Learner Description:
This page was created for advanced ESL Students enrolled into Cross-Cultural Communication course.

This Activity was designed in order to familiarize learners with essential cultural blocks, such as: Individualism and Collectivism, Monochronic and Polychronic Time, Direct and Indirect Verbal Styles, High and Low Power Distance, and High and Low Context Cultures.


All students will be divided into five equal groups - "Expert Groups". Once assigned a group, join your group and work together on a specific topic assigned to your group. Once each group finishes working on their specific topics, the groups will be reorganized into new groups. There will be only ONE Expert on a particular topic in each group. Each expert will teach the rest of the group his/her topic. By the end of the activity, all groups and group members will be competent in all topics.

Find your Expert Group and discuss the following:

  1. Provide a brief characteristic of the concept. What key words can you use to describe it to someone not familiar with this topic?
  2. In what way does it affect culture?
  3. Provide two examples of your particular cultural concept in a "real life"
  4. Provide two reasons why it is important to know about these concepts?
Cultural Jigsaw Expert Groups
Group Name Cultural Concept Websites and Resources
Group A Individualism vs. Collectivism

Definitions of I and C

How I/C Cultures Affect Education

What is Your Culture? I or C?

I vs. We Culture

Test Yourself!

Group B Monochronic vs. Polychronic Time

Time Sense: M vs. P time.

Test Yourself!

Monochronic vs. Polychronic Time Table

M and P time Video

Group C Direct vs. Indirect Verbal Style

Direct and Indirect Communication Style

Compare Direct and Indirect Communication Styles

Direct and Indirect Communication - Examples

Direct and Indirect Communication Video

Group D

High vs. Low Power Distance

Power Distance

Power Distance and Education

Compare High and Low PD

Power Distance Video

Group E

High vs. Low Context

High vs. Low Context Cultures

Analyzing High and Low Context Cultures

Explore Example of High and Low Context Cultures

High and Low Context Video

© 2011 Tsisana Palmer
Department of Educational Technology
Boise state University

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