Football players, cheerleaders and nerds
German students learn about the differences between German and American schools and about cross-cultural business negotiations
During his return visit to Lüdenscheid, Michael Puglisi, who was an
assistant teacher for English during the 2005-06 school year at GSG, led
a workshop for those in the 9th and 10th classes,
and some in the 13th class who were taking their oral Abitur
Mike initially said that he wanted to focus on cross-cultural business
negotiating between Germans and Americans, his assistant, Halina Bause,
helped him a little bit to steer the discussion in a direction that was
more applicable to the students who attended. Halina, who had studied in
make the presentation fun they decided to include some role-playing
activities. In the end, Halina took the role of the American
school teacher, instructing her pupils in technical cheerleading moves,
as well as teaching them that raising their hands was unusual in
American schools, and that they were not allowed to leave the classroom
to go to the bathroom without a hall pass.
Mike then led a short discussion on German-American cross-cultural relations, focusing on major differences that Germans and Americans come across when they meet, laced with many of his personal examples, such as his difficulties at the beginning to use "Sie" and "du" properly.
most fun activity, however, was the role playing simulation of lunchtime
in an American school, with the participants divided up into three
groups: football players, nerds, and cheerleaders. Students in
each group were instructed on how to play their roles and a couple of
students were selected to act as exchange students who had to try to
find a group to fit in with. In order to sit with the nerds, the
exchange student had to have an overall grade of no worse than 1,1, and
using the wrong type of nail polish disqualified an exchange student
from sitting with the cheerleaders. The football players, on the
other hand, didn't really care. They just sat there throwing a football
around, and occasionally hitting nerds for fun.
All in all, those who participated not only got to enjoy some pizza, but also got tips from Halina and Mike on what it's like to be an exchange student, and got a little bit of a better idea of what to expect when meeting Americans.