Listen to the beat | An intercultural jolt

6845838363_9b000ca3f2_oA jolt is an engaging learning activity that lasts for a brief period of time and illustrates one or more important learning points …  A typical jolt does not teach a skill. Instead, it helps you experience an important principle in action and provides you an “aha” moment … They capture your attention by startling you … Thiagi.

This quick jolt is inspired by a YouTube clip that Dr. Broady posted yesterday over on her blog.


Access to YouTube to play this clip – Ghanian funeral dance, speakers.


  • Don’t tell Ss the title of this clip. Tell them that you are going to play some music and they should think about where this might be taking place in terms of the country or region as well the event or venue. They should try to imagine what people at this event might be doing while listening to this music and what sort of people they might be.
  • Play only the audio – doing whatever you need to (depending on the device) to block the video.
  • Ask Ss to share their ideas in pairs. Take whole class feedback.
  • Now play the clip again, allowing Ss to see the video.
  • Ask Ss to work with their partner to discuss how close or far their guesses were.


  • Use open-ended questions to facilitate a discussion and elicit the following learning points:
    • In cross-cultural interactions, when we jump to conclusions, based on our own frames of reference, without taking the time to observe, we may make decisions or base interactions on incorrect perceptions and information.
    • And when we jump to conclusions and receive new information through this flawed lens, we may become overly judgemental about cultural differences.
  • Ask Ss to relate these points back to the cross-cultural interactions they have at work.

Image attribution: Flickr | Jolt Cola by Brent Moore | CC BY-NC 2.0


3 thoughts on “Listen to the beat | An intercultural jolt

  1. Hi Adi, thank you for the post: I loved the activity itself, and planning to use in a Culture Module on a course for teachers. Question about the ‘jolt’: can you recommend any resources to read more about the idea? I have never come across this (simple!) idea in training and would like to learn more about it.

    I am enjoying your blog a lot!


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