EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, COMMUNITIES,
& PROFESSIONAL LIFE COMPETENCY
Applying My Experiences from Living in Other Cultures to My Work
1_ICLT_This Cultural Autobiography
(showing exposure to socio-cultural conflict)
(an example of where ignorance can lead)
3_ICLT_Cultural Implications in Cartoons
(how people from different cultures will interpret the same event differently)
Canada, Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Iceland, England, Wales, Denmark, Norway, Finland, France, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Yugoslavia, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia,
New Zealand. USA: ME, NH, VT, CT, MA, RI, NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, DC, GA, KY, IL, OH,
IN, MN, CA, AZ, UT, NM, CO.
A lot of countries and states. I saw so many commonalities within different experiences in
different cultures, I can easily apply any to my teaching style. I use “style” because, although
I use many different approaches, I teach from my heart. That “style” is how I use my “self”
to reach my students’ needs.
Let’s go Eastward from our Atlantic coastline. In Europe, I traveled in many guises: a backpacker,
a trekker, a rock climber, an upscale visitor, and a professional photojournalist. Communicating in Europe was relatively easy. I have some knowledge of French and Spanish, a tiny bit of German, and many people know English. When I traveled Eastward, through Yugoslavia (during Tito’s era), for example, I ran into some amusing exchanges. In small villages which looked like paintings from the 15th century - mud streets and all! - I was the beginning language learner from a different planet.
No one understood me, no matter what I tried…a bit of German, French, Spanish…finally, as
I was looking for food in a store with no electricity, I drew pictures. And - here’s the rub!! I can
draw anything, but the people appeared fuddled. Context, yes? They apparently had never seen
a peanut in its shell! I just picked up a couple of cans, not understanding anything on the label,
only to discover later that I would be eating tripe for dinner. The result of my sublime skill at communication!! Hah!
I hope the contrast of ordering lunch at the Ritz in Lisbon, to making a blind purchase for dinner in the mountains of Yugoslavia, will paint a clear enough picture of the breadth of my experiences in different cultures.
How linguistically empathic I felt with my refugees! In our class, we traveled the road to comprehension together. I, as I learned how to help them, and they as they learned how to learn
and to speak English.