What happened?

Intercultural communication


• to understand cultural differences

• to understand the roles and conventions governing behaviour within specific intercultural environments

• to increase the knowledge about communication with people from different cultures


Expected Outcomes

After the workshop participants should:

- be able to adapt own behaviour according to the demands of different intercultural situations

- notice the intercultural misunderstandings and find the solution

- increase the skill of effective communication with people from different cultures


Target group

Youth, Adults (over 18 years old)

All groups (National and/or Immigrants)

Number of participants: 10-24 people



(1 - very easy, 5 - very difficult)

The degree of expertise needed - 3

The amount of work to prepare and implement the scenario-2

The relative overall cost predicted - 3



1 h 30 min


The room with chairs (one per person) putting in the circle and space to work in groups


Copies of BINGO game (one per person)

Copies of characteristic of the cultures (Annex 2)

Copies of case studies (Annex 3)



Before the workshops make a copy of characteristics of the culture (Annex 2) and cut it down for separately statements. Make sure that the statements described each two opposite culture are mixed.




In case you work with the group, which you don't know, and participants don't know each other you can make get to know game e.g. Intercultural BINGO (Annex 1). Make a copy of the template for each person in the group. Ask people to find in the group persons, who can positive answer the question written on the paper. They can write the same name only one time, so they have to find different persons with the intercultural experience in the group. The first person, who answer all the questions say at a loud BINGO. After that ask people to come back own places and ask the person, who filled in all spaces to read the answers. (10 minutes)



1. Ask people about their understanding of culture. Make the shower of ideas and write down on the paper or on the board the definition of the culture created by the group. (5 minutes)


2. Explain, that in the intercultural psychology culture defines is as a system of values, norms and behaviors characteristic for each group. Not every member of the group share this values and behave according to this norms but everyone recognize it as typical for own group. What is important we are speaking about the culture regarding the group of people, because it's not only about the nations. It can be culture of youth, seniors, tribes, ethnic group etc.

 Intercultural communication is sometimes used synonymously with cross-cultural communication. In this sense it seeks to understand how people from different countries and cultures act, communicate and perceive the world around them.


3. Explain, that in the process of understanding different cultures people and scientists try to create the typologies which help to divide the culture in two opposite groups. That gave us the general picture of the differences and can help to understand another behaviors, norms and values. There is no "better" and "worst" culture, we should not rate it but try to understand the each of them, also according to the history of each group, citizens, religion and another aspects which influence on it. Introduce the typologies and say one/two sentences about each of them. (5 minutes)

NOTE: be careful to don't convert the discussion and workshops into making a list of stereotypes, which lead to behavior such as conforming to prejudices, discrimination, stigmas and taboos.


4. Ask people to get into pairs or groups of three to four. Give to each group one pair of the cultural dimension (e.g. individualism & collectivism) with the statements describing the culture (Annex 2). Make sure that all statements are cut and mixed.  Ask participants to match the statements with the  corresponding cultural dimension. (15 minutes)


5. When the work is done, ask each group in turn to present their characteristics. Ask where their own culture belong to and ask about examples of countries represent both types of cultures (see Annex 4). (15 minutes)


6. Tell, that cross-cultural misunderstanding happens when people from different cultures communicate or interact with one another. Now we will see what can happened, when we are not aware of different cultures.


7. Ask people to get into groups of three or four. Give to each group one example of study case and ask to discuss in the group the reason of misunderstandings (Annex 3).  (10 minutes)


8. After the work is done, ask each group in turn to present the situation and explanation of misunderstandings. (15 minutes)




Start with the question about own experience of participants.

-Have you ever been in the situation of conflict because of the intercultural differences?

-How did you solve the situation?

-Do you think, the situation could be solved in another way?

-Why do intercultural misunderstandings happen?

-What are the biggest barriers in the intercultural communication?

-What can be done to avoid the misunderstandings?

-What is important in intercultural communication? (25 minutes)


Support tools

Slides about diversity

Cards of stereotypes

Questions for the concourse “The most original group of the school”



Bennett, M. (1993). Towards ethnorelativism: A developmental model of intercultural sensitivity. In M. Paige (Ed.), Education for the intercultural experience. Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press.

Geert Hofstede, ITIM International

Hall's cultural factors, http://changingminds.org/explanations/culture/hall_culture.htm

Katan, David, Translating Cultures, Manchester, (1999)

McKinnon S., What is intercultural competence?, Global Perspectives Project, GCU LEAD

On line course 'Intercultural communication': http://courses.networkofchange.org/course/index.php?categoryid=2&lang=en


Ideas for action

If you have more time you can ask the group to create the list of tips for effective intercultural communication.

You can continue the topic and make simulation game, which show how to build the relations between two cultures.



Annex 1: BINGO game

Annex 2: Characteristic of the cultures

Annex 3: Intercultural misunderstandings - case study (answers for facilitator)

Annex 4: Description of the cultures


Created by Foundation IRSE





Social-educational initiative centre PLUS


Make it Better


Ecos do Sur





The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsi¬ble for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


© Copyright 2017-18 Wszystkie prawa zastrzeżone.