Posted on: January 3, 2017 Posted by: James McQuiston Comments: 0

Do I need to be cultural literate? If the answer is NO then you may not totally understand the importance of this idea. It is fair not to take it seriously, as the concept is a little bit abstract and seems to exist far from reality. In order not to be shocked by the habits and lifestyle of other nationalities and prevent the occurrence of cross-cultural conflicts, you should devote some time to learning. Find yourself imaginatively in another country where people speak an unknown language, follow a different law, eat untypical food and are quite unusual in general. It is not a journey and you should stay here for a long period. For instance, you entered the university and aim to get an education there. You are alone, inexperienced and frightened. Every day you will be surrounded by strangers in public transport, in the educational establishment in cafes and gyms.  Being at that time a stranger to them. It should not scare you, as it is always amazing to feel comfortable anywhere in the world! That’s why cultural education makes the world better and friendlier.

Cultural Models

Significant changes in the educational sphere prove that our world is changing and borders between different societies are wearing out. Science benefits from a diversity of approaches that are applied by international students. Each academic destination may be reached by different ways. Let’s imagine two students of different cultures (it is not necessary to indicate the particular culture) who received an assignment to write an essay. What will they do in order to gain the highest mark? One studentwill stay up late and sacrifice spare time and power on that essay. Another student of a different culture will go partying and entrust the task to college essay writing service. They both will receive “A” grade but using not the same plan of actions. In the context of this situation, a cultural model is the result of practices that are implemented in the everyday life of a particular nation. Cultural model includes the ideas such as “what is right”, “what is wrong” for every nation. What is good and acceptable for one country may turn out to be forbidden in another.

Cultural Literacy

What is cultural literacy and how to gain it? A literary scholar E. D. Hirsch Jr. even published a book dedicated to this concept and claimed that basic literacy is not enough if a person wants to participate in society. Cultural literacy helps to be successful in course of a negotiation as you can understand and participate fluently in a particular culture. If a person is unable to understand idioms, jokes, references to past events of a given society that means that he/she is culturally illiterate. That is a common problem of immigrants, outsiders, or guests who may find it complicated to acquire the needed competence in a new country. As opposed to a child of a given culture who undergoes the natural process of enculturation. Education, family traditions and play influence the formation of personality and acculturation goes by smoothly. Some people believe that a person takes a risk of losing native culture when achieving the cultural literacy of another one. Where is the balance?

Be Culturally Competent

What does it mean? In words of one syllable, to be culturally competent means to be aware of your own cultural identity and be able to learn and understand the representatives of other cultures. It can improve society, as cultural education comprises the maintenance of the following values:

  • Understanding
  • Respect
  • Equality
  • Friendship
  • Collaboration

Everything starts from small attempts in order to build a better society. The more people start to pay attention to the process of cultural education, the more positive social changes happen. It is necessary to be open to different cultural perspectives and work towards equality between people. The Tower of Babel fell down as the communication failed. If countries all over the world tend to gain more by prosperity instead of wars, cultural competence and literacy should be accepted as an essential part of educating process of every community. Start from yourself and work on creating new interconnections and ability to communicate in every cultural environment!



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