat!


8 thoughts on “My Collaborative Workshop on Intercultural Communication

  1. Pingback: Teaching practice | Teacher Insights

  2. The photo brings back warm memories. Roleplay is a method, which suits my temperament. Sometimes I still wonder, should it be followed by some kind of “after-activity” where the good points that emerge during the roleplay were somehow documented, categorized etc. What do you think? Have you experimented with something like that?

    The resson why I ask this is that sometimes “the more serious people” don’t see the power of playful approaches, and fail to see any point in using e.g. roleplay and other collaborative methods. (When collaborative methods are used, there are always those, who give comments like “it would have been much more effective if you had given the facts in writing”, “do you think we a pre-scholers?” Etc.). That has made me wonder do these people even realize what could be learned!

    In this post you have described your session. Were there any methods some of your peers used, which you could think of using yourself?


  3. Thank you, Irmeli, for your constructive feedback! I have updated my post to include all the point you raised. Please check out my revised and updated post. It now includes my collaborative workshop as well as my contact day reflections.

  4. Nice update! My questions were rhetoric, but it was actually nice to hear your view also in print :), and what was best: the comment inspired you to add the pics from Berlin!
    – Irmeli

  5. Thank you, Irmeli! I was wondering whether I should reply in the comments or update my post. I chose the latter. My blog post became better incorporating my answers to your questions! You are a good coach and guidance-counsellor! 😉 My Culture Export Management student group are stars!

  6. Hi Chryssa, just to let you know I have been lurking on your blog and Prezi as I am planning a lesson (substituting for another teacher) and wanted to use the “Island Tribes” role play. Irmeli and David supplied me with the links as I didn’t have them on my own blog and couldn’t even remember who had run the session in the classroom.

    I will have 1h45min for my lesson so I should have time for the debriefing session afterwards. I’m thinking of leading into a discussion on cultures in project teams – my students are final year so they have all been members of many ad hoc teams for coursework assignments. Hopefully they will be able to articulate some of their experiences during the role play and the de-briefing. Your prezi contains a huge amount of info, I’m not sure whether to use Hofstede or Trompenaars core values criteria to kick off the session, or maybe get the students to come up with their own.

    One question: did you have a source for the role-play activity? I found something similar (Francis Debuyser, “Global Simulation” – The Building) and wondered if you had based it on that.

    Thanks for sharing all your materials and ideas.
    BW, Penny

    • Hello Penny, thank you for reading my blog and your message. My workshop on the various tribes is my own idea and I would appreciate if you give me credit by mentioning my name, if you decide to use my idea and content. Thank you in advance! I was not aware of Francis Debuyser, “Global Simulation” – The Building, I will check it out!

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