The Culture Game

May 24, 2017

There are many challenges to learning a #language, and social interaction is certainly one of them. Learning #grammar, spelling, pronunciation, tensing, and vocabulary is only half the battle; the other half is understanding the culture behind it. Why in #American English do we say “time is money”, “feed the pig”, or call California “Cali”? Culture! Despite knowing a language thoroughly, lack of cultural knowledge can hinder communication with #native speakers.

 

This was exemplified to me through a game we played in my intercultural #communication class. The class was divided into four groups, each with its own deck of cards. In the group we were given the rules to the card game and had to play silently for five minutes. After five minutes, two people from each group moved to another group. What we didn’t realize was that each table had different rules for how to play the game, and you could only discover these through observation and experience.

 

As you might imagine, it got pretty heated. After fifteen minutes, the teacher ended the games. She explained to us that in life, we all know our own #cultural rules but sometimes those get in the way of learning and communicating.

 

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