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Activities 3.4: Barriers to communication

A: A cultural audit

Complete the self-assessment checklist. Ask yourself the questions below and put your answers in your Portfolio.

Checklist for Cultural Competence Self- Assessment

  1. How do you value diversity?
    Are you open to differences by individuals from other backgrounds?
    What do you do when someone in your neighborhood or workplace has practices different from your own?
    How do you react? Are you critical, dismissal, demeaning in your words, behaviors, or attitude?

  2. Where do you live and work?
    Are there diverse groups and individuals in your neighborhood, school, and workplace?
    Is there a tolerance for different cultural practices, e.g., time off for celebration of different ethnic festivals?
    Is there a recognition and tolerance of different communication patterns and styles of interaction across ethnic groups?
    Some groups use indirect means of communication more frequently while others emphasize cooperation over competition. How do these differences translate in your neighborhood or workplace?

  3. How do [will you] you rear your children?
    Are they aware of their cultural origins?
    Do you share beliefs, stories, values about your culture with your children?
    What are the values you transmit and how are they related to your culture? Sometimes, it is only by observing how others are different that you can be aware of your own culture.

These are but a few of the questions you can begin to ask of yourself. Do a cultural audit of yourself, your neighborhood, your workplace, and your environments to evaluate whether or not they are culturally competent.

Selected from Jean Lau Chin: ‘Cultural competence in a multicultural society - a checklist

B: Ethnocentrism

Describe an example of ethnocentrism from your own experience or from media reports.

  1. At what point did you recognise the ethnocentricity?
  2. How/why did your attitude change?
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