Training to the international audiences requires the consideration of multiple cultural and social differences. The success of training largely depends not merely on the subject content but also on the mode of communication with the targeted audience and ability to meet their interests and cognitive needs.
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The logical guide for Kenya includes
- identification of national peculiarities;
- indication of the objectives of training practices and the audience’s demographics, social norms and expectations;
- arrival to the country and exploration of training location;
- program design (considering the lack of technical equipment and language differences),
- program delivery with the application of the knowledge about the colonial history of the country, and demonstration of respect to the cultural heritage of the nation.
The official language of the country is English, and it significantly facilitates the development of training program. Nevertheless, it is important to take into consideration the differences in the Australians’ perception of language and manner of speaking to avoid misunderstanding and achieve better results in education. Training logistics for Australian audience includes
- visa arrangement,
- investigation of cultural context and demographic background of the audience,
- development of training program that includes interactive practices,
- shipping the materials (three weeks prior the training beginning),
- arrangement of technical equipment and program delivery.
Training logistics for the US audience includes
- consideration of group characteristics and investigation of the regional culture,
- development of program according to the audience’s social and ethnic background (the US society is very diverse);
- inclusion of entertaining elements into the training program;
- practicing the confident delivery style and selection of appropriate dress-code,
- delivery of the program with the focus on the value of individualism which is commonly accepted by the members of the US community (McClay & Irwin, 2008).
Assessing Intercultural Competence
The intercultural competence consists of the elements that ensure the efficiency of international communication: knowledge of the language, values, cultural aspects, norms of social performance, etc. It is important to assess the intercultural competence to reveal the potential gaps in knowledge and to take the measures to improve the personal indicators in this area. The development of the intercultural competence increases mutual understanding in communication and acceptance which is highly important for successful work in the multicultural settings.
There is a large number of instruments for the assessment of intercultural knowledge. For example Assessment of Intercultural Competence (AIC) is a questionnaire aimed at the evaluation of knowledge of cultural differences in both sojourners and hosts (Deardorff, 2009). Assessment of Language Development (ALD) is focused on measuring the language proficiency and its development over time (Deardorff, 2009). Although the tools are meant to evaluate different aspects of intercultural competence, i.e. knowledge of cultural elements and linguistic norms, they are designed in a similar way and can be implemented both by the students and teachers.
The assessment tools may be regarded as the effective resources of theoretical and practical knowledge implementation that lead to the improvement of the academic achievements and attainment of the positive results in the development of the intercultural competence (Deardorff, 2006). However, along with the academic significance, the intercultural competence has the social implications due to the rapid globalization and diversification of society (Catteeuw, 2013). The assessment and further development of intercultural competence thus is an effective method for the increase in the quality of professional and interpersonal communication.
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Catteeuw, P. (2013). Portfolio assessment and intercultural competence. The International Scientific Conference eLearning and Software for Education, 3, 265-271. Web.
Deardorff, D. K. (2006). Identification and Assessment of Intercultural Competence as a Student Outcome of Internationalization. Journal of Studies in International Education, 10(3), 241-266. Web.
Deardorff, D. K. (2009). The Sage handbook of intercultural competence. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Irwin, L., & McClay, R. (2008). The essential guide to training global audiences: Your planning resource of useful tips and techniques. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.