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www.e3a.nato.int. Developing Intercultural Awareness and Communication Enhancement Training within NATO: - the NAEW&CF E-3A Component experience. Russell C. Kent MA, Applied Linguistics & ELT Faculty of International Communication University Zuyd Maastricht, & Maastricht University

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Developing Intercultural Awareness and Communication Enhancement Training within NATO: -the NAEW&CF E-3A Component experience.

Russell C. Kent

MA, Applied Linguistics & ELT

Faculty of International Communication

University Zuyd Maastricht,


Maastricht University

The Netherlands

[email protected]

[email protected]


I wish to state that I do not officially represent the E-3A Component in Geilenkirchen Germany.

However, the Component leadership do not have any objection to my giving this presentation to you.


  • NAEW&CF E-3A Component, Geilenkirchen

  • Established 1982, only multinational NATO operational flying unit.

  • 3100 multinational military/civilian personnel

  • 17 E-3A, 3 TCA


  • FOB Aktion, Trapani, Konya

  • FOL Oerland

  • 30 multinational aircrews

  • 15 nations

  • Squadrons: 3 Operational, 1 Training

  • Principal role: Air Surveillance

Why establish a caw cep
Why establish a CAW/CEP

  • MA Dissertation research project

  • Perception of use of English

  • 2 NATO HQs:

    • E-3A Component – US/Canadian NS

    • HQ ARRC – UK NS

  • Approx 30% respondents felt mission effectiveness compromised

  • Overwhelming majority wanted training

Why establish a caw cep1
Why establish a CAW/CEP

  • Component leadership wanted training

  • Cost to NATO, Component and individual

  • Asked to design, develop, deliver programme

  • Component personnel training

  • Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis

  • Culture and Language influence each other

Cultural awareness workshops aims
Cultural Awareness Workshops - Aims

  • Make Component members aware of impact of culture on communication

  • Knowledge to identify cultural differences

  • Skills to apply knowledge

  • Make NS aware of their use of English

Communication enhancement aims
Communication Enhancement - Aims

  • Provide assistance to NNS who require or request support

  • Allow any NNS to voluntarily participate

Cultural theory and practitioners
Cultural Theory and Practitioners

  • Cultural Theory

    • Hall

    • Hofstede

    • Trompenaars

    • Mole

  • Practitioners

    • Kohls, Storti, Peterson, Thomas, Inkson

  • Trainers Course Bath – Pilbeam and Lynch

  • SivasailamThiagarajam (Thiagi)

Workshop content
Workshop Content

  • Agreement to most effective approach

  • Generic – own culture, ethnocentricism, move beyond confines

  • Perception - the ‘other’, stereotyping

  • Cultural concepts

  • Experiential – cultural encounters

  • Quiz – fun, participant generated

Workshop content1
Workshop Content

  • NS understand how their use of English affects communication

  • Discuss typical problems with NNS

  • Explore international English

  • NS experiential activity

    • Handle sensitively

Workshop content2
Workshop Content

  • Important to Debrief each activity – allow time

  • Typical debrief questions:

    • What happened?

    • How do you feel?

    • What did you learn?

    • How does this relate to the real world?

    • What next?

Workshop content3
Workshop Content

  • Keep lectures to a minimum

  • Most feedback indicated low tolerance of lectures.

  • Consistent with knowledge of adult learning preferences

  • Promote discussions, experiential

  • Avoid ‘Death by PowerPoint’


  • Workshop Manual

    • Background information on cultures present

    • Intercultural guidelines /tips

    • Theory – cultural frameworks/contexts

  • Certificates

    • Attendance

    • Quiz


  • All workshops bar one mixed nationalities

  • One US personnel only – more difficult

  • Numbers

    • Lowest 8

    • Maximum 32

    • Approx 20 ideal

  • Feedback

    • Positive, particularly for discussions

Personnel training
Personnel Training

  • 5 day Intercultural trainers course LTS Bath

  • 3 Component personnel

  • Led 4 activities in total


  • Room big enough for 20 – 30 people

  • Tables chairs

  • Laptop/PC with speakers

  • Projector/screen

Follow up workshops
Follow up workshops

  • 3 – 6 months after initial workshop

  • Ascertain usefulness of initial workshop

  • Input from participants

  • Fine tune further workshops

Communication enhancement
Communication Enhancement

  • Support/assistance for NNS

  • Also voluntary participation

  • Syllabus development considerations

    • Impossible to determine in advance personnel requiring training

    • Impossible to determine exact communication problem in advance

Communication enhancement1
Communication Enhancement

  • 3 month rolling syllabus

  • Participants can join as required

  • Different levels of ability allowed

  • Shorter time frame possible

  • Problem areas

    • Listening in the aircraft

    • Pronunciation

    • Fluency

    • Vocabulary development

Communication enhancement2
Communication Enhancement

  • No grammar

  • Considered extremely important to assist in language areas where problems are difficult or impossible to foresee in a classroom setting before arriving at the Component

Communication enhancement3
Communication Enhancement

  • Only 2 students recommended for CEP

  • Student 1

    • Listening to US NS in aircraft

    • Adapted activities from a different context

  • 2nd Student

    • Component testing personnel felt no instruction necessary

Future developments
Future Developments

  • CAWs relevant in multinational military community

  • Component experience as a framework

  • Personnel can meet in a relaxed atmosphere before training commences

Working with other people
Working with other people

  • You have been selected as one of a two experts to be sent to coordinate a location as a Deployed Operating Base. You are likely to be away for at least a week.

  • Your commander has told you that you can choose between two subordinates who have both volunteered.

  • Both people are well qualified, competent and have a good track record on similar deployments.

  • So you know, no matter who you choose, the mission will be accomplished successfully.

  • All things being equal, what will be the deciding factor when making your choice?

Working with other people1
Working with other people

When asked this question, most people answer:

The person they trust or the person they like

Someone they just ‘click’ with.

CAWs offer opportunities to get to know each and form a basis of trust which can only improve working relationships


Should you require it, please e-mail me for a

complete list of resources used during the

development of both programmes.

[email protected]

[email protected]