North Seattle Community College
Embracing a Complex Future: Winter 2011
Cultural Interview and Active Listening Assignment
Due: January 17, 2011
Assignment: Ask someone in the class who has a different cultural background than you to be your interview partner. (For this assignment, we are defining culture as racial, place of origin, or ethnic.) Before meeting your cultural interview partner, spend some time thinking about questions you’d like to ask him/her. Ask important questions – questions about love, birth, family, passion, cultural stories, vocation, etc. You might also do some initial research before meeting about their culture if you are unfamiliar with their culture them so you are more prepared.
Spend at least 45 minutes with them asking questions about their culture and listening to their story as it unfolds. Frame your questions within the context of being a witness. Use the Dynamic Listening skills listed below and LaRay Barna’s article “Stumbling Blocks to Intercultural Communication” to help you be a more culturally aware and mindful listener. If at all possible, audiotape your interview so that you don’t have to rely solely on your notes to develop your paper but this is not required.
To capture the moment, take a picture of the two of you that you can post onto our blogsite when your synthesis is due. Immediately following the interview, recapture your listening and learning experience while your memory is still fresh. These reflective notes will be important when you write your paper.
Now you’re ready to write your paper. Divide your paper into three section headings:
Your overview is an introduction to your paper. It establishes the context for your reader. It tells your reader what this experience was like for you and for the other person. How easy or difficult was it to practice the listening skills listed below? What “stumbling block” (Barna) was present for you? Where did you meet? What...