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Conflict resolution role cards (personal questions) - an intercultural roleplay

Korean:

You are the 60 year old manager of a US company's Korean office. A young executive has come from America to change the way you run your office. You're not sure that he is qualified to make any suggestions since he looks so young; you must have much more experience than he does. You also want to know how much money he makes to see if the US headquarters is treating Korean employees fairly. He refuses to answer your questions so you need to use the 4 steps to find out why.

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.

American:

You are an American business person visiting your company's Korean office. After an unusual dinner the night before, you're looking forward to seeing how things work in the Korean office. The manager of the office greets you and announces that he will be showing you around today.

He says that you look younger than he expected and asks your age. You would rather not say. Then he asks if you make a lot of money. You are not comfortable with these questions so 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.

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 approach conflict resolution differently from an American?
2. Normally you would want to set the scene in class. However because this was used for the midterm exam (students rolled a die on the day of their test to see which situation they would roleplay), 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 should be possible with this roleplay.
4. It should be noted that this suggestion came from my Korean students and I then wrote the role cards based on their ideas.