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Cultural Adaptation

Cultural Learning Courses and Activities

  • Learning Culture Through Purposeful Observation > a one-week online course offered regularly by Grow2Serve. MOP participants complete this course after they arrive on the field, but it is recommended for all cross-cultural workers.
  • Exploring Culture: participant observation for deeper understanding > recommended by Beth E. “It is a catalog of cross-cultural adjustment self-directed activities that students can click on and go through on their own. There is also a section for coaches to think about how to use the activities with their language students”. From the website: “These guided discovery activities for language and culture learners are based on work done by Herb Purnell, Ph. D. (professor emeritus of applied linguistics and TESOL, Biola University) and adapted by Jean Sodemann, M. A. (International Language Learning Consultant, ret., TEAM) in consultation “with the Centre for Lifelong Learning.”
  • Cultural Progress Report > used by SEND Spain

Cultural Resources Used For MOP Online

Guided Discovery Program (GDP)

Each section below leads to a page that contains activities, powerpoint(s), and guided discussion guides to be used in cultural adaptation. The last link also includes a facilitators guide that could be used by an L&O Coordinator, team leader or anyone helping new workers adapt to cross-cultural living. These documents were created and adapted by SEND Russia and have been edited to be used in any cross-cultural situation over a 1-2 year period of time.

Created by SEND Russia and edited for any cross-cultural context

Understanding Culture & Personal Cultural Values

  • Understanding Culture by Lloyd E. Kwast
  • Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes by E. Randolph Richards. Those who grew up in the west are quite often unaware that those in different cultures don't approach the Bible with the same assumptions that we do. This doesn't necessarily make us (or them) wrong, but it can lead to problems in communicating effectively. Since the Bible wasn't written from a Western perspective, it can hamper our own understanding of Scripture as well.
  • Communicating Across Cultures by Stella Ting-Toomey
  • Customs of the World: Using Cultural Intelligence to Adapt, Wherever You Are. One of “The Great Courses” taught by Dr. David Livermore of the Cultural Intelligence Center and available as an audiobook on Audible. Recommended by Ken G.
    • The course presents 10 different dimensions of culture:
      1. Identity (individualist vs. collectivist)
      2. Authority (low vs. high power distance)
      3. Risk (low vs. high uncertainty avoidance)
      4. Achievement (cooperative vs. competitive)
      5. Time (punctuality vs. relationships)
      6. Communication (direct vs. indirect)
      7. Lifestyle (being vs. doing)
      8. Rules (particularist vs. universalist)
      9. Expressiveness (neutral vs. effective)
      10. Social Norms (tight vs. loose)
    • It also groups cultures into 10 cultural affinity groups and gives some general cultural traits for each grouping.
      1. Anglo Cultures
      2. Nordic European Cultures
      3. Germanic Cultures
      4. Eastern European/Central Asian Cultures > e.g. Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Greece, Kazakhstan, Albania
      5. Latin European Cultures > e.g. Italy, Spain, and France
      6. Latin American Cultures
      7. Confucian Asian Cultures
      8. South Asian Cultures > e.g. India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka; Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, the Philippines; Pakistan and Afghanistan.
      9. Sub-Saharan African Cultures
      10. Arab Cultures

Cultural Intelligence

  • Cultural Intelligence Center founded and led by Dr. David Livermore, a graduate from Cornerstone University (BA and MTS) and Michigan State University (Ph.D). Former associate professor at Cornerstone University and director of the intercultural studies department
  • What is cultural intelligence?
    • From the FAQ section of the CQ Center: “There are more than 300 models of cultural competence with dozens of corresponding inventories. Most of these models are not based on a coherent theoretical model, and as a result, many of them mix together attitudes, personality traits (stable), values, experience, and capabilities (learned skills). Cultural intelligence, or CQ, is the capability to function effectively in culturally diverse situations. It is based on Sternberg & Detterman’s multiple loci theory of intelligence. CQ focuses specifically on learned skills that are critical for functioning effectively in culturally diverse environments. Skills, unlike values and personality, can be developed and improved through education, training, and experience.”
  • Leading with Cultural Intelligence: The Real Secret to Success by David Livermore. Livermore presents the 4 characteristics of cultural intelligence:
    • CQ Drive: your motivation to learn and adapt cross-culturally
    • CQ Knowledge: your knowledge and understanding of how cultures differ from one another. This section mirrors the information found in the ”Customs of the World“ world.
    • CQ Strategy: your ability to use your cultural understanding to develop plans on how to effectively function in cross-cultural situations, and to revise your strategies based on what you are learning in the situation.
    • CQ Action: your understanding of when and how to adapt your behavior for different cultural situations.

Ministering Cross-culturally

  • Ministering Cross-Culturally by Lingenfelter & Mayers - the authors present a model to help cross-cultural workers identify their own basic values.
  • Communicating Christ Cross-Culturally by David J. Hesselgrave. Recommended by Susanne Kuhnke. “The book helped me to understand why the Czech people have so much problem with the Roma (Gypsy) and refugees in their country. It helped me to look to different areas in cultures.”

Incarnational Ministry & Sacrifice

Dealing with Culture Stress

  • Culture Stress > a video clip of a presentation given by Dan Fishel to incoming International Students at the Columbia Business School. This video shows how cultural differences can result in stress. It is also interesting to hear a foreigner's perception of American culture. And find Part 2 here.
  • Am I still Me? > by Lois Dodds., discussing how the stresses that are created by a cross-cultural move often result in a deep identity crisis.

Models of cultural adjustment

  • A popular model or understanding of cultural adjustment is the U-curve “4 Stages of Adjustment”. This model was popularized by anthropologist Kalvero Oberg (1901-1973), one of the first to talk about culture shock. It has been widely used in missionary training.
  • But in the last few years, this model has been criticized for not being adequately grounded in research. See Darlene Jovellanos' article on the SEND blog about this rethinking of the U-curve model. Darlene suggests that there are other models that we might want to consider. Take a look at the Bennett Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity, and then watch this presentation about this model.

Assessments of Acculturation

    • CQ Assessment > measures an individual's capacity to work and relate effectively with people from different nationalities, ethnicities, and cultural backgrounds. This assessment measures your motivation (drive), knowledge, ability to strategize and ability to adapt. See cultural intelligence above.
    • Cultural Values Profile > measures individual preferences that influence approaches to life, school, and work
    • SEND is registered as a faith-based organization and so can purchase the assessments for people in ministry. Please contact Ken Guenther for more information.
  • CernySmith Assessments (CSA) are online assessments that measure stress in 5 major areas: Organizational, Cross-Cultural, Relational, Personal, and Behavioral as it relates to the adjustment and well being of people living and working cross-culturally. Dave & JoAnn Loewen in the US Office administer this assessment to SEND missionaries.
  • IDI This is an intercultural development inventory widely used by profit and not-for-profit organizations worldwide. SEND does not presently use this program.
  • IES - Intercultural Effectiveness Scale > currently being used in MOP.
  • Core Cultural Values and Culture Mapping. This is a quick self-assessment to understand your own core values. Used by SEND Russia.

For information on ethnography, please go to this page


Faith Ciasico, 2019/03/20 12:18

Cleaned - Faith

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cultural_adaptation.txt · Last modified: 2019/09/02 05:42 by faithciasico