Enriching Students’ Cross-Cultural and Multilingual Communication: The Serious Play Approach Utilizing Playmobil Pro Figures

Author: Eleni Meletiadou, London Metropolitan University, UK
Email: elenim@outlook.com
Published: June 1, 2024

Citation: Meletiadou, E. (2024). Enriching Students’ Cross-Cultural and Multilingual Communication: The Serious Play Approach Utilizing Playmobil Pro Figures. IAFOR Journal of Education12(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.12.1.02


Playmobil pro is an innovative modelling kit for adults that encourages creative thinking in the university/workplace. International multilingual students often disclose that they have little opportunity to develop their intercultural awareness, and cross-cultural and multilingual communicative competencies while engaging in meaningful activities that foster sustainable content and language learning. In the present study, 35 students were involved in two Playmobil pro workshops. They worked individually to present themselves to their peers, referring to their cultural background. They then worked in groups to explore intercultural differences among people working for organizations operating in the UK and another country of their choice and offer recommendations to help organizations avoid cross-cultural conflicts. The aim was to actively engage students to work on their final assignment and develop their intercultural awareness and cross-cultural communicative skills. This case study used a qualitative design and explored students’ attitudes by asking them to write a short anonymous report at the end of the implementation and provide anonymous feedback via Mentimeter after each workshop. The lecturer also kept notes in the form of a diary during this implementation. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data which revealed that Playmobil pro facilitated intercultural communication in the post-COVID-19 era as students seemed to be unwilling to work with their peers in face-to-face classes, possibly suffering from trauma. However, learners confessed that they needed more time, support, and artefacts to fully present their ideas and thoughts. Recommendations for the effective implementation of Playmobil pro with multilingual students will be offered.


playmobil pro, post-COVID-19 student recovery, multilingual students, content and language learning attitudes, cross-lingual communication, intercultural awareness