Cross Cultural Understanding
What is cross culture ?
Terminology within the cross cultural communications field can something be baffling to those reading the literature,websites or promotional material.Many ask what is the diference between ‘intercultural’ and ‘cross cultural’?What is ‘cross cultural awareness’ as opposed to ‘cross cultural knowledge’ or,are’cultural sensitivity’and ‘cultural competence’the same thing?
With a view to clarifying some of the above mentioned terminology,this module will examine terms used in relation to building cross cultural understanding within the need of learning english as a foreign language.
Cross cuktural understanding simply refer to the basic ability of people within business to recognize,interpret and correctly react to people,insidences or situations that are open to misunderstanding due to cultural differences.The fundamental intension of cross cultural training is to equip the learner(s) with the appropiate skill to attain cross cultural understanding.
Once the foundationsof cross cultural understanding have been laid,the learner(s),either through continued training or experiences within the workplace,gradually attains a more acute appreciation are cross cultural knowledge ,cross cultural awareness,cross cutural sensitivity and cross cultural competence.Although all the term may appear similiar in meaning,suitable differences exist between them.
‘Cross Cultural Knowledge’ is critical to basic cross cultural understanding.Without it,cross cultural appreciation cannot take place.It refers to a surface level familiarization with cultural characteristics,values,beliefs and behaviors.
‘Cross Cultural Sensitivity’is a natural by-product of awareness and refer to an aility to read into situations,context andbehaviors that are culturally rooted and be able to react to them appropriately.An suitable response necessities that the actor no longer carries his /her own culturally determined interpretationsof the situation or behavior(i.e. good/bad,right/wrong) which can only be nurtured through both cross cultural knowledge and awareness.
‘Cross Cultural competence’is and should be the aim of all those dealing with multicultural client,customers or colleagues.’Competence’is the final stage of cross cultural understanding and signifies the actor’s ability to work effectively across cultures.Cross cultural competency is beyond knowledge,awareness and sensitivity in that it is the digestion,integration and transformation acquired through them,applied to create cultural synergy within the workplace.