|On December 16th 2010, the students of Jennifer Schumm’s applied language studies class on Intercultural Communication at the English Department, Graz University met the pupils of Mrs. Pölzleitner’s 3b English class to give joint presentations on young adult novels that both groups had read.
This day was the culmination of a reading project in which both classes discussed and explored the concept of culture and cultural identity in the young adult literature they had read.
All the novels in this project deal with" crossing borders" of some sort. In each of the books the main characters are crossing borders. Some of them have moved into a new country or culture, others have moved to a new school or neighborhood and find themselves in a different ethnic, social or religious group. In this project we have explored how the characters deal with these difficult situations.
What were the presentations like?
The pupils and students took different approaches to their respective books in their presentations. In this way different viewpoints and interpretations were presented that not only complemented each other but also gave everyone a deeper insight into the novels. The pupils of 3b presented
the plot, characters and settings of a given book, and then the students of the English Department addressed the cultural aspects of the same novel.
Thanks to the very creative and interactive presentations prepared by Ms. Schumm's group, 3b students were still active and wide awake after 5 hours!!! of hard work in this project.
My Culture -- Your Culture:
In the last part of our projet day we shared personal cultural experiences and habits.
Many students presented typical holiday foods or traditional clothes or items from their cultural backgrounds.
Thanks to all of you for contributing to this exciting event that has shown once again, what a wonderful, colorful, multi-cultural world we live in.