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Culture Assimilators, Culture Capsules and Culture Clusters

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Adriana Chaves Tapia

on 16 May 2014

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Transcript of Culture Assimilators, Culture Capsules and Culture Clusters


It is a technique that provides the student with as many as 75 to 100 episodes of target cultural behavior
Each episode describes a “critical incident” of cross-cultural interaction that is usually a common occurrence in which an American and a host national interact , a situation the American finds puzzling, conflictual, or which he is likely to misinterpret , and a situation that can be interpreted in a fairly unequivocal manner, given sufficient knowledge about the culture.
After reading the episode
the student chooses the correct response from four plausible explanations of the behavior described in the episode. The student is provided with feedback which, if the student has erred in his choice, redirects the student and asks him to make another selection. The whole process takes about three minutes for each episode.
Advantages of Culture Assimilator :
- Are more fun to read.

- They actively involve the student with a cross-cultural problem.

- They have shown to be more effective in controlled experiments.

- The content can be varied to suit the instructor´s purpose.

Culture assimilators have been constructed for the Arab countries, Iran, Thailand, Central America, Greece and for black-white interaction in urban U.S
Culture Capsules
- concept developed by foreign language teacher, Darrel Taylor and anthropologist, Jonh Sorenson.

- a culture capsule consists of a Paragraph or so of explanation of one minimal difference between an American and a target custom, along with several illustrative photos or relevant realia.

- Culture capsules are a brief description of and aspect of the target language culture (e.g., marriage customs, food, educational system, etc.) followed by contrasting information from the students' native language culture.

- Students prepare culture capsules for oral delivery during class

Culture Assimilators, Culture Capsules and Culture Clusters
Culture Assimilator
Culture Assimilator
- culture capsules may be done with the teacher giving a brief lecture on the chosen cultural point and then leading a discussion about the differences between cultures

- the teacher could also provide all of the information at once or could pause after the information in each paragraph and ask students about the contrasts they see

Culture Clusters
Consist of illustrated culture capsules, which develop a topic or related topics in a 30' classroom simulation, with the info contained in the capsule.

The teacher acts as a narrator, guiding the skit through stage directions.
Culture and communication are inseparable because culture not only dictates who talks to whom, about what, and how the communication proceeds, it also helps to determine how people encode messages, the meanings they have for messages, and the conditions and circumstances under which various messages may or may not be sent, noticed, or interpreted... Culture...is the foundation of communication. (Samovar, Porter, & Jain, 1981)
Conclusions
- Culture capsules are one of the best-established and best-known methods for teaching culture. They have been tried mostly in classes for foreign language other than English

- Culture assimilators, culture capsules and culture clusters are techniques that represent a very simple and direct way of involving students in discovering other cultures.
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