“Many times I felt that because of the language difference, I didn’t have the words to say some things that I was thinking. I noticed that when I went to these interviews with the U.S. guy, he would tend to lead the interviews, which was understandable but also disappointing, because we are at the same level. I had very good questions, but he would take the lead.”
“In Mexican culture, you’re always supposed to be humble. So whether you understand something or not, you’re supposed to put it in the form of a question. You have to keep it open-ended, out of respect. I think that actually worked against me, because the Americans thought I really didn’t know what I was talking about. So it made me feel like they thought I was wavering on my answer.”
The MIT releases as open content an introductory course in agricultural engineering. A professor from the Maghreb studies the educational material and thinks that it would be very interesting to use a part of it with his students. However, he encounters some barriers to use the open contents in his teaching:
Institutional restrictions: At his university, textbooks and other educational materials usually are pre-approved by the rectorate before incorporating them into the curriculum
Language: Some of his students do not speak English, or they do not have enough command of it to use the original material.
Local relevance: Examples of the MIT course relate to corn and cotton farming. However, in the region where the university is located, the main agricultural products are tomato, cucumber and aubergine, which require different technical training.