The Intercultural Link Learning Program (Learning Program) is intended for volunteers and staff to become more interculturally sensitive and to develop the abilities needed to facilitate intercultural learning in others (students, schools, host families, and people external to AFS).
The introduction course to the Learning Program, What Every AFSer Should Know about Intercultural Learning™ 2.0 (known as “Level W”), is mandatory for all volunteers and staff around the AFS Network. In Level W, participants learn the fundamentals of the AFS Educational Approach, models of culture, cultural values and dimensions, communication styles, cultural adaptation and the AFS Educational Methodology
By Manisha Bhole, Volunteer, Nashik Chapter
Level W offers participants the opportunity to share an intercultural encounter that they have experienced in the past and reflect on ways in which intercultural learning could have helped them in that situation. They also get to explore with which cultural groups they identify, including some of the stereotypes and assumptions about those groups.
On 28 January 2018, 24 volunteers attended Level W training in Nashik. The trainer for the same were Sarita Badhwar, AFS India Staff Member and Chaitanya Gokhale, Volunteer from Pune.
The training began with the activity of creating Name plates followed by other sessions such as Educational approach and definition & concept of Culture, Cultural Values and Dimensions, DIVE (Describe, Interpret, Verify and Evaluate) and Cultural Adaptation. We also found what ‘W’ stands for in W-level training. Sarita ma’am explained W-curve and later explained that W stands for ‘What Every AFSer should know about Intercultural Learning? ‘
After the beautiful and meaningful journey of learning, the volunteers were more confident about the basic and structured knowledge of intercultural learning which we all believe is going to be useful in our personal lives as well.