Topic 1 Cultural competence reinforcement

  1. Adequate communication
  • Self-assessment: critical attitude towards our own preferences and prejudices contributes to the realisation that all people have their own beliefs/ stereotypes and consequently in the acceptance of diversity.
  • Active listening: allows the interlocutor to focus on the discussion, to clarify the details and ask, again and again, creating a trust relationship with the interlocutor.
  • Empathy: the art of understanding and feeling the other’s situation, without necessarily meaning that we agree.

Basic stages of active listening:

  • sincere interest in an individual/ group of people
  • attention to the interlocutor
  • avoidance of harsh statements and effort to understand the other’s position
  • creation of a favourable environment for the interlocutor/ encouragement to continue the discussion
  • maintaining of eye contact with the interlocutor/ genuine interest in the discussion
  1. Knowledge

Social research has shown that our values and beliefs about equality may -unwillingly- will be contradictory to our behavior.

-Many people are biased towards diversity due to lack of knowledge.

-The essential knowledge of our own culture is the first step to getting to know and understanding other cultures.

-The message in a conversation must be adapted to the culture and background of the interlocutor. 

 “Respect for cultural diversity is the only way to be universal” (Irina Bokova)

Case study: Irina Georgieva Bokova

– Bulgarian politician and former Director-General of UNESCO

– She pointed out the importance of multilingualism and cultural diversity in education.

– She supported the study of local languages and their particular culture. She believes that knowledge about environment, biodiversity and sustainable development will lead to a deeper understanding of global phenomena.

“All languages are equal. Human development is not possible if we do not respect what makes us human beings our language and culture”.