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Introduction What does it mean to teach cultural sensitivity? First, we have to define “culture.” Most people think about different languages, cities in distant country, exotic foods or clothes, and a group of people who look distinctly different than themselves. The word ‘culture’ is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as: “a way of life or social environment characterized by or associated with the specified quality or thing; a group of people subscribing or belonging to this” (“Culture,” 2008). Cultural sensitivity, therefore, is awareness of the characteristics of the culture of a certain society (country, region, tribe, religion, etc.) without passing judgement on the people who adhere to those cultural norms (Dabbah, 2018). In other words, cultural sensitivity is to understand the sensibilities, expectations, superstitions, reactions, customs, responses, etc. of a certain culture and how to appreciate and understand those attributes for more fluid communication. Culture is learned from a very early age. School children enter the classroom already equipped and nurtured by the culture in which they are born. The challenge is to teach and foster cultural sensitivity so they can adapt to a global world. This report looks at how cultural sensitivity can be both understood and taught effectively in the classroom. We can examine the presence of cultural sensitivity in the classroom on two different levels: 1. Where cultural sensitivity is actually taught to the students with lessons (mostly for students from high school up to adults), or 2. where the teacher is meant to understand the culture of the country where he or she is teaching for more effective communication and interaction with the students (this is particularly the case when teaching young learners, such as primary school children or preschoolers). For the first level discussed (actually teaching lessons about cultures for students to learn cultural sensitivity), it is important for students to learn about different cultural sensibilities in the classroom if students want to work for international companies after school. Businesses operative overseas depend on their employees to not only have a proficient command of English, but also have a sense of cultural sensitivity to succeed (Anakwe, 2002). Cultural sensitivity taught by businesses vary in their forms. They all focus on training cultural sensitivity but differ in emphasis of subjects taught (Tung, 1981). According to Tung (1981), the different approaches mostly taught by business are: area studies (pertaining to the culture of a particular geographical region), cultural assimilator (the ability to students to understand a different culture than their own), language training (English is the international language of business) or field experiences (cultural observations outside of the classroom). For the second level (where the teacher understands the culture in which he or she is teaching), both the teacher and the student must try to understand each other. A teacher who teaches in a foreign country is bringing his or her culture into the classroom and consciously or unconsciously exposing the students to that culture. Exposing the teacher’s culture to young learners can be an advantage because it will prepare students to have positive encounters with people of other cultures later in life. Both the teacher’s and the student’s perspectives will be broadened while the quality of the classroom experience increases when everyone is culturally aware (Kawaguchi-Suzuki et al., 2018). Case Studies As stated earlier, cultural sensitivity in classrooms can be examined on two levels: understanding cultural sensitivity of teachers for effective teacher/student engagement and the actual teaching of cultural sensitivity to students. Following is a literature review of two case studies that examine these two different levels. First is a study in Europe examining the quality of cultural aspects implemented in classrooms of early education centers. Second is a study of American English teachers in South Korean primary schools in Korea and the teachers’ understanding of Korean culture through interacting with the students’ families. Examining these case studies can show us how cultural sensitivity is studied and understood globally and what are some of the common conclusions from these studies. The first case study of 28 Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) centers in Europe examines the emotional and instructional support of elementary school children in the context of understanding cultural sensitivity. In the study, the organizations were ranked on a range from high to low according to the level of support that was given to the children. It was concluded in the study that emotional support of the children and the organization of the classroom “was in high range”, while instructional support was “in the middle range” (Slot, Cadima, Salmine, Pastori, & Lerkkanen, 2016). The study analyzed coded videos that were recorded of four activities in the classroom: play, mealtime, educational/emerging academic activities and creative activities for cross-cultural comparison (Slot, Cadima, Salmine, Pastori, & Lerkkanen, 2016). An interesting component of the study that emerged was an investigation of educational dialogues, which are verbal interactions between the educator and his or her students that involve mutual listening and sharing different points of view. The results showed that the students engaged mostly in dialogues where the topic was familiar to them, showing that discussion common cultural themes results in a higher rate of student interaction. The in-depth study of educational dialogues gave detailed feedback on how and when these teacher-student interactions take place. The students would initiative a conversation with the educators and—on some occasions—introduce new themes or ideas. Slot, et al. (2016) discovered through this study that interactive learning activities for the students increased the chance for them to engage in educational dialogues. This provides the students the ability to solve issues together, improve their language skills and develop a broader learning ability that will foster positive cultural awareness. (Slot, Cadima, Salmine, Pastori, & Lerkkanen, 2016) In the second case study, Yang & McMullen (2003) conduct interviewed teachers and mothers about their expectations, concerns, perceptions and expectations. Through interviews, the American teachers and Korean mothers were able to resolve some miscommunications about perceived problems with the students (Yang & McMullen, 2003). For example, in one instance a teacher thought that a student was not paying attention in class. The teacher told the mother about it, and the mother asked her son why he does not pay attention in class. The son told his mother that he actually does listen but is afraid to look into the teacher’s eyes because it would be disrespectful. The mother conveyed this to the teacher, who then understood the reason why the student seemed to not pay attention in class. The study conducts similar interviews to find ways for cultural understanding between student and teacher. The authors conclude that no amount of empirical study can truly prepare a teacher to fully understand the different culture in which they come to teach except through conversations with the locals and parents of the students as well as immersion in the culture (Yang & McMullen, 2003). Conclusion From the case studies and research, it seems that there is a consensus of the most effective approach to teaching cultural sensitivity to students of any level. Educators can agree that support, sympathy, warmth, professionalism, understanding and—of course—sensitivity are crucial elements, regardless of the projected goal (Slot, Cadima, Salmine, Pastori, & Lerkkanen, 2016; Johnson, 1999; Yang & McMullen, 2003; Kawaguchi-Suzuki et al., 2018; Anakwe, 2002). For young learners who are in kindergarten or primary school, teachers and parents to establish a lasting and effective understanding of each other, both must make continuous effort to maintain communication. in other words, cultural sensitivity is not learned immediately, nor is it understood completely without all recipients involved attempting to resolve conflict, reach consensus, or meet expectations through listening and studying the cultures of the people involved (Yang & McMullen, 2003). For older students--those in middle school, high school or college--teachers need to mentally prepare students for when they enter a global workforce (Kawaguchi-Suzuki, et. al., 2018). The most important keys to succeeding in both teaching about, and understand of, cultural sensitivity in classrooms are continuous commutation with all parties involved (teachers, students and family members), patience, cooperation and curiosity. (Slot, Cadima, Salminen, Pastori, & Lerkkanen, 2016; Johnson, 1999; Yang & McMullen, 2003; Kawaguchi-Suzuki et al., 2018; Anakwe, 2002). References Anakwe, U. P. (2002). The art of dialogue in building cross-cultural sensitivity in the classroom. Journal of Management Education, 26(3), 291-306. Culture. Def. 7b. (2008). In Oxford English dictionary online (3rd ed.), Retrieved from https://www-oed-com. Dabbah, M. (2018, May 18). What is Cultural Sensitivity? Discover Definition & Theory. Red Shoe Movement. Retrieved August 9, 2019, from https://redshoemovement.com/what-is-cultural-sensitivity/ Johnson, M. B. (1999). Communication in the Classroom. (Report No. CS 510 183). (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 436802). Retrieved August 2, 2019. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED436802 Journal of World Business, 16, 68-78. Kawaguchi-Suzuki, M., Law, M. G., Prisco, J., Head, K., Fu, L., Yumoto, T., ... & Hogue, M. D. (2019). Cultural Sensitivity and Global Pharmacy Engagement in Asia—China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, ajpe7214. Slot, P. L., Cadima, J., Salminen, J., Pastori, G., & Lerkkanen, M. K. (2016). Multiple case study in seven European countries regarding culture-sensitive classroom quality assessment. CARE Curriculum Quality Analysis and Impact Review of European ECEC. Retrieved August 2, 2019 from http://ecec-care.org/fileadmin/careproject/Publications/reports/CARE_WP2_D2_3_Multiple_Case_study_FINAL_REPORT.pdf Tung, R. L. (1981). Selection and training of personnel for overseas assignments. Columbia Yang, H., & McMullen, M. B. (2003). Understanding the Relationships among American Primary-Grade Teachers and Korean Mothers: The Role of Communication and Cultural Sensitivity in the Linguistically Diverse Classroom. (Report No. PS 031 265). (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 475623). Retrieved August 2, 2019 from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED475623