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Sietar, Society for Intercultural Education Training and Research

Using Documentary

Webinar: Using documentary film interactively in intercultural communication training


webinarThe film festival will kick off with a webinar by John Twitchin: an interactive presentation of extracts from broadcast training documentaries on intercultural communication which show intercultural exchanges and misunderstandings at work both in the West and in Asia. They are widely used by university teachers of languages and linguistics, by cultural trainers of managers preparing for working internationally, and by HR trainers of 'front-line' public services to meet needs of ethnically and culturally diverse minorities. John will demonstrate interactive uses of documentary materials, for example pausing the films from time to time to invite the audience to discuss briefly in 2s or 3s provocative issues raised in the film evidence. 

Extracts will include:
1. TV clips for triggering discussion of how to handle foreign names with respect.
2. Doctors and legal advisers interacting with culturally diverse communities.
3. Customer service exchange in a bank: extract from 'Crosstalk', the original pioneering film on which intercultural communication studies are based.
4. Culturally sensitive marketing: Qantas pitches to a delegation from Japan.
5. A first meeting: Western businessman with his Indonesian counterpart.
6. Managing a multicultural team: start of Western decision-making meeting with managers of Greek, Italian, Malaysian, Indian backgrounds.
7. TV clips of idiomatic misunderstandings in English used as lingua franca.

HANDOUT 1: WEBINAR TOPICS and FILM EXTRACTS (updated on 13th September 2013)


John Twitchin

Background Information
1963 – 68 BBC Producer/Journalist, World Service; and Radio News Division
1969 – 92 Senior Producer BBC TV Continuing Education and Training Department i/c
management training output, and Editor i/c BBC multi-cultural output
1978 &1992 Socio-linguistics research with Prof. John J Gumperz, Univ. of CA, Berkeley
Since 1992 Film producer; tutor of postgraduate university courses;
training for managers and staff of public services; coaching of international

Intercultural Productions for BBC TV and SBS Channel
Among over 300 TV broadcast productions, 100 are documentary training programs on managerial and front-line responses to diversity at work, specialising in Inter-cultural Communication. All are supported by teachers'/ trainers' manuals; all used globally in Universities, Business Schools and Colleges.

Samples: Crosstalk; Recruitment Interviewing Across Cultures; Performance Appraisal Across Cultures; Counselling and Advice across Cultures; 3-part What Makes You Say That?; Attitudes to Islam; Children without prejudice; Anglo-Saxon Attitudes; 20-part Multi-Racial Britain project; Intertalk on plurilingual education across Europe; 3-part Black and White Media Shows on image-making effects of stereotypes of cultural minorities in the media.

For list of intercultural training films, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or click on 'Crosstalk DVDs and Handbooks' on website

Day & time Thursday 19 Sept at 11.00 - 12.50

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