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Whether it is in your home town or home country, here are some ideas for exposing your children to a diverse range of cultures at an age when they are the most impressionable.
Clearly going abroad on a family holiday is a great way to expose your children to other rituals, traditions, foods, customs and ways of doing things. This way you can all stretch your cultural comfort zone together. Later your kids can go solo.
If you have just started a new job or for some other reason cannot go away this summer, or you just want a longer term online solution then I have you covered here too
1. Find out what your children are interested in if you don’t know already, is there a cause or passion that you don’t know about?
2. Click through the links above
3. Show your shortlist to your children and see how they feel about it
4. This is stretching their cultural comfort zone and you might well have to deal with some stereotypes and reluctance, that’s natural
5. Don’t forget to think about friends and family in other cultures
6. Post any pictures with the hashtag #expertsspeakenglish so that we can see what you decided to do or what the decision making process looks like
Any social media
PS: If one of your children is considering going abroad then sensitize them to the fact that they will come across behaviours, foods and other quirkiness that will make them sad, angry, frustrated or perhaps all three. Buying them a book of do’s and don’ts – the classic underestimation of culture clash – will not be enough, they will need to consider the bigger picture and doing a short course at one of the online options above could be a great source of support and relativity when any cultural misunderstandings do come up. Look up intercultural awareness and conflict management
Giving your children the opportunity to deal with conflicts early on in life is a fabulous lesson in life, one that will prepare them for relationships at work, romantically and outside of work with friends and family.
I like any Mother tend to want to protect my family from anything and everything – that’s maternal instincts. But our children are often extremely talented in conflict management if they are given the space to try it on for size. In international teams, a clash of interests, values and priorities can be the underlying factor for many conflicts, frustrations and disappointments, so by exposing your children to the quirkiness of other cultures early on in life, they will be better equipped for cross cultural team work, which will be an inevitable part of life for future generations, so be brave and give it a go.
It’s difficult to keep a language up to speed if you don’t use it at work. Even if you use it at work, but it’s mostly passive – reading, writing, that’s not enough, you need to do more than that to sound like the expert that you are when you are speaking in English. If you feel uncomfortable actually ‘speaking in English’ then you simply cannot be opening yourself up for opportunities as an English Speaking Expert.
During the summer holidays, no matter where you are in the world, all you need is a notebook, some earbuds or headphones and some discipline – building this into a routine or habit will have a massive impact on your progress. Perhaps when you are the only one awake or when the baby is asleep and everybody else is at the beach, or you are walking the dog – you’re smart, you’ll find a time. (More ideas on Day 1)
This does not teach you English, you would not be able to read this or understand this podcast if your English was terrible. It is about getting you to really start using your English in a way that increases your knowledge and boosts your network – logical right. I’m a practical but innovative kind of person so sign up for my newsletter and you will receive this three week online course in your inbox.
Once you have registered there will be a WhatsApp group where we can work on the tasks together, that makes it a lot more inspiring.