Use of multiple choice questions to further intercultural awareness and lead on to a debate about norms and values in different cultures

Name

Hilary Rollin

School/Department

Modern Languages, Arts and Humanities

Activity

Multiple choice questionnaire in Spanish to generate debate and cross-fertilisation of ideas. Prepared out of class, used in class. Also available on Brookes Virtual

Group

Spanish Core Language 1. First year post A. Mixed prior exposure to the language. Mother tongue – English, French, German and Italian.

Aim

To foster intercultural awareness leading to intercultural competence. To instigate debate, reflection and greater understanding of difference

Context/Background

May be considered as background knowledge, leading to enhanced intercultural awareness when travelling in the Spanish speaking world for study, work or leisure. Also increased awareness here.

Example

Translated from the Spanish

Young Spaniards leave their parents’ home:

  1. on going to university
  2. probably at the age of 30-35√
  3. once their parents allow them to
  4. as late as possible: it’s very comfortable living with their parents.√

Results/Feedback

Exchange of ideas and greater understanding of difference. Questioning of own values, norms, beliefs. Some questions allow more than one correct answer, which keeps them on their toes and stimulates debate.

Other comments

Providing a range of distracters increases the scope for debate and ensures students focus on an interpretation of the distracter.

Further Information

The exercise works well making students reflect on their own culture and others. I invited students to compile additional questions and distracters, but these were either sexist or racist and lacked scope for meaningful distracters. I included one such offering (somewhat modified) which another group of students condemned as sexist.