The stages towards biculturality


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Alder(1975) further develops Oberg’s framework and approaches culture shock in a neutral manner rather than in a negative one. He describes the initial contact as the “the honeymoon” stage when the visitor experiences the curiosity and the enthusiasm of a tourist, but maintains their identity which is still well rooted in their cultural settings. The second stage includes the removal of the familiar cues, and the individual has to respond to the new requirements of the host culture. It is in this stage that the individual experiences self-blame and a sense of frustration for not being able to cope well with difficulties encountered. The third stage involves the reintegration of new cues and an increased ability to deal with daily life activities. The feelings associated with this stage are anger and resentment as the individual perceives the new culture as the root of the problems they have been forced to cope with. The fourth stage is when the reintegration continues. In this stage the individual continues to work towards a gradual autonomy and is able to recognise the good and the bad aspect of both cultures. It is when a more balanced view is achieved. The fifth stage is when supposedly the individual is totally confident in dealing with both cultures and therefore, has achieved biculturality of the old and new culture. However, there is some controversy over whether it would ever be possible to achieve this stage.

For further information contact me at raffaella@languagesalive.com

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Go beyond language, discover Italian cultural awareness.


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Ok Italian gesture

Before going into the Italian business meeting protocol, I would like to give you a little introduction about the way we address to somebody in Italian and why. As in Spanish and French, in Italian there are two ways to address to somebody: informally and formally. The informal uses “tu” and the formal uses “Lei”. So, how do we use these two ways?

We use “tu” when we know somebody and they are around the same age as us, or we don’t know them but they are the same age or younger. This does not apply to a business environment. They usual greeting used is “ciao”, which we use to say hello and say bye when we are leaving.

We use “Lei” (always capital L when writing), to address formally to somebody who is older than us and we don’t know very well, remember always address with Lei as the older person could take offence otherwise. It can happen that the older person will tell you to address to them with “tu”, however, if it’s not happening, keep addressing with “Lei” even if they do address to you with “tu”.

Also, we use “Lei” when we are in a business environment and you are new to the people you are doing business with. Sometimes you will be asked to address with “tu” if it’s not happening, keep addressing with “Lei”. If you are talking to your boss or someone higher in the company, address with “Lei”. There is a strong power relationship distance in the Italian business context so the boss will have to be addressed with Lei unless specified he/she wants to be addressed with “tu”.

Formal greeting are “buongiorno” (good morning), “buonasera” (good evening), careful when you say “buonanotte” (good night) your night is finished and you are going to sleep. Another way is “arrivederci, or arrivederLa” (good-bye).

I hope this was useful, are you going to do business in Italy or relocating there? If you need more tips, do not hesitate to drop me a line at raffaella@languagesalive.com.

Next: Italian business meeting protocol.

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Many Languages, One America. A history of Languages in US


Thanks to original source http://freepeoplesearch.org/

Many languages,one america, an infographic from FreePeopleSearch.org

Do you read the labels of your soft drinks?


Did you really need Jamie Oliver to tell you that junk food and fizzy drinks are bad for your health? Apparently many did! See how the soft drink industry has changed in the last decade.

Lazy Garfield!

Lazy Garfield!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy natural drinks such as smoothies, fruit juices, coconut water and probiotic drinks, are part of a specific market segment within the soft drink industry; an industry which seems to grow year after year. In fact, according to the 2011 soft drinks report, the soft drink industry in the UK has seen a year of growth with 235 litres average consumption per person and an impressive 4.1% growth in volume. The segment represented by healthy natural drinks addresses the problems derived from the most recent developments which affects life on a daily basis such as an increase in stress levels and obesity. The predominant consumption of fizzy, sugary drinks and junk food in the last decade in the UK created new health concerns and challenges which over time resulted into a shift of consumer trends. It is estimated that in Britain nearly a quarter of adults and nearly a fifth of children are obese after increases in the last decade. This is due not only to what is eaten but also to what is drunken and to a lack of exercise. As the Food Standards Agency has lately taken a stricter stance on the matter, the UK soft drinks industry and foreign manufactures are responding by introducing into the market, no chemicals added drinks, reduced sugar drinks and by adding more fruits to smoothies and juices. 100% natural juices are more expensive and as consumers are still watching their budgets after the 2008 global recession, they tend to switch to private labels which provide them with a healthy and cost-effective alternative. This particular segment has been selected as coming from a culture where healthy nutrition is ingrained into the culture, it is interesting to see how consumers’ trends have changed in the UK mainly influenced by the media and celebrities wanted to change the “junk food and drink ” mentality. Around only 15 years ago, sugary and fizzy drinks were almost or the only soft drinks available on the UK market together with sugary flavoured waters. Being healthy was not relevant for the majority of population. With Jamie Oliver becoming famous and campaigning towards a healthier lifestyle there was a boom in healthy food and drinks sales. Being healthy has nowadays become a major concern although, it seems to be confined to upper and middle classes only. It seems almost absurd that a developed country, one of the main leaders in innovation such as the UK has only recently discovered the benefits of healthy nutrition.

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Cultural values dimensions: a study case – British VS Italian culture


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Abstract

This essay analyses a case of intercultural interaction, the inefficiency of which, led a teaching agency located in Milan (Italy) to become insolvent. Section 1 gives an overview of the agency’s business organisation by describing its structure, culture and the broad environment in which the agency operated. Section 2 delineates the changes implemented and the reaction of the teaching personnel. Section 3 offers an explanation based on the relevant cultural dimensions developed by Hall, Hofstede, and Trompenaars; while section 4 lays bare the objections to such dimensions, and explains up to what extent these can facilitate effective communication in a multicultural work context. Finally, the conclusions suggest possible approaches which could help businesses to avoid intercultural misunderstandings.

 1. Background

The English Learning Institute (ELI) was an agency which provided English native speaker teachers with a QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) which they could use in high schools in the greater Milan area. The agency was founded in 2005 when its two co-founders saw an opportunity in the target market to supply qualified mother tongue English speakers to private institutions. Even though the agency started out as a small business, only two years later it was already employing seventy members of staff, twenty of whom were assigned to management and administrative tasks, whilst the remainder made up the teaching staff. To meet the high demand for British English, the majority of teachers employed were native British citizens. Usually, the agency offered full time contracts, however, a few teachers opted to work on a part time basis. The ELI was located in a picturesque, historic building in the Milan’s centre, and boasted an innovative and remarkable resource area supplied with the most up to date English language teaching materials. In addition, it offered a spacious canteen which provided free meals to its employees.

http://www.languagesalive.com/index.php/courses/corporate-a-small-business-tuition

Continues …

Out in Nettuno with Mum


Hi folks, I hope life is treating you well. This post is all about going food shopping in Italy with my mum. Having been living in the UK for long time, it is always a delight for my eyes going to the bakeries and supermarkets when I am over there. I loved choosing tasty tomatoes, zucchine and other vegs. I also enjoyed going to the bakery to buy the best bread and pizza. If you go to Italy and you want to taste pizza on the go at very modest prices go to a bakery. You will find pizza con patate (with potatoes), pizza rossa (with tomato sauce), pizza con zucchine (with courgettes), pizza bianca (plain pizza which is amazing) and more varieties. You will also find local sweets and cakes at fair prices. It is the best choice if you are sightseeing and do not stop at a restaurant or pizzeria to have a meal. The bakery in Italian is called forno so ask Dov’e’ il forno piu’ vicino? (Where is the closest bakery?) Trust me you it will be good for your taste buds and your purse! Enjoy the pics folks. A presto!

Japafantastic event @ Satricvm


Another fantastic event took place @ Satricvm last August when I was working and relaxing in Italy. A fantastic buffet; a mix of the most delicious Japanese delicacies with extra portions o sashimi and sushi rolls. Just an amazing food and cultural feast to reveal the ancient flavours of Japan. Refreshing cocktails such as Mai thai included in the celebration. The Japanese night is part of the Movidando event. Every Tuesday a foreign world comes alive @ Satricvm. It runs all summer long and includes Japanese, Spanish, Greek, Indian, Moroccan, Lebanese, Mexican nights. Shall we ask the Chef to fit in a few of these fabulous events in winter too? Which would be the cuisine you would like to experiment? Please leave the British one out lol!

These are only a few pics taken, as during the day I helped in the kitchen and at night I  enjoyed the great, fresh food.