Issue 48, November 2018

Ghada Awada & Nuwar Mawlawi Diab

Blog and Intercultural Grouping Effect on Learners’ Perceptions of Intercultural Communication Projects

This study investigated the effect of integrating Blog Assisted Language Learning(BALL) and small culturally -mixed group work on improving the perceptions of intercultural communication and writing research projects of university students (n=102) of different cultures enrolled in Advanced Rhetoric classrooms in two American universities during a 16-week period. The study employed Pre-test/Post-test control group design whereby the experimental group participants received the treatment encompassing the integration of blog-mediated instruction and culturally-mixed group work and the control group received regular research instruction. Data were collected using two surveys. The findings proved that the treatment was effective in improving the experimental group perceptions of the intercultural communication and writing research projects whereas the control group did not show similar improvement.

Keywords: Blog, Culturally-mixed group work, Intercultural communication, Perceptions

Agnes W. Muchura-Theuri & Jared Obuya

‘They wouldn’t allow me in their conversations’ - Communication experiences of immigrant traders in a Kenyan informal market

This paper reports findings of a study that investigated intercultural communication experiences of immigrant traders in a Kenyan informal market. The study employed a qualitative approach, hence a case study of one large urban informal market in Nairobi. In-depth interviews were conducted with twenty two participants purposive sampled and the findings were analysed thematically. Findings of the study revealed that cultural challenges, characterized by divergent language and communication styles, led to a breakdown in intercultural communication, and social communication exclusion of the immigrant traders by their hosts. Therefore, local authorities need to initiate cross-cultural adaptation programmes within the informal markets in order to enhance the efficacy of the immigrant traders in intercultural communication.

Keywords: Intercultural communication, immigrant traders, informal markets, cross-cultural adaptation, experiences

Toluwani Oloke & Sarab Kochhar

The African Union Commission’s Multinational Ebola Campaign Informed by and against the Decision-Making Model for Localization

This qualitative study documents and analyzes the 2014 African Union’s (AU) Ebola campaign in three countries (Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone) against the Decision-Making model for Localization. The paper looks at this case study using the localization model. Global public relations and communications management theories need theory building to study and explicate multinational phenomena. The case study is developed with interviews, news coverage, campaign materials, documents of the AU commission, and social media posts. Results indicate that a sequential and almost prescriptive process for localization’s execution missed the reality of resistance in complex environments. Localization’s strategies and tactics need pre-testing, monitoring, and adjustment, now included in a proposed revised localization model.

Keywords: Localization, Health Campaign, Global Public Relations, Globalization, Ebola, Africa Union

Jonas Stier & Margareta Sandström

Managing the unmanageable: curriculum challenges and teacher strategies in multicultural preschools in Sweden

In its political ambitions and pedagogical spirit to address an increasingly diverse population, the Swedish national curriculum for the preschool contains contradictory or even conflicting goals. On the one hand, the curriculum stipulates openness to, tolerance for and appreciation of cultural, ethnic, religious and social differences, and respect for the unique background of children. On the other hand, it stresses universal human rights and the fundamental values of Swedish society. How preschool teachers work with and make sense of such contradictory or even conflicting goals in everyday practice is the focus of this text. The research questions are: (1) How do preschool teachers describe the challenges they face in their daily work when they attempt to honour the stipulations of the curriculum? (2) Which strategies do they describe as using to manage these challenges? The empirical material consists of 14 focus group interviews with 41 preschool teachers from two highly ethnically and culturally diverse urban areas of metropolitan Stockholm. Results suggest that there are a number of recurring preschool situations where cultural and religious differences lead to dilemmas and potential friction between children, preschool teachers and parents. Results also show that the preschool curriculum provides little guidance and instead the preschool teachers must develop their own strategies to handle children’s and parents’ expectations and demands, for instance by using the children as cultural intermediaries. Overall, the preschool teachers adopt strategies that enable them to avoid “difficult” situations, which in effect risks placing the challenges on the shoulders of the children.

Keywords: Sweden, multicultural preschools, curriculum, preschool teacher strategies

Albert Agbesi Wornyo and Ernest Kwesi Klu

Teaching Academic Writing Skills using Intercultural Rhetoric Approach - The Criticisms and Intercultural Communication

This paper seeks to point out that intercultural rhetoric pedagogical recommendations for teaching academic writing skills promote second language socialization and intercultural communication and do not merit the criticisms raised against them. It outlines the pedagogical recommendations of intercultural rhetoric researchers, presents the arguments that have been raised against the recommendations and points out that the recommendations support second language socialization and intercultural communication competence. The paper argues that the use of native speaker norm as the rhetorical style for teaching English as a Second Language learners is in line with pedagogical models advocated by practitioners engaged in teaching English to learners of other languages. The paper concludes that the pedagogical recommendations encourage second language socialization and intercultural communication competence.

Keywords: language socialization, native speaker norms, pedagogical recommendations, intercultural communication, intercultural rhetoric

Ferat Yılmaz, Hanifi Şekerci and M. Cihangir Doğan

Empathic Tendency, Majority Culture Representation, and Political Conservatism as Predictors of Intercultural Sensitivity

This study aims to determine the variables capable of predicting the concept of intercultural sensitivity. For this reason, it uses correlational survey model. The participants in this study were the prospective primary school teachers studying in Dicle and Marmara Universities in Turkey. This study employed basically three tools for data collection-namely- Personal Information Form, Empathetic Tendency Scale, and Intercultural Sensitivity Scale. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis was employed to analyze the data obtained in this study. According to the results obtained in this research, individuals’ empathetic, sympathetic and egocentric tendencies, their properties representing the majority culture, and their levels of political conservatism account for 23.8% of their levels of intercultural sensitivity.

Keywords: intercultural sensitivity, empathy, majority culture, political conservatism

Cheng Zeng, Yanzhe Tang, Diyako Rahmani, Stephen M Croucher, & Leona K Gilbert

The sculpture of tick-borne disease media coverage in the United States and China

Media’s ability to enhance the salience of certain topics for the public and affect governmental policy-setting processes is widely recognized. This is particularly evident in health communication, where newspapers are one of the most important sources of health information. This study compares media depictions of tick-borne disease in the United States and China. Both countries are experiencing an increase in tick-borne diseases and have vastly different media landscapes. To investigate US and Chinese newspaper coverage of tick-borne diseases, a content analysis was conducted of four US and four Chinese newspapers. The analysis considered length, tone, chief actors, and themes present in articles covering tick-borne diseases from 2010-2015. The findings reveal significant differences between the two nations on length of the articles, chief actors portrayed in the articles, and themes present in the articles. The data also show: tick-borne disease stories were overwhelmingly framed in a neutral way in both nations; newspapers in the US featured more celebrity-related stories compared to newspapers in China; and US stories as opposed to those in China focused more on health policies.

Keywords: Agenda setting, health care, content analysis, Lyme disease

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