My intercultural skills and attitude are constantly developing and being reshaped, even after a long period of time living in America. Some cultural conflicts are easy to accept and adapt to, while some take longer.
I emphasize developing learner intercultural competence. I think developing intercultural competence is important, not just to communicate effectively and behave properly across cultures, but also within the sub-cultures. In order to promote learner intercultural competence, my lessons include:
1. symbols of Korea
2. why 한국 became “Korea”
3. conflicts between Japan and Korea
4. democracy movements in Korea
5. traits of Korean people
6. bias vs. stereotype vs. prejudice
7. learner reflective essays - developing intercultural competence
I hope these classes help my students to gain knowledge about Korean history and culture, but also an understanding of why Koreans behave in certain ways. I hope this knowledge will help my students to smoothly transition to Korean communities beyond their classroom environment, whether they are in Korea or elsewhere, or at least give them a better understanding of Koreans in general. I hope different practices, values, and beliefs are not perceived as wrong, weird or unacceptable, but simply different so my students can embrace and understand them. I hope if my students are in situations where norms, practices, and values are different, they have skills to adjust the way they talk and behave so as to be accepted in that particular social context.