All Brazilians, Indians, Malaysians, (place your nationality here) are not the same! The Oxford Dictionary defines an ethnic group as “A community or population made up of people who share a common cultural background or descent.” Most nations are not made up of one culture, but are comprised of multiple ethnic groups. How quickly can […]

Take Action!

Edward Finegan, in his book “Language: Its Structure and Use”, begins to defend the idea that language is more than merely communication. He states, “Language is social action, with work to perform. It is a system that speakers, writers, and signers exploit purposefully. It is used to do things, not just report them or describe […]

To Ask or Not to Ask

In some cultures, if a supervisor asks his/her subordinates their opinion on how to solve a problem, the supervisor would be considered a bad leader. In other cultures, the same person would be considered a bad leader if he/she did NOT ask their opinion on how to solve a problem. Knowing the culture makes a […]

Tenacity in Language Learning

Persistence is important to language learning. Sometimes, learning comes easy, and we feel like we can do it all day. At other times, studying a language may be the last thing we want to do for 100 different reasons (or excuses). Louis Pasteur once said, “Let me tell you the secret that has led to […]

Ethnocentrism I

Ethnocentrism is the tendency to view our own culture favorably and another culture negatively. Exposure to another culture many times creates a higher degree of anxiety and negative attitudes towards that culture until we learn how to understand and appreciate the other culture.  The Culture Course being developed will help with understanding and appreciating other […]

Learn a Second Language!

Geoffrey Willans, a British author and journalist, once said, “You can never understand one language until you understand at least two.” Learning a language can help broaden your understanding and see how your own language works better! It can open up opportunities and draw you closer to people who are different! Do you want to […]

Culture and Success

Anyone who lives and works among other cultures, regardless of your purpose for doing so, will struggle with achieving your organization’s definition of success if the cross-cultural worker doesn’t effectively understand and adapt to that particular culture.   According to research by the Cultural Intelligence Center (, “90% of leading executives from 68 countries said […]

The Routine of Language Learning

Learning a language takes time, intentional dedication, and a routine. For many of us, it’s failing to start a routine that keeps us from learning (and not just languages!). J.R.R. Tolkein had written, “It’s the job that’s never started that takes longest to finish.” If learning a language is important to you, start!

Different…Not Better or Worse

Talking about cultural differences should not be divisive. We should accept that cultures are different, and that the differences do not make one culture better than the others. Until we believe this and learn to appreciate other cultures, we remain ethnocentric. We continue to think that our way is better.