Social integration: Strategies to foster migrants' effective participation in a group

Anita Mak, Michelle Barker

    Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contributionpeer-review


    Asian migrants can sometimes find it difficult to demonstrate their knowledge and contribute to workplace meetings and class discussion in an individualistic host country, where locals often appear to be direct, outspoken, and eager to talk over other people. Migrant workers and students may become frustrated and discouraged when they cannot find the gap to break into a lively discussion. Developing the social competency of effective participation in a group discussion can enhance migrants’ social integration and personal wellbeing. This paper describes and explains how the cultural mapping approach, a schematic framework initially developed for the EXCELLTM (Excellence in Cultural Experiential Learning and Leadership) Program for fostering international students’ sociocultural competencies (Mak, Westwood, Barker, & Ishiyama, 1998), can be adapted to facilitating Asian migrants’ participation in a group meeting in Western settings. The paper provides practical examples of how cultural mapping can help break down complex social interactions into more manageable phases, to help migrants to join in a group discussion. The application and utility of cultural mapping as a stand alone tool or part of a more comprehensive sociocultural competency or host language training program are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPrevention, Protection and Promotion: Proceedings of the second International Asian Health and Wellbeing Conference
    EditorsS Tse, M E Hoque K Rasanathan, M Chatterji, R Wee, S Garg, Y Ratnasabapathy
    Place of PublicationAuckland, NZ
    PublisherUniversity of Auckland
    Number of pages9
    ISBN (Print)9780473117584
    Publication statusPublished - 2006
    EventSecond International Asian Health and Wellbeing Conference - Auckland, New Zealand
    Duration: 11 Nov 200614 Nov 2006


    ConferenceSecond International Asian Health and Wellbeing Conference
    Country/TerritoryNew Zealand


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