Nowadays, multicultural learning has become more extensive than ever before. It empowers ordinary people to reach across boundaries and nations regardless of their race, gender, class, sexual orientation, age and other socioeconomic and cultural dimensions. For me, multicultural learning experience helps better understand a diverse life of students from other countries. Multicultural learning broadens students’ minds and helps re-examine what they have learned from the different perspective.
First of all, introducing myself to different cultures, I try to learn something new about it, something that is different from my own culture. Not so long time ago, I discovered that the use of educational technology and electronic media provides a perfect opportunity to share ideas, data, videos and other information that will be of great help in learning a new culture. The Internet networks give me an opportunity to connect with students all over the globe and improve my knowledge and experience in different subjects. This is actually how I gained and still keep gaining my multicultural learning experience – through connecting with the American students. In my learning, I widely use e-education that allows me to learn outside the class using my personal computer. It is also advantageous because it gives an opportunity to use face-to-face learning. Virtual learning environment is rather flexible, so that I can choose what time for learning is suitable for me. Thus, for example, watching various documentaries, I have learned new things about different cultures, such as their way of life, customs and traditions.
In today’s diverse cultural environment, it is very important to understand people from other cultures. We should not be limited by our own culture. Every culture has something different and useful for person’s development. Online activities, such as online chat rooms, conferences and forums, are of great help in establishing friendly relations with people with similar interests. Online message centers, for example, can accommodate a great number of users who create their interest groups and develop their relations not only virtually, but also in real life. Due to my multicultural learning experience, I have found out that Chinese students usually achieve higher results in studying than students from any other country, even though most of them are considered to be more passive and dependent on their teachers than any other students. Nevertheless, my approach to studying leads them to great results in studying. The Asian learning style is worth attention of many western educational systems. I have realized that Americans have absolutely other value system.
Furthermore, I have understood that Asian and Chinese students in particular are in very close relationships with their families. Unlike American students, they are dependent on their families. I guess that my sense of independence and self-esteem are lower than of many American students. Thus, I learned about myself that I can achieve more as an individual if I change my attitude to myself. Chinese culture, like many others, varies extremely from American. Nevertheless, learning new things about American culture provides me with new experience.
My online and live communication with American students let me understand their way to success. On the other hand, I have discovered that due to our religious peculiarities, we respect age, rank and care about family background more than Americans do. My responsibility for learning is very strong. Responsibility is of great concern in studying. Thus, I have realized that if I understand the material that I study, I will memorize it with less effort. As for me, I am sure that in order to understand different cultures, people should know their own culture. This knowledge will help them to assimilate other cultures and acquire new learning experience that would be beneficial to their success in studying.
In conclusion, experience, from which I learn something about a culture other than my own, enriches and develops my personality. Thanks to communication with American students through the Internet, I have learned much about their way of studying and their culture in general. I also discovered something new about myself.