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Katie Craven

Lisbon, Portugal

  • Specialist countries
    • USA
    • Portugal
    • United Kingdom
    • Brazil
  • Areas of expertise
    • Communication skills
    • Presentation

Katie Gray Craven is a writer and communications coach. In her day job, she works as a teacher, teacher trainer, translator and academic editor. She provides bespoke courses designed to meet the specific communication needs of her clients. Her client portfolio ranges from media enterprises, to banks, from consulting firms to pharmaceutical companies, from senior level civil servants to mathematics teachers. She has even coached an operatic stage director! Her goal is to help give voice to non-native speakers as they try to express themselves in the global lingua franca that is English

Language and culture: conjoined yet independent

Katie is living a dream. From a young age back in Tenneseee (U.S.A.), she dreamed of living abroad and becoming bi-lingual. And, in fact, has lived most of her adult life in Portuguese: 4 years in Brazil and 22 years in Portugal. In addition to having lived and thrived on three continents, she also studied Cultural Studies and Anthropology. Nevertheless, she was taken aback when she shifted her geographic focus from South America to Europe and experienced… culture shock! This data from her informal participant observation gave empirical support to the theory that culture is simultaneously conjoined with language yet totally independent of it. In Portugal, for example, it’s not enough to revise question forms and send students out, saying “Go mingle!” Repeatedly, she’s encountered the need for a brief yet explicit discussion of why Portuguese adults sometimes find it so intimidating to strike up conversation with strangers. She has to teach basic mingling techniques because chatting with strangers is not a culturally prized skill.

She has been fascinated by the potential of CultureActive ever since she attended a presentation of the model by Mr. Lewis years ago and she is now thrilled to have the opportunity to work more actively with the tool.

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