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Conflict resolution role cards (first date between a Korean woman and Canadian man) - an intercultural roleplay

Canadian:

You are a Canadian man. You are having your first date with a Korean exchange student. You took her to a diner. Your hamburger and coke come to about 10 dollars so you take out 13 dollars. Your date ordered spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, and a coke. That comes to 14.00 so you ask your date for 17.00. She should actually put in 17.50, but you want to seem like a nice guy, not a cheap guy. This should improve your chances of getting to kiss your date good night.

When you ask her for the money, it seems to upset her. Use the 4 steps to solve this problem.

1. Both people explain what they find unusual about the other's behavior.
2. Each person realizes the other's cultural perceptions.
3. Each person learns how the problem would be handled in the other's culture.
4. Together, the two people develop conflict solutions.

Korean:

You are a Korean exchange student. You are on your first date in Canada. You've just enjoyed a great dinner, but the meals in Canadian diners are too big and you couldn't finish. Your date helped you by eating one of your two large meatballs and one of your 3 pieces of garlic bread.

Now he's asking you for 17.00 but you don't understand why he asked you out on a date and is unwilling to pay for your meal, especially on the first date. He should pay for the meal and you should buy coffee afterwards. Plus he wants you to pay for everything you ordered, even though he had one of your meatballs and one piece of garlic bread. Is he cheap or is there some cultural conflict at work here? Use the 4 steps to solve the problem.

1. Both people explain what they find unusual about the other's behavior.
2. Each person realizes the other's cultural perceptions.
3. Each person learns how the problem would be handled in the other's culture.
4. Together, the two people develop conflict solutions.

Teacher's notes

An assessment rubric for this roleplay is available: Intercultural communication roleplay assessment rubric.

1. I used this as one possible roleplay for the midterm exam during a Catholic University EFL class called Intercultural Communication. Students have already studied the conflict resolution process for intercultural communication. The one given here was created from an American perspective. It is worth asking students if they think it needs to be modified in certain circumstances. For example would a Korean and a Filipino find this process useful? My students have never had any suggestions, however.

2. Normally you would want to set the scene in class. However because this was used for the midterm exam, students (one pair at a time) came to my office at the arranged time. I recorded the roleplays as I always do in case students wants to argue their grades.

3. Students work in pairs. A group of 3 would be very difficult with this roleplay. I offered students several choices: for example a pair of two women could be a lesbian couple or one could pretend to be the man. In every case the students chose to pretend there was one man and one woman rather than roleplaying a gay or lesbian date.

4. It should be noted that this suggestion came from my Korean students and I then wrote the role cards based on their ideas.