Many cultures come to the United States by way of study abroad programs, foreign exchange, and the sister city exchange. There are more than just a few ways in which we as human beings can get a different perspective on methods to communicate and learn. I learned first hand how to take the best methods from one culture and combine it with the accepted methods of my own. The city I grew up in, the high school I attended, and the sister city program I became involved in helped nourish and develop my work habits, attitude, and drive to learn.
After reviewing the short passage I feel that learning is preceded by a personal process rather than a cultural process. A person can only learn by personal drive and the willingness to accept all cultures and extract what he/she believes are the best traits from the culture that they are exposed to. The conclusion that the author of the passage comes to is that it was her culture that was inaudible and not her own drive to be heard by the others in class. Some get more opportunities than others to separate themselves and become effective learners.
When the author was called on in class she felt comfortable reading because she had the words on the page in front of her and she found no other ways to be creative with the English language. She felt that reading was easy and that talking was difficult because she had to actually apply herself to make up what to say. Why not communicate with those around you the best that you can? Make a mistake or two and don’t blame your culture for your inadequacies to learn.
The summer before my Senior year I accepted an invitation to go to Japan with the sister city program that my city offered. I found from this experience that I had a lot to offer and teach the students in Japan. Some methods of learning are more socially accepted in their culture. It took me as a person to decide which ones were a complement to my own methods. For example, the attention to detail and the efforts to perfect whatever tasks they were performing was conclusive when I watched them.
I could choose to perform tasks incompletely and carelessly but now I pay greater attention to everyday tasks and ritually complete them. The time that I spent in Japan has proven to be advantageous because everything that I do takes a combined course from their culture as well as my own. During my stay in Japan I found myself adapting to this new environment with out a great deal of difficulty. If for any reason I might not have been interested in the culture it might have been more strenuous for me as a person to understand, appreciate, and learn about the culture.
I find myself using the language ( although not fluently) even today when I come across Japanese people whether they are tourists or they live here. I am confident that the knowledge I gained while in Japan will aid my future career in the importing and exporting business. As you can see there is an abundance of reasons why it is great to learn in a new culture. There are, however, a small amount of disadvantages to learning in a new culture. The leading disadvantage would be the evident language barrier.
It may be extremely difficult for the new student to learn the language of the culture, but once learned I feel that being able to speak the new dialect is a great reimbursement of the difficulties it took to learn it in the first place. Another disadvantage of learning in a different culture would be adapting to the different teaching styles. A teacher in Thailand might teach concepts visually instead of orally. This might be hard for the student to adapt to.
A persons typical mode of perceiving, remembering, thinking, and problem solving might have to be adjusted by he/she in order to grasp the concepts of that particular lesson. This “adjustment” may be easier for some students and hard for others, it all depends on the individual. In conclusion, learning is more of a personal endeavor than a cultural one. In the years I have been a student every apprentice I have come across, whether they were the high school valedictorian, the class clown, the most quiet, or the most outgoing; was a completely unique individual.
Some students, as I can remember, sometimes caught on to concepts quickly while others followed behind, and some never grasp the concept at all. In my experience learning is based on an individuals ability to perceive, interact with, and respond to the learning environment. If a human being is really interested in what they are learning they will be more susceptible to attain the necessary elements to understand the idea. So whether if you are in Mexico or the United states of America your success depends on your personal characteristics, your willingness and ability to learn.