The Transformative Experience of Cultivating Empathy in Teaching Intercultural Studies as Substantiated in The Sociolinguistics and Gender Studies Master One Community
ABSTRACT: Different value systems, coupled with diverging communication styles and behaviours can build up into stern instances of miscommunication and conflict among cultural groups, both within and across societies. In this spirit, my paper probes the following question: How can learners of intercultural studies attain the flair to understand the dynamics of intercultural contact and the practical skills to successfully engage with cultural diversity? This is tested against the postulation which states that learners of intercultural studies can scarcely generate a trans-cultural competence in an eight-week lecture series. With this in mind and through the intercultural studies lecture series, my main objective is to call attention to the significance of cultivating empathy which becomes pivotal in the intercultural perception enacted by and cultivated in the Master 1 (Sociolinguistics and Gender Studies) inter-culturality classroom. The research tool employed in the present study is: An eight week structured observation describing the intercultural studies lecture series in action. This includes the distribution of 4 assignments to students which aims at gauging the development of their intercultural sensitiveness all along the eight week lecture series in the light of their classroom interactions. Issues relating to colonialism, religion, gender, racism, prejudice, interdependence and many more are also closely summoned up in the wake of such interactions. The strategy implemented throughout the course elaborates chiefly on Sitaram and Cogdell’s Value Classification Chart (1976) which contrasts mainstream values at work in different cultural environments, and the Worldwork’s Framework of International Competencies (2010) which propounds manoeuvres for trans-cultural sensitivity.
ALTRALANG Journal, University of Oran 2 Mohamed Ben Ahmed. Oran, Algeria
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