Academic journal article Journal of Social Sciences

The Adult Educator of Immigrants as an Intercultural Consultant

Academic journal article Journal of Social Sciences

The Adult Educator of Immigrants as an Intercultural Consultant

Article excerpt

Abstract: Problem statement: Inspired by this multi-cultural situation in Greece and the need of immigrants for participation in adult education, this article examines an aspect of the Adult Educator who has to develop intercultural techniques in the frame of his role in order to become an Intercultural consultant. Therefore the aim of this study is to examine specific characteristics that define the Adult Educator as an Intercultural Consultant. In this way, the Adult Educator contributes to the smooth functioning of educational and thus socialization process in a multinational class. Approach: We present some statements that are likely to occur during an educational program when the student group is culturally different. In particular we focus on situations that are perceived as challenges by the Adult Educator and also recommend practices and guidelines for facing them. Results: The challenges that the Educator has to repeal, expressed in the student group, from the Educator to group and from the group to Educator. The description of possible situations shows up lingering stereotypes, negative attitudes, difficulties in interpreting multicultural communication styles and conflict. Combining practices which the Educator could apply in similar situations, we end up proposing the revision of views through acquaintance with the "other" culture, empathy, promote parity of relationships, humor and cultivating a climate of cooperation. Conclusion: Consequently the Adult Educator as an Intercultural Consultant can adjust the presence of immigrant student in the classroom and contribute to redefining experiences and perceptions of both-culturally diverse learners and the Educator.

Key words: Intercultural consultant, culturally diverse learners, multicultural communication, multicultural situation, unforeseen immigrating, intercultural ability

INTRODUCTION

In our days when we characterize a country as multicultural we mean that it tends to realize the social changes and to encode the current problems and the social conflicts in terms of political and social institutions, independently from its heterogenic population (Govaris, 2000a). Taking this as granted, the multicultural situation of a country is able to contribute to the penetration of democracy in susceptible social groups, such as immigrants.

Greece, like many other countries in western Europe, has met an unforeseen immigrating current that started in the early 90's and keeps going intense until today, causing a not only multileveled but also keen social issue. In this frame belongs the social care of adult immigrants that came into the country and aim at participating in educational programs that have as purpose the Greek language acquisition.

The viewpoint that we study deals with the Educator that takes part in this kind of programs focusing to the fact that the trained people are conditioned by diverse cultural characteristics. Specifically, we examine the Adult Educator of immigrants to his dimension of Intercultural Consultant that he is called to cover parallel to the other dimensions that his role involves. We penetrate referring to situations that might take place in a department with multicultural complexion and we propose treatments from the Adult Educator using his intercultural ability in the educational framework.

The intercultural character of the adult educator of immigrants: The multidimensional role of the Adult Educator demands by himself, beyond the cognitive object's possession and a range of abilities that respond to the demands of each educational public a time. When the Adult Educator is called to participate in groups where the student audience is conditioned by diverse cultural characteristics, has practically to face situations that toughen up the educational procedure either they come from the educated group or from the educator himself. In this framework he undertakes an advisory and guiding role with the necessary development of a further ability from his place, the intercultural ability that is. …

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