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Cultural Competence*

*Based on the “AATF Framework for Cultural Competence” published in the AATF National Bulletin (January 1995).

Note: The initial assessment of your cultural competence will be made by the instructor in INTL 6005. The person who determines whether your language skills satisfy the exit requirements will also determine whether your cultural competence satisfies the exit requirements. Try to arrange for an assessment shortly after your field experience, while your language skills are still fresh.

RECOMMENDED ENTRY LEVEL (AATF: ELEMENTARY)

  • EMPATHY TOWARD OTHER CULTURES:
    You should be curious about similarities and differences between your own culture and the culture you are studying. You should be willing to understand the differences you encounter.
     
  • ABILITY TO OBSERVE AND ANALYZE A CULTURE:
    You should be able to identify a few characteristics of the culture you are studying as cultural patterns. You should be able to identify a few common cultural differences between your culture and the culture you are studying. You should be able to identify some commonly-held images of the target culture as stereotypes.
     
  • COMMUNICATION IN CULTURAL CONTEXT:
    You should know what verbal behavior is appropriate in different greeting and leave-taking routines. You should recognize some easily interpreted gestures. You should be aware of differences in demeanor and address in formal and informal social settings.

REQUIRED EXIT LEVEL (AATF: BASIC INTERCULTURAL SKILLS)

  • EMPATHY TOWARD OTHER CULTURES:
    You should be tolerant of differences between your culture and the culture you are studying. You should be open and accepting of different peoples. You should recognize the depth and complexity of cultural differences. You should show an active interest in the search for understanding of the culture you are studying.
     
  • ABILITY TO OBSERVE AND ANALYZE A CULTURE:
    You should demonstrate an understanding that cultural values, patterns and institutions cannot be used to predict the behavior of all individuals. You should be able to give examples of how an observer’s own cultural biases can interfere with the understanding of the target culture. You should be able to give an example of how cultures change over time. You should be able to discuss ways in which cultural norms and values are transmitted. You should be able to give examples of one culture influencing another.
     
  • COMMUNICATION IN CULTURAL CONTEXT:
    You should be able to use appropriate titles of address and formula in survival-level situations. You should be able to demonstrate knowledge of some common formulas used in communication. You should be aware of differences in conversational distance.


PROFESSIONAL GOAL (AATF: SOCIAL COMPETENCE)

  • EMPATHY TOWARD OTHER CULTURES:
    You should be aware of the problem of accepting the norms of another culture while maintaining one’s own values and identity. You should show fair-mindedness and tolerance in trying to solve an embarrassing situation or a cross-cultural conflict. You should be able to adjust your behavior and conversation according to the situational context and to the expectations of participants.
     
  • ABILITY TO OBSERVE AND ANALYZE A CULTURE:
    You should be able to give examples of social behaviors that express the target culture’s underlying value system. You should be able to describe and explain important elements of major institutions in the target culture. You should be able to interpret social phenomena within the context of the target culture. You should be able to describe several instances of major change within the target culture. You should be able to describe some major forces that influence culture and cultural change.


  • COMMUNICATION IN CULTURAL CONTEXT:
    Attitudes towards people should be formed with consideration of the social context. You should have some knowledge of regional variations in the target language. You should be ably to interpret some common gestures of the target culture not used in your own.