X-Culture: Learning from the Project

Guest Blogger: Benjamin Blach

The X-Culture project is over, and I feel that I have learned from this experience. My team started the project very well. We communicated several times a week to go over our project and learn about each other. Over the duration of the assignment, people started to stop communicating to the group.

The girl from India was originally one of the most active people. Then she sent us an email saying that she would be going to Malaysia for a while and that we may not hear from her. Our group did not hear from her for about three weeks until the day the report was due, and we had already turned it in. I wrote her part for her.

The girl from Thailand also stopped communicating for a while before the project. I am thankful that she was at least able to complete her part of the report, even though I had to fix a lot of grammar and spelling mistakes. The gentleman from Mexico started off as our unofficial leader. He would message us every day and send us the information that we needed. When we started writing the report, he wrote his part in Spanish and then used Google Translate to put it into English. When I read through it, I couldn’t understand what he was saying and each paragraph was a long, run on sentence. I had to rewrite his whole part of the report.

The gentleman from Florida International University was originally from the UAE. He showed up about two weeks into the report and disappeared a couple times throughout the process. He wrote his part with terrible English, and I had to rewrite it for him. His part was also supposed to be about 3 pages and he gave us half a page.

The only other person who really worked hard on this assignment and produced good quality work was the girl from Washington. She was active throughout the entire project and did her assigned part effectively. She is the only person that I would want to work with again.

One thing that I felt strongly about during this project is that I do not think that it is fair for the American students. The international students are often unable to write in with grammar. There were several parts of the paper that I was trying to rewrite, and I couldn’t even understand what they were trying to say. I think that this puts an unfair amount of responsibility on the people who know English. I also heard of a lot of plagiarism that took place during the project. There were a couple parts of the paper that would go from terrible English to perfect English and great vocabulary. This made me nervous about plagiarism.

Some suggestions for bettering this project in the future include shortening the duration. Perhaps this would keep students from losing interest and disappearing over time. Like I said before, my group started out pretty well and got worse over time. Another idea would be for the group to come up with the business plan, and then each student to write their own report to turn in to their professor. Overall, I am glad that I did this project, and I feel that it helped me to understand other cultures a bit more.

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