What a great game!  You might also enjoy the simulation "Rafa! Rafa!" (I'm not sure
who publishes it.)  It does a great job of illustrating cultural values and


Steven Runge wrote:

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> Jelaine,
> I like it. I like exercises that get people to "see" in some sense from a new
> point of view.
> The video "How Difficult Can This Be?" is also good for a similar
> purpose--getting people to see what it's like to have a learning disability.
> I've recently created an exercise (based on something I'd heard about in
> ESL-teaching courses) that raises awareness of the need for cross-cultural
> communication skills. Look below Jelaine's posting. Everyone's welcome to it,
> but understand that it hasn't been tested anywhere yet but in my imagination.
> I'm planning on using it in conjunction with Ross MacDonald's Master Tutor,
> Chapter 5.
> Steve
> Jelaine McCamish wrote:
> >  I wrote the following exercise to help our student tutors
> > put themselves in their shoes.  I let them know right off that we were doing
> > something different that might challenge their emotions and temper.  I
> > explained that all would become clear later.
> >
> > This exercise is in two parts.  The first is the actual "game" that I call
> > "Follow the Directions."  The second part is the discussion  of feelings,
> > comparing them to how our students feel in the classroom, how they feel in
> > tutor sessions, and how they feel in general.
> Ambassadors
> This group exercise is all about experiencing the joys and pitfalls of
> multicultural communication. We'll discuss what happened afterwards and how it
> has a bearing on tutoring, but for now, just give yourself over to the game.
> Game Rules
> Each group should choose an ambassador and a secretary. The ambassador should be
> someone who's a quick study, can adopt a role quickly, and is comfortable being
> in front of people. Nobody of that description? Choose someone at random with
> either eenie-meenie-mynie-mo, or one-potato-two-potato. The secretary will keep
> track of your group's decisions on paper.
> Each group will invent a set of cultural behaviors normal to its own culture.
> Don't worry about beliefs; all you're going to decide on are 7
> culturally-specific behaviors. Use your imagination!
> 1. Physical gestures that indicate Yes and No. (In America, for example, we use
> nodding and shaking the head. Think of two new ones.)
> 2. Proximity & location of standing or sitting. (When you sit or stand to talk
> with somebody, how far away are you? Do you face them directly?)
> 3. Use of questions. (Do you want an immediate, direct answer? An indirect
> answer? An answer in two weeks? Or do you use questions rhetorically, as a way
> to make a point? Perhaps none of these are quite right.)
> 4. How to answer a question. (Perhaps you answer all questions in the
> affirmative, to honor the person asking. Perhaps you don't answer questions
> immediately. Perhaps you answer with a question…)
> 5. Taboo topics. Choose 3 topics that cause offense, and rank them for their
> offensiveness. (For example, some Americans of northern European descent find it
> mildly offensive to talk explicitly about money. Others find it quite offensive
> to talk about matters relating to sexuality.)
> 6. Facial gestures for taking offense and for being pleased.
> 7. Standard inquiries or statements upon greeting. (e.g., many Americans of
> European descent say, "How are you?" and might comment on the weather.)
> 8. How to take leave of somebody in a formal situation.
> After each group is finished creating their culturally specific behaviors, you
> will be given a group task which will involve communicating with the other group
> through their ambassador.
> First, you will decide, as a group, what you will share with the other group.
> Then each group's ambassador will have the sole responsibility of representing
> that group to the other group's ambassador. Each ambassador may confer with his
> or her own group as often as necessary, but may not speak with anyone from the
> other group but their ambassador. And yet, you MUST learn from the other group
> how to carry out the task assigned, and you MUST attempt to help the other group
> learn how to carry out their task.
> (I hadn't yet come up with a task, but I was thinking of: You must learn from
> the other group how they locate, finance, design, and build public toilets in
> urban areas. I figure it hits on enough taboos that communication ought to get
> pretty interesting. And it's real-world: A friend of mine who helps create
> better living-conditions in Asian slums has had some funny, circuitous
> conversations about exactly this topic.)
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