Activity 3 Achieving Collaborative Intercultural Dialogue

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Activity 3 is a group work activity. It has the purpose of focussing on (i) pedagogical interventions in facilitating intercultural group dynamics and (ii) connected to this, the challenges these interventions bring for teachers and (iii) the pros and cons of these interventions.

In this activity, participants are asked to formulate advice to the teacher on how to ‘resolve’ the incident in activity 2 and how to use this incident as an opportunity for intercultural learning.

The activity addresses the following learning outcomes:

  • Incorporate classroom opportunities brought by the cohort in terms of diversity in order to develop intercultural engagement.
  • Identify and use intercultural incidents as opportunities for learning.


  • The participants stay in their ‘snowball’ groups.
  • Introduce the activity to the participants. Refer to the three underlying universal social needs and how culture influences the way in which these universal social needs are fulfilled. The thematic text Facilitating Intercultural Group Dynamics provides the theoretical background for this activity.
  • Explain the procedure of this activity. Half of the groups work on interventions that stimulate collaborative intercultural dialogue and learning. The other half of the groups work on interventions that hinder meaningful intercultural dialogue and prevent intercultural learning from taking place. The groups have 10 minutes to prepare their interventions.
    • Half of subgroups: discuss which intervention(s) lead to a meaningful dialogue between the students and help them to understand possible cultural differences within their group and to identify how they can successfully complete their group project.
    • Half of subgroups: discuss which intervention(s) lead to a deterioration in the relationships between the students and hinder their understanding of possible cultural differences within their group as well as the successful completion of their group project.
  • Consider the value differences on the worksheet to develop solutions to this situation.
  • Subgroups that work on helpful interventions are asked to design a simple process for the interventions and identify at least two or three conditions that are favourable for a meaningful dialogue.
  • Subgroups that work on interventions that hinder a meaningful interaction between the students are asked to identify steps in a process and at least two or three conditions that are unfavourable for a positive dialogue to occur.
  • In the plenary, the facilitator asks each group in turn to share their key findings about the process and the conditions. Ask subsequent groups only to mention additional findings. Take 10 minutes and ensure all groups have had the opportunity to contribute.
  • Final reflections/learning are summed up by the facilitator using the final slides in the PowerPoint relating to key insights from this activity. (5 minutes).

Resources needed

  1. Activity 3 worksheet A: handout to half of the participants
  2. Activity 3 worksheet B: handout to the other half of the participants
  3. Activity 3 PowerPoint presentation
  4. 1 flipchart stand and sheets or whiteboard for use by the facilitator

Room / space needed

Room needs to allow for workstations with wall space or movable divider walls.


30 minutes; minimal 2 Groups of 3; max 5 Groups of 5


Cruickshank, K., Chen, H. & Warren, S. (2012). Increasing international and domestic student interaction through group work: A case study from the humanities. Higher Education Research & Development31(6), 797-810.

Hall, E.T. and Reed Hall, M. (1989). Understanding Cultural Differences. Yarmouth, ME, USA: Intercultural Press.