Culture Learning Strategies Inventory


  • To highlight the strategies students already have for communicating across cultures
  • To help students recognize additional strategies for improving their cross-cultural communication


Short description: The purpose of this inventory is to find out more about yourself as a culture learner and to help you discover strategies that can help you understand and adapt to cultures that are different from your own. Culture learning strategies can be difficult to pinpoint because when we function well in an environment, we are often no longer conscious of the strategies we use. And perhaps more important, we may not always be conscious that we are not functioning well in a new environment! This inventory asks you to consider what you do and what you might do to be effective in a new culture. The specific strategies listed here, while not exhaustive, are comprehensive in terms of what research, theory, and experience suggest are important to consider for how you acquire the knowledge and skills to function well in a new environment.

Sample questions: 

Instructions: When taking this inventory, check the box that describes your use of each listed strategy. The categories are: I use this strategy and like it; I have tried this strategy and would use it again; I’ve never used this strategy but am interested in it; and This strategy doesn’t fit for me.

Sample questions:

  • Consider ways in which different cultures might view things in different ways (e.g., how different cultures value “alone time” or independence).
  • Explain my cross-cultural experiences (the good and the difficult) to my family and friends at home.
  • Analyze things that happen in my host country that seem strange to me from as many perspectives as I can.

Paid or free: Free

Reliability/validity measures: Not available


  • Independent
  • Instructional/educational


  • Any individual
  • Students

Type of measurement: Questionnaire

Possible uses:

  • Study abroad pre- and post-test
  • Personal growth
  • Part of curriculum (classwork or homework)

Ease of implementation: Easy. Est. 30 minutes to complete the survey, 20-45 minutes for discussion (optional)


  • There are not many questionnaires that deal with learning of cultures, so this may provide useful and unique information.
  • Can be used in a variety of settings (independently or instructional)


  • Self-report

Studies this has been used in:


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