Cultural Learning Materials

  • Exploring Culture: participant observation for deeper understanding - recommended by Beth E. "It is a catalog of cross-cultural adjustment self directed activities that students can click on and go through on their own. There is also a section for coaches to think about how to use the activities with their language students". From the website: "These guided discovery activities for language and culture learners are based on work done by Herb Purnell, Ph. D. (professor emeritus of applied linguistics and TESOL, Biola University) and adapted by Jean Sodemann, M. A. (International Language Learning Consultant, ret., TEAM) in consultation "with the Centre for Lifelong Learning."
  • Cross-cultural Adjustment learning activity
  • Cultural Progress Report - used by SEND Spain

Culture Resources

  • Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes by E. Randolph Richards. Those who grew up in the west are quite often unaware that those in different cultures don't approach the Bible with the same assumptions that we do. This doesn't necessarily make us (or them) wrong, but it can lead to problems in communicating effectively. Since the Bible wan't written from a Western perspective, it can hamper our own understanding of Scripture as well.
  • Communicating Across Cultures by Stella Ting-Toomey

Cultural Resources Used For MOP Online

Defining Worldview & Culture

Understanding Culture & Personal Cultural Values

Culture Stress

Incarnational Ministry & Sacrifice

Guided Discovery Program (GDP)

Each section below leads to a page that contains activities, powerpoint(s), and guided discussion guides to be used in cultural adaptation. The last link also includes a facilitators guide that could be used by an L&O Coordinator, team leader or anyone helping new workers adapt to cross cultural living. These documents were created and adapted by SEND Russia and have been edited to be used in any cross-cultural situation over a 1-2 year period of time.
  1. LanguCulture
  2. East Meets West
  3. Dressed to Serve (Public Appearance)
  4. Ticket to Ride (Transportation)
  5. Night on the Town (Entertainment)
  6. You are what you Eat (Food)
  7. Beliefs and Traditions (Religion)
  8. Learning about Learning (Education)
  9. Let's Celebrate! (Holidays)
  10. Be our Guest (Hospitality)
  11. Ancient History
  12. Hi-Ho (Work and Jobs)
  13. Show me the Money
  14. Mind the Gap (Generations)
  15. We are Family
  16. Outside the City Limits (Village Life)
  17. Are you Current? (Current Events)
  18. What do you think of me? (Perceptions)
  19. May the Force Be With You (Common Cultural Knowledge)
  20. Facilitator Guide

Assessments of Acculturation

  • CSA CernySmith Assessments (CSA) are online assessments that measure stress in 5 major areas: Organizational, Cross-Cultural, Relational, Personal, and Behavioral as it relates to the adjustment and well being of people living and working cross-culturally. Dave & JoAnn Loewen in the US Office administer this assessment for SEND missionaries.
  • IDI This is an intercultural development inventory widely used by profit and not-for-profit organizations worldwide. SEND does not presently use this program.
  • ICS - Intercultural Competency Scale. This assessment will be used in MOP and in MOP-up.
  • Core Cultural Values and Culture Mapping. This is a quick self assessment to understand your own core values. Used by SEND Russia.

Models of cultural adjustment

A popular model or understanding of cultural adjustment is the U-curve "4 Stages of Adjustment". This model was popularized by anthropologist Kalvero Oberg (1901-1973), one of the first to talk about culture shock. It has been widely used in missionary training. But in the last few years, this model has been criticized for not being adequately grounded in research. See Darlene Jovellanos' article on the SEND blog about this rethinking of the U-curve model. Darlene suggests that there are other models that we might want to consider. Take a look at the Bennett Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity, and then watch this presentation about this model.

For information on Ethnography, please go to this page