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  • Writer's pictureDavid Nagai

We Believe in Diversity, Inclusion, and Respect

Updated: Jun 20, 2023

Bridge Beyond English is more than just a place to practice high-level English. It’s a place where we practice harmonious global communication so that we can connect with people and the world in a positive way.


Diversity & Inclusion

We not only appreciate diversity, we actually encourage it. People from all races, nationalities, religions, genders, sexual orientations, professions, and backgrounds are welcome. Diversity enriches the discussion for all students.

In our classes we discuss a wide variety of diverse topics. Students are invited to share their unique experiences and perspectives on each topic. When one student shares a view that is different from other students, all students are invited to listen, ask questions to understand more, and show respect – even if they disagree or see things a bit differently. The more diversity we experience, the more we can open our minds to new ways of thinking and acting in the world.


Respect


Regardless of differences in students’ backgrounds, opinions, and beliefs, our class is a place where we will always show respect with our words and tone of voice.


This means we will never make rude or negative comments about someone’s background or opinion. Instead, we will practice harmonious and respectful communication through asking questions in order to understand why they think a certain way. Asking questions with gentleness, openness, and curiosity allows us all to learn new ways of thinking about the world. It’s also a way for each of us to grow our perspective about people, ideas, and the world.

Every culture in the world has its own unique beauty. Each culture adds value to the world, even though it perhaps also lacks certain strengths or positive attributes that are found in other cultures. That’s why we need to learn from different cultures!

As an American, I recognize that the United States and American culture have some great traits, as well as some very negative traits! I love the creativity and innovation in American culture, but I disagree with how the US uses economic and military power to control so much of the world with violence and coercion. I am happy to critique my own culture even as I celebrate things I like about it. My hope is that my culture can learn from other cultures so that it can improve some of its negative traits and be a more positive force in the world.


I invite my students to affirm the positive things in various cultures while also recognizing potential shortcomings, or gaps. However, when we discuss cultures that are not our own, even if nobody in the class is from that culture, I ask my students to show respect and a desire to understand.


Of course we may not prefer some things about certain cultures because we are not used to it, don’t understand it, or feel that it is not constructive. Maybe we even think certain traits are hurtful and should change. That’s fine. But in our classes, we will respectfully inquire with an attitude of learning and respect, regardless of our culture and preference. We can respectfully agree to disagree.


We also can keep in mind that not everyone from a particular culture is the same, nor do they necessarily agree with all parts of their culture. Culture and people are complex. In order to avoid stereotyping people, we must recognize that...

  • Not all Americans eat hamburgers every day and not all Japanese eat sushi every day!

  • Not all Americans support Donald Trump and love guns.

  • The large majority of Muslims in the world are against terrorism and are very kind people who want to care for their families and keep them safe.


Just imagine a world where diversity is celebrated, all people are included, and people show respect and appreciation toward all cultures. Wouldn't the world be a better place? Well, we can be a part of making this happen through how we communicate, right here, right now.



Bridge Beyond English is a place where diversity is embraced and respected. This is how we learn and grow. Yes, this is how we can make the world a more harmonious and connected place today and into the future.



 

Want to connect with the changing world in English?



online or in Yokohama-Motomachi

to expand your:


creative thinking

global awareness

cross-cultural communication


(Advanced and intermediate only)


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