Intercultural Communication Problems in the Danish-German Border Region

In this project, we aim to describe members’ cultural knowledge and interactional practices on both sides of the border in order to develop playful ways of introducing people to communication practices in the other country. We proceed in two ways: On the one hand, we analyze language learners’ real life interactions for communication problems, using corpora of language learners who have recorded themselves in the wild; this method allows us to pin down communication problems as they are oriented to by speakers in situ. On the other hand, we use a crowdsourcing approach using social media where we invite a set of partners as well as the general public to post and discuss their observations regarding intercultural communication differences. We carefully moderate the crowdsourcing platform and use empirical verification in order to put the suggestions made on a scientific basis. We are working on different forms for feeding the information back to the public: On the one hand, we develop publicly downloadable teaching material and online quizzes, on the other we plan to cast our findings into a computer game that allows players to master different aspects of life (e.g. a job interview) in the other culture.

Kerstin Fischer, Søren W. Eskildsen, Oliver Niebuhr and Maria Alm