Parts of this assignment were adapted from:
Luckman, J. (2000). Transcultural communication in health care. Albany, Delmar Thompson Learning.
Now that students are familiar with their site visit, they have interviewed key informants, observed a program and collected field notes, and observed interactions among various groups within the site, the next step is for the student to participate in a program and report on their findings. The participant–observer visit will take place during (instructor can add date) and students will report verbally in class on (instructor insert date) and hand in a written report on that same day. Students should be aware of the steps that have led up to this particular experience and should rely on previously learned and discussed material in lab and lecture on communication, interaction strategies, cultural awareness and knowledge, and feel ready for the next stage, participant–observation at their chosen community site.
Remember that the participant–observer is not just sitting quietly jotting down field notes; the participant–observer becomes part of the group and engages in interactions with a group that allows them to experience what the group experiences in some small way. Students should report on the program that they participated in and answer the following questions. Reports should be at least three pages, double spaced.
- What program did you participate in and what was your role: helper, helpee, leader, and facilitator? Describe.
- Describe the group culture, how was this culture different from your own background, did you find any commonalities between your culture and this group?
- What were the rules of communication and interaction, describe both verbal and non–verbal behaviors. What types of behaviors were acceptable, unacceptable, were you comfortable with the behaviors? Who kept order within this group?
- During the group session, did you try to observe the interactions that were taking place and then step back and try to observe yourself? How did you feel with the group, were you comfortable and did you contribute, did you feel accepted?
- What strategies did you use to gain access to this group? Was the interaction successful, what would you do differently?
- Did your preparation in lecture and lab assist you with this encounter, what was most helpful?