Weekly outline

    Study weeks:
  • PT512 Cross-cultural communication

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    Make yourselves at home!


    Dear Students! Welcome to the Course "Cross-cultural communication". We hope and pray you will have a wonderful experience studying with us and complete this course successfully!

    The very first thing we expect you to do is to follow our weekly schedule. We strongly encourage you to complete your lessons within the suggested time frame, which will require maintaining the pace outlined in your course materials. It is recommended that you take a genuine effort in regular forum participation. This allows an opportunity to learn from other students and enrich their learning experience by your views, ideas and discoveries, as you navigate through the course together.

    Before you get started, please, review the Course Description and the Course Schedule.

    Updates on your group activities, further instructions and other relevant information will be available at “Announcements” forum page.

    If you have any questions or messages to the course tutor, please, do this on  “Ask a question” forum page. While the tutor will provide you with support during the course, you should be aware of the self-discipline required for the successful study.

    You are welcome to submit your prayer requests to «Prayer Room» forum page.


      Before you get to the lessons, it is paramount that you review the course description and the timetable. They provide important information about the topics and readings, the required assignments and their purpose, etc.


    • Cross-cultural communication (Part 1)

      All of us are products of our cultural heritage, which dictates how we see the world and how we interact with the world. We tend to think that everyone else sees and interacts with the world the way we do. We tend to make decisions based on our cultural background rather than trying to understand the cultural background of the other person first. When something goes wrong  we tend to judge negatively and quickly. When you leave the comfort of your own culture and enter another, you don't leave your cultural baggage behind; you take it with you. You become the proverbial square peg in a round hole. At this point you can maintain your squareness, or you can choose to adjust and identify more with your host culture.


      This week Duane H. Elmer:

            - reads a parable about a monkey and a fish and invites students to share their thoughts and observations.

            - uses a chart to demonstrate the adjustment process of fitting into the culture;

            - explains what people tend to do when they experience differences;

            - invites the students to share their thoughts about culture shock.

    • Cross-cultural communication (Part 2)

      Whenever you are traveling to a new place, a map is a good idea. The same is true when entering a new culture. The Cultural Adjustment Map has  two roads - the upper track, beginning with an approach of openness, acceptance and trust, and the lower road, beginning with an approach of fear, suspicion and inflexibility. People tend to flip-flop between the upper and lower roads many times during their cross-cultural experience. What kinds of people do a good job in another culture? What qualities and characteristics does a person need to have to be an effective cross-cultural worker?  

      This week  Muriel Elmer:

             - explains how to use the Cultural Adjustment map;

             - emphasizes the importance of choices we make, when we have negative feelings;

             - shares the results of the research study which was done by the Canadian government;

             - looks at leading interpersonal skills and defines each of them.

      Restricted Not available unless:
    • Cross-cultural communication (Part 3)

      We usually communicate from our own frame of reference. We act out of our cultural heritage and it seems natural. Our culture can be male or female, old or young, parent or child and different ethnicities or races. In order for us to send messages and receive messages without misunderstanding, we need to know how all essential parts of the communication model should function together. When people don't know cultural history of other people,  they can feel rejected and misunderstood.

      This week Duane Elmer:

            -shares a story when his wife's desire to serve him with his favourite breakfast was misinterpreted and badly handled by him;

            - shares a story about the anniversary gift  which completely missed Muriel's frame of reference;

            - warns about jumping to conclusions when we don't understand another person's frame of reference;

            - explains where the frame of reference comes from;

            - uses illustrations to explain the negative attribution theory;

            - gives an important principle which will save you from embarrassment and hurt feelings.

      Restricted Not available unless:
      • You achieve a required score in Weekly Quiz 2
      • The activity Answer if you watched and read all for the week 2 is marked complete
    • Cultural differences

      Every aspect of cross-cultural communication is influenced by cultural differences. Cultural differences can make the relationship difficult and even cause conflicts. When you look at cultural differences  from the western perspective, you divide the world into western values and the majority world values. You will use some categories to identify cultural differences. How can we understand cultural diversity and make our communication more productive?

      This week Duane Elmer:

             - compares the western culture and the majority world culture by using categories of communication, community, attitude to foreigners, logic, conflict, conduct and reality;

             - asks students to answer the question  "Which is the greater sin: to tell a lie or to lose your temper?";

             - asks students to solve a cultural puzzle and make a decision;

             - explains the idea of losing face and how to avoid causing it;

             - shows that reality is defined differently in the western world and the majority world and uses interesting illustrations about the ill spirits.

      Restricted Not available unless:
      • You achieve a required score in Weekly Quiz 3
      • The activity Answer if you watched and read all for the week 3 is marked complete
    • Conflict management 

      Gaining a new set of cultural lenses will bring a more accurate interpretation of cross-cultural conflict situations. The better we are at interpreting culture, the fewer conflicts we will experience, the more we will be able to build authentic relationships. Wherever you go, you experience cultural differences that have the potential to become  cultural conflict. You need to know how to handle these differences; otherwise you may become mired in misunderstanding and conflict. If you try to manage conflict from your frame of reference, there is a good chance you will make things worse, even if your intentions are good.

      This week Duane H. Elmer:

              - shares his observations regarding conflict and principles for managing conflict;

              - helps us to  reconsider the biblical teaching on the unity of God's people and how it reflects his glory and affects the carrying out of his mission in this world;

              - asks students to identify causes of conflicts;

              - gives the definition of conflict;

              - looks at the dynamics of handling conflict;

              - summarizes five ways most Westerners handle conflict;

              - gives some illustrations to demonstrate how to resolve conflicts.

      Restricted Not available unless:
      • You achieve a required score in Weekly Quiz 4
      • The activity Answer if you watched and read all for the week 4 is marked complete
    • Conflict management (Part 2) 

      Do other cultures use different styles of conflict management? If so, why? What cultural values support other ways of handling conflict? Do these styles find biblical support?  Why forgiveness is important in dealing with anybody who has anger? Does the Bible contain an example of successful conflict resolution?

      This week  Duane H.Elmer:

             - gives some situations and asks students to tell him how to handle them and see if they understand the majority world's style of conflict resolution;

             - talks about  the role of a mediator in handling conflict;

             - shows how the one-down position can help to have peaceful resolution;

             - explains how stories and parables are used to solve conflicts indirectly;

             - talks about anger and the way it is expressed;

             - emphasizes that forgiveness is the only way of dealing with anger permanently;

             - shares eight important principles for communication and shows the effects of the strategy which brought understanding, reconciliation and peace.

      Restricted Not available unless:
      • You achieve a required score in Weekly Quiz 5
      • The activity Answer if you watched and read all for the week 5 is marked complete
    • Pilgrimage to Servanthood 

      Becoming a servant is a journey - a pilgrimage. While not complicated, the steps require considerable discipline and  perseverance to transact in cross-cultural situations because we are only accustomed to servant practices in our own culture.

      We will go through different steps, which may appear disconnected from each other. But they will make more sense when we go backwards - start from the end and work toward the beginning.

      Openness, acceptance and trust are three foundation pieces that we need to understand if we are going to be servants.

      This week Duane Elmer:

             - gives the definition of openness, acceptance and trust;

             - explains on what basis we accept people;

             -  gives an illustration based on his street ministry about the need to cultivate God's perspective on people;

             -  reads Romans 15:5-7  to explain what Christ's acceptance means to us ;

             -  points out biblical concepts and primary skills connected with openness, acceptance and trust;

             - reflects on what to do when trust is broken;

             - shows a series of cartoons about Snoopy who wants to build trust with the cat, and discusses his efforts with students.

      Restricted Not available unless:
      • You achieve a required score in Weekly Quiz 6
      • The activity Answer if you watched and read all for the week 6 is marked complete
    • Pilgrimage to Servanthood (Part 2) 

      Servanthood is revealed in simple, everyday events. But it is complex because it is culturally defined - that is, serving must be sensitive to the cultural landscape while remaining true to the Scripture. That is both the challenge and burden of servanthood.While not being easy, it is the calling of every person who wishes to follow Jesus, whether in your home culture or beyond. Learning, understanding and serving follow openness, acceptance and trust.

      This week Duane Elmer:

              - explains how to generate questions to learn more;

              - reflects on difficulties that people who transfer from one culture to another have;

              - talks about biblical concepts and primary skills related to learning and understanding;

              - shows how all the steps of pilgrimage to servanthood work backwards;

              - shares the biblical principles from Mathew 20:25-28.


      Restricted Not available unless:
      • You achieve a required score in Weekly Quiz 7
      • The activity Answer if you watched and read all for the week 7 is marked complete
    • заключительная неделя

      This week is the deadline for submitting your literature review and the written assignment. These are the prerequisites to obtain the permission to take the FINAL TEST.

      Keep up the good work: "The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name."