Class 03

Summary: First, we observed the video clips below about cultural misunderstandings when new family members of different cultures meet. This lesson was created by Rosie Dodd, a creative English teacher. After viewing each video, we discussed cross-cultural differences and misunderstandings about the youtube movie clips, what we would have done in a similar situation, and have we ever experienced any of these issues before. Finally, we shifted to your own experiences with cross-cultural misunderstandings. 


After each clip, here are some discussion questions. You can also make your own:

·      What cross-cultural differences/misunderstandings were in the movie clip?

·      How did the actors react to these issues?

·      Why did these misunderstandings happen?

·      What would you do in this situation?

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Joy Luck Club: Meet the Parents

In pairs, discuss your own experiences with cross-cultural misunderstandings. 


Discussion questions:

·      If a tourist were coming to your country or the country you live in now, what advice would you give them? Think about:

o   What to wear in different places

o   How to eat

o   How to greet people

o   How to talk to people of the opposite sex

·      What was the most different culture you’ve been in? Describe it.

·      Have you ever had a cross-cultural misunderstanding? What happened?

·       Why is intercultural awareness important?

Homework for Class 03: Please choose one video or reading that is the most interesting to you to view with the closed captions (CC) to read, and then reflect and analyze what you observed and complete the TED Talk 4-Cs worksheet attached below. The four Cs are concepts, challenges, connections, and changes. 

Reading Option 1:

International Relations EDU. (, 2019). 5 ways to avoid mistakes in cross-cultural communication. International Relations EDU. 

This reading reveals five ways to avoid mistakes in cross-cultural communication. 

Reading Option 2: 

Toegal, G., & Barsoux, J-L. (2016). 3 situations where cross-cultural communication breaks down. Harvard Business Review.                                                                                        

Toegal and Barsoux (2016) reveal the three most common situations where cross-cultural communication breaks down. 

Video Option 1:

How to Handle Cross-Cultural Communication

This video provides three case studies about cultural misunderstandings and the importance of awareness of differences to avoid misunderstandings. 

Video Option 2:

Cultural Misunderstandings

Corina Strech reveals her cultural insensitivity in class and how she could have avoided a cultural misunderstanding. This scene is a classroom situation, but it can be applied to various leadership roles or cultural exchanges. 

Stacey Vye,
Apr 7, 2020, 10:53 AM
Stacey Vye,
Dec 8, 2020, 5:08 AM