Handouts related to Intercultural Communication Seminar (7)

In the course of this semester, students will be creating their own Intercultural simulation activities, by turns. Please use the “Journey to Sharahad” [Click the pinkish text to download a PDF of the activity] simulation as a model for your own. Of course, yours does not need to be as complex and it should be possible to carry it out within 15 minutes, including the briefing and debriefing. You will need to send me the materials associated with your simulation (revised, based on feedback you got when carrying out the simulation, and well formatted as an MS Word file) two weeks AFTER you conduct the simulation. You will also need to submit a reflection paper (at least, 150 words from each member of your group), in which you give your impressions of how the simulation was carried out, problem points, and areas where it could have been improved. I am giving you additional time to submit your simulation’s plan to encourage you to incorporate improvements in the activity that you thought of after carrying it out.

Note that the purpose of the simulation should not be merely “to have fun,” although having an enjoyable time is certainly not prohibited. There should be a clear point to each of the simulations. They should provide ways to experientially understand some aspect of intercultural (or, at least, intergroup) communication. This is a great chance to exercise your creativity. The activities that you devise do not need to stick strictly to the “simulation game” format of Journey to Sharahad. You might remember that in our second class we made tableau vivants based on concepts such as “delicious,” “hope,” “love,” and “tragedy.” I photographed them and asked you to come up with words you associate with the concepts as well. We discussed how your cultural backgrounds, or other factors, might have influenced your verbal and nonverbal responses. Although not exactly a “simulation,” it would be acceptable to conduct an activity like this, as long as it addresses the specific issues that are assigned to you. It is important to bring into your briefings and debriefings some of the concepts that you’re learning in our course textbook or in the other readings.

At the end of our class on 11/29, I distributed “critical incidents” from the book Culture and the Clinical Encounter: An intercultural sensitizer for the health professions. We went through some of them in groups. Although there wasn’t enough for you to study them thoroughly, I wanted to show you an alternative format for intercultural simulations. That’s because the format that has been used by most of the presentation groups so far is getting rather monotonous. For variety, and to teach about SPECIFIC cultural practices of certain groups (rather than fictitious groups), consider using a format like this as your simulation activity. Here is a PDF of one that teaches something about Cambodian culture.


Kenta Birney, Miki Kosen, Naoko Maru

[Discrimination or prejudice in an Educational Context]


Group 1: Wataru Akimoto, Yui Fujimura, Yuiko Date

[Helping immigrants and their families adjust to their new surroundings/ In your simulation, try to illustrate points that come up in Chapter 4 of our course textbook (pp. 98-110)]

Group 2: Kento Ota, Chiaki Ota, Yukiko Sakurai

[In your simulation, try to illustrate points that come up in Chapter 6 of our course textbook (pp. 149-152), especially how syntactic, semantic or pragmatic rules of language differ according to culture.]


Group 1: Kaho Oishi, Reimi Osako, Katsuyuki Oshita

[Through your simulation, illustrate points that come up in Chapter 6 of our course textbook (pp. 156-163), especially how language has a social reality function, a group identity function, or a social change function.]

Group 2: Sae Miyazaki, Kenji Niimura, Honami Numajiri

[Through your simulation, allow your classmates to experience a variety of verbal styles (refer to Chapter 7, pp. 172-182).]


Group 1: Seika Sato, Airi Shigeki

[Through your simulation, your classmates should gain an awareness of how artifacts and clothing are used to communicate and for “impression management” (refer to Chapter 8, pp. 200-205).]

Group 2: Mayuka Shinohara, Chisako Tajima, Yui Takashima

[Through your simulation, allow your classmates to make use of a full variety of gestures–emblems, illustrators, regulators, and adaptors–and understand how their use may differ according to culture (refer to Chapter 8, pp. 210-212). Try letting your classmates experience some unusual gestures actually used by various cultures rather than making up ones for a fictitious cultural group. To do that, you’ll need to do some research outside of the textbook.]


Group 1: Tomomi Takasu, Sayuki Takeuchi, Mayuka Tamagawa

[Through your simulation, allow your classmates to understand how we interpret and evaluate the behavior of outgroup members by making “attributions.” Try to have your classmates experience how “fundamental attribution error,” the “principle of negativity,” the “favorable self-bias principle” operate (refer to Chapter 9, pp. 241-244).]

Group 2: Ami Tsutaya, Yukiko Uno, Yurika Yamamoto

[Through your simulation, allow your classmates to gain an understanding of different types of discrimination and their effect on people (refer to Chapter 9, pp. 247-255).]


Hisashi Yoshii, WU Yueting

[Through your simulation, allow your classmates to understand the difference among “ethical relativism,” “ethical absolutism,” and “ethical universalism,” including their strengths and weaknesses (refer to Chapter 13, pp. 334-354).]

[Click on this file for a glossary of terms that appear in our course textbook.]


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