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 15-20 minutes, including the briefing and debriefing. In addition to conducting the simulation for your classmates, you will need to hand in…

  1. the materials associated with your simulation (e.g., briefing notes, role sheets and explanations, instructions for how the follow-up to the simulation was handled).
  2. 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.
  3. a revised (i.e., improved) set of materials that show how you would conduct the simulation better if you had to do it again.

[Note that all of your simulation-related materials should be detailed enough so that someone else would be able to carry out the simulations just by reading your description. So, you need to be EXPLICIT. All the materials that you hand in will need to be well-formatted as an MS Word file and handed in no more than two weeks AFTER you conduct the simulation. You’ll get no credit for doing the simulation unless you hand in these written materials as well. 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.]

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 first class we made tableaux vivants based on concepts such as “respect,” “trust,” “justice,” 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.

In a few of our classes, I distributed “critical incidents” from the book Culture and the Clinical Encounter: An intercultural sensitizer for the health professions. A “critical incident” was presented and then four possible explanations for the “misunderstanding” were offered. The participants (i.e., you…the students) had to discover the best explanation. You may use a format like this as your “simulation” activity. Here is a PDF of one that teaches something about Cambodian culture.


Kei Ogawa, Anna Yamanaka, and Haruka Tanaka

[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).]

Reiko Hiratsuka, Jin Sato, and Riho Higashida

[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).]


Miho Imazu, Koji Inoue, and Saki Morita

[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).]


Kotaro Neshi, Asami Iida, and Yurika Hayashi

[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 Ishikawa, Kent Kato, and Aika Komatsu

[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: Masami Hattori and Yoshihiro Fukaya,

[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: Hiromi Mashimo, Yuki Matsui, and Natsuki Kashiwase

[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: Ran Hamuro and Yuriko Morisawa

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

Group 3: Chika Usami, Asuka Miyamoto, and Rika Kato

[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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