4th project Meeting in Latvia.
What is Cultural Awareness?What is Cultural Awareness?
How do I build it?How do I build it?
“A fish only discovers its need for water when
it is no longer in it.
Our own culture is like water for the fish.
It sustains us.
We live and breathe through it.”
by Stephanie Quappe and Giovanna Cantatore
Cultural Awareness is the foundation
It involves the ability of standing back
from ourselves and becoming aware
of our cultural values, beliefs and
• Cultural awareness becomes
central when we have to interact
with people from other cultures.
Degrees of CulturalDegrees of Cultural
There are several levels of culturalThere are several levels of cultural
awareness that reflect how peopleawareness that reflect how people
grow to perceive cultural differences.grow to perceive cultural differences.
1st degree: My way is the
At the first level, people are aware of
their way of doing things, and their
way is the only way. At this stage,
they ignore the impact of cultural
2nd : I know their way,
but my way is better -
At the second level, people are aware of
other ways of doing things, but still
consider their way as the best one. In
this stage, cultural differences are
Perceived (recognizesd) as source of
3rd: My Way and Their
At this level people are aware of their own
way of doing things and others’ ways of doing
things, and they chose the best way
according to the situation.
At this stage people realize that cultural
differences can lead both to problems and
4th: Our Way
This fourth and final stage brings people
from different cultural background
People dialogue with others,
create new meanings, new rules to meet the
needs of a particular situation.
Increasing cultural awareness
means to see both
the positive and negative
aspects of cultural differences
In becoming culturally aware, people
• We are not all the same
• Similarities and differences are both
• There are multiple ways to reach the
same goal and to live life
• The best way depends on the
situation. Each situation is different
and may require a different solution.
Language Diversity in Numbers
There are up to 7000 language
spoken in the world.
And behind each and every one of
them lies a rich and diverse
That’s what the European Day of
Languages (EDL) aims to celebrate –
by showing people across Europe how
important languages are, and what fun
can be had learning them.
European Day of Languages is celebrated on 26
September each year.
2,200 of the world’s languages can be
found in Asia, while Europe has a mere
• As of 2010 the European Union has 24
official and working languages:
• Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian,
Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Irish,
Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish,
Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish
The most widely spoken language in
• Mandarin Chinese, English, Spanish, Hindi,
Arabic, Bengali, Russian, Portuguese,
Japanese, German and French.
• English is the most widely spoken language in
the world, but not with the most native
speakers; Mandarin is.
• English has over 2 billion speakers, and only
about 400 000 000 native speakers.
What percentage of the Internet
is in English?
• More than 80% of home pages on
the Web are in English, while the
next greatest, German, has only 4.5%
and Japanese 3.1%.
Why should we learn languages:
• A grasp of a different language improves your
abilities to use your first language and
explore other cultures more successfully.
• According to research, on average, people who
use languages in their jobs earn around 8%
• Many scientists also believe that
knowledge of another language can
boost your brainpower.
• Speaking two languages can help slow
down the brain's decline with age.
• And to quote Nelson Mandela,
• "If you talk to a man in a language he
understands, that goes to his head. If
you talk to him in his language, that goes
to his heart."
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