Counterpart E-mails and Bulletin Board Postings


E-Mail Partner Exchange

During some semesters of this course you will be paired up with a student from another country. Your photo and introduction as well as your counterparts will be placed on a password protected portion of the website to help you initially get acquainted.  From that starting point you will be expected to e-mail your new friend and develop a cross-cultural relationship. You will be give some specific e-mail topics that relate to the class that you must discuss for the assignment but besides those, the content of your e-mails is up to you, provided they do not include obscene language, harassment, unwanted sexual advances or other blatantly offensive behaviors or language. You can use the e-mail as an opportunity to explore what it is like to live in the other country. For example, you might be curious about the transportation system in Japan or their major holidays. You will be required to send a specified amount of e-mails to your partner. Save your e-mails and responses in a Word Document so that you can copy them into an E-mail

(Do NOT send the Document attached) and submit at the end of the semester for credit (See Calendar of Assignments). 


Bulletin Board Postings


During some semesters you will participate in a bulletin board activity. While the e-mail content can be of your choosing, alternate semesters students will be required to participate in a directed discussion via the bulletin board on Global Intercultural Connection.  The bulletin board topic will be determined depending on the semester and schedule. “


The following are sample bulletin board assignments that may be used in subsequent semesters or instead of another assignment if needed. You will receive directions via e-mail listserv before you are required to participate.


Reading Synthesis

In this Bulletin Board posting, you will be asked a question that requires you to synthesize the readings and reference specific reading material in your answer. A detailed response is required.


Cultural Predictions

In this Bulletin Board posting you will write some predictions about your counterparts in the other country and your counterpart will confirm or deny these predictions. That is to say, you will make some guesses about the behaviors, attitudes, values and beliefs of your counterpart and his or her culture. For instance, you might predict that Japanese have a high value for education and your counterpart may confirm this. On the other hand, because you read in the newspaper that many Japanese couples are having fewer children, you might predict that birth control pills are common in Japan. Your counterpart may disconfirm this prediction by responding that birth control pills are not available in Japan and if there are any in the country they are there illegally. You should have at least 10 cultural predictions. Your counterparts will respond in kind with predictions of their own about you and your culture, to which you will respond.



Helpful Information

In this Bulletin Board posting you will write a list of helpful interaction hints for people in the other culture to use when they are communicating with members of your culture. For example, you might write that your counterpart should not be insulted if they find Americans looking them directly in the eye for extended periods of time. While many other cultures do not engage in lengthy eye contact, Americans hold serious negative connotations about individuals who don’t look you in the eye when they communicate – disinterest, boredom, lack of respect, something to hide, low self-esteem and the like. This bulletin board posting comes at the end of the semester, so you should have no trouble coming up with at least 5 helpful hints. 


Be sure to check the "Calendar of Assignments" for the exact Bulletin Board assignment for your specific semester as well as the specific due dates. Make sure you have tried out the bulletin board and are familiar with its operation before the due dates. 


Note: This is a "Listening Test." There is a "glitch" in Bulletin Board.  When you have posted your response successfully, you will receive an "error" message indicating that the page cannot be found. Click the "back" button, the "refresh" button and then the "Cancel" button to see your posting. If you miss this "Listening Test" and keep trying to respond, you will have numerous postings of the same thing. Everyone who has read the "Listening Test" will know that you missed it!