The Importance Of Cultural Liaisons in International Distance Education: a Case Study
Atkinson, Pamela H.
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There can be unforeseen breakdowns in communication, and in the educational process, when international education takes place between United States providers of that education and working professionals abroad, whose native language is not English and whose cultural experience is not of the U.S. The significance of the cultural differences that exist in all societies cannot be overestimated, nor can the challenges that occur, when those differences are not understood and appreciated by both the educational providers and the adult learners. This paper details the important role played by a Koreanborn engineering Ph. D. student at Berkeley, hired to serve as a Cultural Liaison between the Korean engineers taking a Berkeley course in a distance learning mode, and the course facilitator.