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Unit 1: What are Intercultural Competencies?

Weeks 1-3

Week 1

Please complete the tasks below, then answer the discussion forum questions each week and respond to at least 1 of your classmate's post each week in "Weeks 1-3" discussion forum (NOTE: To be considered for full credit, by the end of WEEK 3, you should have 8 discussion forum answers and at least 3 responses to your classmates for a total of 11 posts.) Remember to tie in what you have learned from the modular materials, and the Implicit Association Test (IAT) to receive full credit for your "Weeks 1-3" discussion forum posts. Make sure to copy and paste the week and question(s) in front of your answers. Refer to the Module Grading Rubric for Discussion Forums if you need additional guidance.

*Check Learning Contract for Optional Training (e.g., Panels, Deliberative Conversations and presentations (TBD)

*Completing the following tasks is required and should be included/referenced in your discussion forum answers.


  1. Read “What are Intercultural Competencies?” by Sabine McKinnon

  2. Think about your culture and the elements that make it unique.  Create three statements about your culture. Two of these should be TRUE statements about some part of your culture, and one should be a LIE about your culture. Click this link, then fill in your name, country of residence, and post your three statements (2 truths & 1 lie) about your culture.  

  3. Review this webpage on culture and identity: Cultural Exchange NSW, Promoting Intercultural Understanding in Schools

  4. Take one Implicit Association Test (IAT).

  5. Watch the following videos on Cultural Sensitivity, Diversity and Appropriation:

Forum Questions

1. Which Implicit Association Test (IAT) did you take and what did you learn from it? Please provide specific support for your answers (50 word minimum).


2. Based on what you learned from your tasks, explain in your own words why understanding elements of culture (cultural appropriation, cultural sensitivity) and identity are important in a cross-cultural learning experience like this one (75-150 words). Make sure that you cite specific information from the materials in this module in your answer if you would like to receive full credit.

Week 2

Cultural Competency.png

Please write a 1-3 page reflexive paper (250 word minimum) addressing the prompts below. You are free to write in either question and answer or research paper format for this assignment. Submit your work in "Weeks 1-3" discussion forum. Remember to tie in what you have learned from WEEK 1 to receive full credit. Refer to the Writing Rubric in your Learning Contract (LC) if you need additional guidance.

*Completing the following tasks is required and should be included/referenced in your discussion forum answers.

Cultural Competence Model.png

Directions: This reflexivity assignment should be written as a mini paper (2 pgs. minimum with citations). Please ALSO answer this discussion forum question: Based on what you have learned so far, why might being reflective of your own experiences with different cultures help you to be more culturally competent? Please respond to at least 1 of your classmate's post for a minimum of 2 posts in "Weeks 1-3".



REFLEXIVITY - questions:

  1. Explain how you would describe your "first contact" with someone from another country? This can include contact through personal communication, online gaming, email/apps, by phone, in person, or through some other exchange. What was involved in this exchange, what language(s) did you use, and did you encounter any cultural similarities and differences between your cultures?

  2. People in and out of a particular country can practice a variety of religious beliefs, speak different languages, have different local and regional customs, but also share common elements of culture. In a module like this one it is important to recognize that each person can feel strongly about their own worldviews and perspectives, but they can differ dramatically from person to person. This can be true within and across the US and Lebanon as well as many other countries. In light of your "first contact," do you think learning cultural competencies can be easier or harder in a digital environment with diverse worldviews? Do you think that being cultural competent is important in a diverse, international learning environment? Why or why not? (HINT: When answering these questions, try and step outside of your own worldview and pretend you come from a different culture that speaks a different language, has different religious beliefs, wears different clothing, has different understandings of digital tools and their importance, or some other cultural concept foreign to you. How would you feel learning in this environment? What might using cultural competencies help you better engage with diverse students and work in this module?)

  3. Imagine yourself in a leadership position (e.g., teacher, manager, business owner) and you are surrounded by a very diverse population (different genders, languages, nationalities, socio-economic backgrounds, races, and so on.) Using the four-part cultural competency cycle above, what types of activities could you plan to make an engaging cultural competent environment for all of your employees?  How might you use your own experiences in learning, communication, anthropology or other cultural knowledge to help you lead this diverse group?

Week 3

Watch the following video and respond the questions below. Post your answers in the "Weeks 1-3"discussion forum

Forum Questions:

  1. Can you think of a situation where using cultural competencies could have improved an experience you witnessed that included a diverse group of people (this can be a personal experience or an experience you observed)? Based on what you know about cultural competencies now, how might this situation be handled differently?

  2.  How is cultural competency an important concept in your major/profession today? (As part of this question, please play either Are you a Dream Hoarder Game or Spent - The Poverty Simulator. Note, these games may trigger your emotions, so reflect on what you learned in this module when you answer.) 

  3.  Final Reflection Post. Throughout this course module, we have explored cultural competencies. Look back at an international classmates' Mini Writing Assignment HW#1 (Cultural Diversity) and other discussion posts, then reflect on what you have learned about being a culturally competent global citizen by reviewing an assignment created by someone from a different country. Do you see anything in common and/or different with your own views of cultural competencies in the assignment you reviewed? What have you gained from this cross-cultural perspective/experience? What things do you find interesting about their perspectives? Any final thoughts?

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