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Reflecting on Cultural/National Values

Culture-Learning Strategies Inventory

National cultural values represent the beliefs, practices, and ideas shared by the population. Thus, behavior is shaped by values and cultural traditions that are common and differs from other nation-states. To adapt or understand other cultures, you can use various strategies depending on the situation or circumstance.

Put the following strategies in order of how likely you are to use them.

Strategies for when I am in surroundings that are culturally different from my own:

  • Think about different cross-cultural perspectives to examine situations in which I seem to offend someone or do something wrong.
  • Figure out what cultural values might be involved when I encounter a conflict, or when something goes wrong.
  • Use generalizations rather than stereotypes when I make statements about different people.
  • Consider ways in which they might view life differently (i.e., how different cultures value alone time or independence).
  • Counter stereotypes others use about people by using generalizations and cultural values.
  • Make distinctions between behavior that is personal (unique to the person), cultural (representative of the person’s culture), and universal (a shared human concern).
  • Look at similarities as well as differences between people of different backgrounds.

Strategies for making judgment aout another culture other than my own:

  • Observe the behavior of people from the host country very carefully
  • Analyze things that happen in my host country that seem strange to me from as many perspectives as I can.
  • Consider my own cultural biases when trying to understand another culture.
  • Refrain from making quick judgments about another culture.

Taken from Culture Learning Strategies Inventory (p. 23), Maximizing Study Abroad: A Students' Guide to Strategies for Language and Culture Learning and Use as cited in – Take the Culture–Learning Strategies Inventory


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