A Case Study in Cross-Cultural Literacy

Year: 2000

Author: KEEN, D

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Cross-cultural literacy involves far more than the mechanics of language. It requires an apprehension of the framework within which language operates. It posits a two-way process involving sympathetic imagination, and a shared willingness and ability to see through others' eyes. It calls for insight into motives and agendas formulated in unfamiliar contexts and conditioned by discrete experiences.

This paper explores cross-cultural perceptions and patterns of interaction in the context of the shared experiences of Malaysian students, New Zealand-born students and New Zealand lecturers at the Dunedin College of Education, New Zealand. Data underpinning the paper was gathered using a range of instruments at the College during the period April-October 2000. The paper draws conclusions about current levels of cross-cultural literacy at the College, and examines the implication of these conclusions for effective programme design and course delivery in the future.