Intercultural Case Study: Everest Conflict

There have been a lot of stories in the press about the recent conflict between the Everest Sherpas and the Western mountain climbers. In a dangerous setting, with reputations, adrenalin, linguistic difficulties, competing interests, and vastly different expectations and communication styles, this example of intercultural conflict got heated, but luckily didn’t have a worse outcome.

Chimamanda Adichie: The Danger of a Single Story

“Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.” TED Talks

UNESCO Report: “Intercultural Competences: Conceptual and Operational Framework”

In March, UNESCO released this framework on intercultural competence. It provides 26 concepts and defines them in order to connect different fields that focus on intercultural issues, giving a common vocabulary and goal in teaching, training, enacting, and supporting intercultural work.

British Council Study on the Value of Intercultural Skills

The British Council recently released a study on the value of intercultural skills in the workplace! I use studies like this at the start (and often end) of my class to get students interested in why they should care about and study intercultural communication.