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Home Info for universities, colleges & schools Resources Resources for staff DVD: Bridging our Worlds Extract 2: conceptions & misconceptions

Extract 2: conceptions & misconceptions

From Surviving, sequence 5: conceptions and misconceptions

Section 2: Surviving
Topics: day to day, alcohol, language, religion, conceptions and misconceptions, social life, health
Extract from "Note to trainers"

This is the longest section, covering a wide range of topics relevant to students’ day-to-day life and well-being. It is unlikely that trainers will want to show the section in its entirety. Rather it is recommended that specific sequences are selected according to the roles within the training group, eg accommodation or catering staff; the desired focus of discussion, eg Language or Health; or sequences can be combined, eg Social life and Alcohol, eg for Students’ Union representatives....

Social life raises questions of isolation and loneliness while Conceptions and misconceptions illustrates questions of stereotyping (clips 1, 2, 8 and 9), some of the cultural dimensions identified by Edward Hall (1959, 1966, 1976, 1983) such as space and time (clips 3, 4, 5, 6) and attitudes to age (clip 7). Clip 5 which deals with politeness can also be linked to clip 2 on ‘rudeness’ in Culture shock in section 1, Arriving.

Extract from "Questions that can be asked"

  • How might international students’ perceptions of the areas of life found here differ from those of some UK students?
  • How far is it an institution’s responsibility to provide a culturally familiar lifestyle for international students and how far is the responsibility to introduce students to the culture and values of the UK or the local region?

Extract from "Exercise 4: Why do British people do…?"

Training context

Any training course exploring ‘cultural awareness’.

Training rationale

This exercise represents another approach to the exploration of what it means to occupy a certain cultural position and origins. It is a most complex task to attempt to describe one’s own culture and how that affects one’s attitudes and behaviours, one’s communication and relations with others...

Instructions to trainers

  • Invite several international students to assist you in stimulating the development of such questions.
  • You might wish to involve them within this training exercise to ask such questions. In which case we would recommend that the students are selected carefully and confident about their role. Or
  • You might just reproduce their questions for the group to address.

Supplementary exercises from Working with International Students

  1. Attitudes and perceptions (p142)
  2. Attitudes towards others (p78)
  3. Models of cross-cultural adaptation (p99)
  4. Public and private (relates to concepts of ‘politeness’) (p156)

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