Language and Culture

In the multilingual contexts where we work, having an adequate knowledge of languages and cultures is essential. Nurturing our anthropological skills furthers our ability to think and act appropriately. They improve our technical competencies, our effectiveness when partnering with others and enable us to foster community engagement, informed decision-making and ownership.

Here are the top 5 resources suggested by CBC to help your mentees to grow in skills related to Language and Culture

1. Reflection toolkits

These websites help you reflect about situations you have experienced and would like to understand better, and to come up with strategies to deal with similar situations. Gibbs Reflective Cycle (English) , Gibbs Reflechissant Cycle (français) and Reflecting on Experience

Tip: Ask your mentees to use one of these websites to further their understanding about a situation they have recently experienced. Debrief about what they learnt and how they would deal with similar situations in the future.

2. Qualitative Research Methods: A Data Collector’s Field Guide

This is an easy-to-read and comprehensive book about qualitative research methods. It includes modules on participant observation and conducting in-depth interviews. It is available for download here.

Pour des conseils en français sur la façon de faire de l’observation participante, cliquez ici.

Tip: Have your mentees read the module on participant observation, and then apply what they learn to an upcoming situation. Encourage them to write up what they observed, reflect about it and what they learnt from the experience.

3. Anthropology Allspice

SIL’s bi-monthly anthropology newsletter and Community of Practice (CoP). Anthropology Allspice (AA) provides a platform for discovering and sharing insights into the complexities of our different ways of life. The newsletter is in English and French. The CoP meets on the 2nd Friday of the intervening months between AA editions. We usually discuss issues arising from the previous AA edition. You can consult the index of the articles in the newsletter archive. If you wish to have access, please subscribe.

Tip: Encourage your mentees to explore the archive and to subscribe to Anthropology Allspice.

4. Managing your Language and Culture Learning

This seven module course is designed for the independent language learner. It provides a framework to help the language learner make progress toward their own individual language learning goals. Available here. Discounts for SIL staff.

Tip: This course could be used with a language learning coach or without.

5. Online Intercultural Tools

Knowledgeworkx have collected several tools to help professionals understand their options in using intercultural assessments available on the market.

Tip: Encourage your mentees to try out a couple of tools (eg.: 12 Dimensions of culture, Three Colours of Worldview) and discuss their results and questions with each other.

Further resources that might interest you

  • Watch this space 🙂

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