How long does a slideboom presentation created as a guest last?

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We were very honoured to be asked to cover this year’s Intercultural Management Institute conference on the theme of intercultural relations. The Institute is part of the American University in Washington DC and holds an annual conference.

absolutely huggable Dr Gary Weaver explains how vice-president Nixon in 1957 was over-zealous in applying the intercultural advice his aides gave him to the effect that in Latin America you should hug people you meet. The sight of so many totalitarian rulers being hugged by Richard Nixon enraged many and made the case for the establishment of the Institute.

absolutely diplomatic Sherry Mueller, President of the National Council for International Visitors explained the concept of citizen diplomacy as something which happens ‘one handshake at a time’ and expresses her delight at seeing an old film of Elvis Presley as a GI arriving in Germany and being acutely aware of the effect of his actions on the image of the US.

absolutely educational Harriet Fulbright, President of the J. William & Harriet Fulbright Center describes the making of a DVD about William Fulbright’s life, best known for setting up the Fulbright scholarships enabling Americans to study abroad. The centre is also well known for its role in producing the Global Peace Index.

absolutely stereotypical Roger Rosenthal of the Migrant Legal Action Program surprised the audience by dispelling the stereotype of the typical illegal immigrant. What picture does the phrase illegal immigrant bring to your mind? Listen to find out if you are just carrying stereotypes in your head.

The show ends with some comments from delegates and speakers about how the conference felt to them.

Many thanks to Laura Hash for recording and editing and thanks to the IMI for inviting us along.

The next show will be coming to you on the 18 April from Dr. Laurent Borgmann  in Germany.

So long…stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox
Editor: Peter Kron


[tags]absoultely intercultural, podcast, culture, intercultural, communication, Gary Weaver, Sherry Mueller, Richard Nixon, Elvis Presley, Harriet Fulbright, Roger Rosenthal, Global Peace Index, Laura Hash, Intercultural Management Institute, American University, Washington DC, Migrant Legal Action Program, National Council for International Visitors, citizen diplomacy, Fulbright scholarship[/tags]

create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands

A friend sent me this video and I thought I could use it in an English course I have just started with my colleagues. The video is comparatively long at 9 minutes. The story is rather strange but takes place in an ordinary flat so I decided that I would ask the students to note the names of as many objects as they could identify during the film. The film ends at a critical moment when the owners of the flat return to be confronted by the sight of six strangers there so I decided this would make a good ‘What happens next?’ exercise which they could then role play. Finally we also discussed which ‘room’ we liked best in the film. We also had fun trying to work out in which country the film was taken as the video site claims it was filmed in France but there are various clues which contradict this. All in all this turned out to be quite a good exercise in everyday vocabulary with a somewhat surreal twist.

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I didn’t make it this year but have had the Achill experience two years in a row. This week’s episode of Absolutely Intercultural does a fantastic job of giving a flavour of what this multicultural exercise is all about. Prior to going the first time I had great difficulty in visualising what I was letting myself in for but once I got there I realised what a tremendous expererience it was for all concerned even, or especially including those moments of straying outside your comfort zone which Stephen Manning talks about in another context.

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This morning I did a video interview in Danish about my use of educational blogs. This is the second time in less than a month that I have been interviewed on that topic. The first was by Niels Damgaard and today by eVisions, a private e-learning company here in Denmark. They were very kind and gave me the option of speaking in English but I think it is very arrogant of a resident foreigner like me not to use the language so I did both in Danish even though I can hardly bear to hear my British accent storming through on the recording. My recurrent nightmare would be to be interviewed by a TV station and end up with Danish subtitles which is what happens often on Danish TV when foreigners speak Danish. If ever there was a meme about my secret nightmare I think that would be it.

CV2 Canteen counter

Originally uploaded by foxdenuk.

This morning I went round our building taking photographs. I have now uploaded them to my Flickr account and labelled a couple of them including this one. Perhaps you need to see the picture at Flickr to be able to see the labels but I thought they could be used in vocabulary exercises and I am going to see if I can’t get my students/colleagues to label the unlabelled ones and maybe take additional photos which they can then label.

On Thursday I am going to return to an institution we visited just a couple of weeks ago in order to help them set up a blog to stimulate student interaction. A constant consideration is which blog service to recommend. In this case the target audience is not primarily language students and of course we live in Denmark. So an English language service is not necessarily a bonus. The blog market is also very dynamic so it is difficult to keep tabs on what is available. I may end up recommending even though I introduced them to elgg just two weeks ago. Is the potential for confusion outweighed by the potential benefits of a Danish user interface? You can get elgg in Norwgian (which is nearly Danish) but not in Danish as yet. I bet that within a year Danish will be available on elgg though. I am very conscious of the possibility of being seen as not consistent in my recommendations.

Next week I start a new English course for my colleagues here in CV2 to help in the globalisation process! From a practical point of view it is going to be very complicated to run as I have two or three distinct groups within the course with very different needs. One is a more advanced group where we are going to concentrate on presentations. I have pondered long on this and the only solution I can come up with is to divide the group into two and give one half a recording exercise (whether written, sound, pictures or video) while I interact with the other half.

I think the presentation half might benefit from live contact with other non-native speakers of English on a more or less regular basis. We start next Tuesday at 15.30 (13.30 GMT). I wondered whether Flashmeeting might be the best option regarding ease of use for live contact tho’ there won’t be many webcams in use.

The main question is what should they talk about. Here I need to be a little flexible in order to fit in with available opportunities but what I would like to work towards is that the presentation group work towards the production of several different ways of presenting our institution to the world in English. This means PPTs, narrated photo tours, texts, videos. So areas of discussion could include what do external visitors want to know about us? What is the best way of presenting such information? How do we get feedback on what we produce?

I work in a small adult education course centre offering vocational training in IT, accounts, languages and teamwork and leadership. We run quite a number of educational projects at all levels, internal, local, regional, national and international and so it would be interesting for my colleagues to be able to converse with people in a similar sort of organisation. I wonder if anyone could give me any leads?

No I haven’t forgotten. I’ve been away for a week, blah, blah. So what can I say?

1. I went through a phase of wearing green which went right up to my spectacle frames. It wasn’t deliberate, just that once I started I had to keep buying green ( a particular shade) so that it all matched. It got to the stage that the father of one of my students who came to see me for an extremely serious talk about a family tragedy greeted me with ‘Oh, you must be Mrs Fox, my daughter told me that you always wore green.’

2. I have been on a fisheries patrol flight in Greenland -part of an intensive week when I also played tennis and …

3. … piloted a small plane because I was learning to fly at the time.

4. During a short period of residence in Scotland when I had no job I volunteered as a hospital radio DJ. I have a feeling this is a particularly British phenomenon. An internal radio station where patients can have their music requests played. I did it so that I didn’t lose my ability to speak in public! Hospital radio DJs are the lowest of the low in the DJ pecking order I think. But I made some good friends there.

5. Family legend has it that I couldn’t speak English when I started school in England at the age of 5 but I learned it in about 3 months. This was because I was at home fulltime with my French mother. My father still has a reel to reel tape of me talking about a Punch and Judy puppet show we had in school in my heavily accented English.

Not sure who I can send this meme on to. May take another two weeks!


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