The “3 Ps” Method:
Intercultural Inquiry and “3rd Place”
Sabine H. Smith
Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw, GA
Preparing and Supporting K-16 Language Teachers to Teach for Intercultural Competence in and beyond the Classroom
Tucson, AZ
Streets in the Sky:
The Balconies of Lima and the Road
to Intercultural Competence
Sabine H. Smith, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of German
Miriam Bley, M.A.
Lecturer of Foreign Language Education & Spanish
Department of Foreign Languages
Kennesaw State University
Internationalizing the Campus Through Ongoing Country-specific Programming
The “Year Of ” Program at Kennesaw State University
Mission: The Country Study Program provides audiences with a rich, complex, interconnected sense of place and community. It
represents an effective strategy that fits into a broader institution-wide commitment to strengthening global learning on our campus.
The program takes a wide-ranging look at a specific country or region from its earliest history to current events. The program allows
participants to break down stereotypes and connect across cultures.
Year of Kenya ‘07: International Conference &
Investment Forum on "The Role of the Kenyan
Diaspora in Kenya's Development,”
2003 The Year of Spain
• Countries/regions selected via campus-wide survey and
through an executive committee.
• A year in advance, a committee meets to discuss
• Individual committee members assist with making
contacts with lecturers, artists, community members, and
consular officials and well as foreign partners.
Year of Turkey ’08: over 40 papers were presented and one
of the keynote addresses was delivered by Ambassador
Mark Parris, formerly U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, on the
subject "Prospects for U.S.-Turkish Relations under
President Obama.”
• Began in 1984-85 with the Year of Japan
and has attracted regional and national
• Grown over years from just a handful of
events to weekly events from August to
April. Includes special events like the “Year
of “ Day or conferences.
• A 23 year history, including Japan ‘84, the
Soviet Union ‘86, Sub-Saharan Africa ‘92,
Germany ‘93, Israel ’98, Spain ’03, Turkey
’08, and Ghana ’12.
• During the year, a faculty learning committee meets to
discuss a range of topics and literature, culminating in a
trip to the country under discussion.
• Events are linked to credit-bearing courses (both special
topics and degree-required courses). Faculty are
encouraged to bring classes to “Year Of “ events and to
design course modules related to the country.
• Program elements include: Lectures, performances,
exhibits and films, KSU 1101 freshmen common reader
and themed learning community, involvement of
international students from the country of study.
Year of Korea 2009: Zither Musician’s Association
Dragon Boat racing during the Year of China – KSU now
participates annually. The team involves both U.S. and
Chinese students and faculty.
• Frequently study abroad programs are
developed as a result of new partnerships.
• “Year Of “ events give students, faculty and
staff an opportunity to learn about new cultures,
showcase their native culture, and reconnect
with cultures with which they are familiar.
• Increased knowledge on behalf of participants
regarding their role in global society and
enhanced experiences interacting productively
with people from other nations and cultural
Research Question:
“In what ways does intercultural inquiry
anchored in discipline-based methodology
help advance intercultural competence
in undergraduate learners?”
Presentation Overview:
ACTFL Standards for the Profession
The “3 Ps” and Intercultural Inquiry
The “3 Ps” and ICC Development
Opportunities and Limitations of the “3 Ps”
Sample Assignments:
1. English-language survey course
2. German Studies film course
6. Conclusion
1. American Council on the Teaching
of Foreign Languages
ACTFL Standards (1996, 3rd ed. 2012)
The 5 Cs:
American Council on the Teaching of
Foreign Languages
Gain Knowledge and Understanding of Other Cultures
2.1. Students demonstrate an understanding of the
relationship between the practices and perspectives of
the culture studied.
2.2. Students demonstrate an understanding of the
relationship between the products and perspectives of
the culture studied.
American Council on the Teaching of
Foreign Languages
Develop Insight into the Nature of Language and Culture
4.1: Students demonstrate understanding of the
nature of language through comparisons of the language
studied and their own.
4.2: Students demonstrate understanding of the concept of
culture through comparisons of the cultures studied and their
ACTFL Standards and the ”3Ps”
• Cultural products
• Cultural practices
• Cultural perspectives
2. The “3 Ps” and Intercultural Inquiry:
Comparing sets of 3 Ps from 2+ cultures
A triangulated approach to understanding culture
Decentralizing the US viewpoint
Culture-specific and culture-general approach
Peru and Germany: The “3 Ps” of
Peru and Germany: The “3 Ps” of
Peru and Germany: The “3 Ps” of
The “3 Ps” in
triangulated comparison
3. The “3 Ps” and ICC Development:
Julien Peyre, AFS France (2011)
3. The “3 Ps” and ICC Development:
• Engaging diverse learners
• Opportunities for discovery-based learning
4. The “3 Ps”:
Opportunities and Limitations
• Cultural products – What is it? 
• Cultural practices – What do they do? 
• Cultural perspectives – What are underlying values?
 the iceberg metaphor to understanding culture?
(Hall, 1976)
The “3 Ps” and Culture:
Milton J. Bennett (2013):
“Culture is not like an iceberg”
“It's time to retire the image altogether.”
 an alternative metaphor:
hiking a mountain?
The “3 Ps” and ICC
Non-linear process model
Primacy of attitudes
Deardorff (2006)
The “3 Ps” and ICC:
“3rd Place” Experiences
Claire Kramsch (1993)
5. Sample Assignments:
“3 Ps” in an English-language survey course
Intercultural comparisons of “3 Ps” sets
“3rd Place” experiences in and outside class
Student samples (Hawaii, Cambodia)
Student Sample “3 Ps” set:
Cultural Product: : Hawaii’s Surfboard
They split the Koa Log from the sides to form surfboard. Koa
woods property is very hard but also brittle making it very
simple to make a clean cut.
Shaping the Koa cut out with an adz (a special tool used for
shaping the surfboard attached to a wooden handle with
coconut senet)
The surfboard then is smoothened with coral blocks,
charring with fire and scraping. Then rubbing the surface
with different types of sand as well as sanding it with water
and sharkskin
A coat of Kukui nut oil is applied to surfboard.
Student Sample “3 Ps” set:
Practice/Perspective: Riding Waves
Surfing was a spiritual event,
from the art of riding waves itself,
to praying for good surf,
to rituals surrounding building a surfboard.
Surfing was based on social class.
Conflict resolution.
Surfing helped train Hawaiian chiefs.
Surfing was almost lost in the 20th century.
Student Sample “3 Ps” set: Khmer, Cambodia
• Product: Ritual dance
• Practice: Dancers used
as messengers to gods
• Perspective: Wishes
and prayers granted
Student Sample “3 Ps” set: Khmer, Cambodia
• Product:
Carved stone
• Practice:
Entertain gods and
Khmer ideals
• Perspective:
Rebirth of culture
Sample Assignments:
“3 Ps” in a German Studies film course
Intercultural comparisons of “3 Ps” sets
Transcultural narrative Romeo and Juliet
“3rd Place” experiences in and outside class
“3rd Place” experiences for instructor & students
Kein anderer deutscher Film – Kaffee mit Herta
Der brennende Bube (2013)
“3 Ps” in a German Studies film course:
Sommer vorm Balkon (2005)
Transcultural narrative:
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (1591-95)
Verona, Italy
13th Century
West Side Story
NYC (1957, 1961)
The “3 Ps” & “3rd Place“ experiences:
The balcony as interstitial site
6. Conclusion:
• “3 Ps” method
• Intercultural comparisons
• Triangulation
• “3rd Place” experiences
 A replicable approach?
Bennett, M. J. (1993). A Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity. Retrieved
from http://www.library.wisc.edu/EDVRC/docs/public/pdfs/SEEDReadings/intCulSens.pdf
Byram, M. (2008). From Foreign Language Education to Education for Intercultural
Citizenship. Essays and Reflections. Oxford, England: Multilingual Matters.
Deardorff, D. (Ed.). (2009). The SAGE Handbook of Intercultural Competence.
Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Hall, E. T. (1976). Beyond Culture. New York, NY: Random House.
Kramsch, C. (1993). Context and Culture in Language Teaching. Oxford, England:
Oxford University Press.
“National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project” (2006). Standards for
Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century (SFFLL) (3rd ed.). Lawrence, KS:
Allen P. Retrieved from http://www.actfl.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3392
Phillips, J. K. & Abbott, M. (2011). A Decade of Foreign Language Standards:
Impact, Influence and Future Directions. Retrieved from
Smith, S.H. & Bley, M. (2012). “Streets in the Sky: The Balconies of Lima and the
Road to Intercultural Competence.“ The Journal of Global Initiatives 7:2 (2012).
Dresen, A. (2005). Sommer vorm Balkon.
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