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Intercultural Communication and its Implications for Foreign Language Learning Shau-Ju Chang National Taiwan Normal University.

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Presentation on theme: "Intercultural Communication and its Implications for Foreign Language Learning Shau-Ju Chang National Taiwan Normal University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Intercultural Communication and its Implications for Foreign Language Learning Shau-Ju Chang National Taiwan Normal University

2 What had happened? Instance one: Instance one: In a role play in the conversation class, a student said to another student who played the role of an American female teacher, “Hi, nice to meet you. You are so young and beautiful.” Instance two: Instance two: In the public speaking class, a student at the very beginning of his speech said, “I’m not an expert on this topic, so I hope you can forgive me if I make any mistakes.” Instance three: Instance three: Right after a class debate, a student approached her classmate apologizing, “I’m sorry that I asked you so many questions. Please don’t hate me for that.”

3 Culture and Interpersonal Communication Culture and self Culture and self Culture and perception of communication Culture and perception of communication Culture and verbal communication Culture and verbal communication Culture and nonverbal communication Culture and nonverbal communication Culture and social conversation Culture and social conversation Interaction and communication tips Interaction and communication tips

4 Culture and Self An independent self in American culture Individual’s ability, characteristic, attribute, or goal as referent. Individual’s ability, characteristic, attribute, or goal as referent. Belief in the wholeness and uniqueness of each person’s configuration of internal attributes Belief in the wholeness and uniqueness of each person’s configuration of internal attributes

5 Culture and Self (cont.) cont An interdependent self in Chinese culture Defined by relations with others in specific contexts. Defined by relations with others in specific contexts. Relation and other being keys to self Relation and other being keys to self Recognized, defined and completed by others Recognized, defined and completed by others

6 Culture and Perception of Communication In American culture Communication situated in individual persons Communication situated in individual persons Verbally active culture Verbally active culture A means to assert oneself A means to assert oneself A means to establish relationships A means to establish relationships Communication avoidance or reticence seen as a deficiency Communication avoidance or reticence seen as a deficiency

7 Culture and Perception of Communication (cont.) In Chinese culture Communication situated in relationships Communication situated in relationships Verbally passive culture Verbally passive culture Action speaks louder than words Action speaks louder than words Development of moral character more important than that of verbal eloquence Development of moral character more important than that of verbal eloquence Serious consequence of improper verbal behavior Serious consequence of improper verbal behavior Communication avoidance seen neutrally or even positively Communication avoidance seen neutrally or even positively

8 Culture and Verbal Communication US American Culture Chinese Culture Instrumental, goal- oriented Affective-intuitive, relationship-oriented Self-face-orientedMutual-face-oriented Self-enhancementSelf-effacement Low-context High-context UniversalParticularistic Speaker-responsibleListener-responsible Elaborated & mildly exaggerated Succinct & reserved

9 Culture and Nonverbal Communication US American Culture Chinese Culture GesturesVariesVaries Posture More relaxed More formal Facial expressions MoreMore expressive expressive Moreexpressive LessLess expressive expressive Lessexpressive Eye contact More intense Less intense Conversational distance Closer More distant Body contact MoreLess

10 Culture and Social Conversation Conversational style: Bowling—High considerateness Conversational style: Bowling—High considerateness slower speech, more subdued (pace & excitement) slower speech, more subdued (pace & excitement) using respectful and affirming responses to conversation partners (back-channel cues) using respectful and affirming responses to conversation partners (back-channel cues) one person speaking at a time (turn-taking) one person speaking at a time (turn-taking) reluctant to interrupt rudely or to impose on others (number of speakers on the floor) reluctant to interrupt rudely or to impose on others (number of speakers on the floor) one’s turn depending on status, age, and relationship to the other person (turn-taking) one’s turn depending on status, age, and relationship to the other person (turn-taking)

11 Culture and Social Conversation (cont.) Conversational style: Rugby—High involvement Conversational style: Rugby—High involvement faster pace to the interaction faster pace to the interaction loud talking at times & noticeable changes in pitch and volume (excitement) loud talking at times & noticeable changes in pitch and volume (excitement) expecting interruptions & use of cooperative overlap (number of speakers on the floor) expecting interruptions & use of cooperative overlap (number of speakers on the floor) abrupt shift of topics (topic switching) abrupt shift of topics (topic switching) avoidance of pauses or silence between turns (latching) avoidance of pauses or silence between turns (latching)

12 Culture and Social Conversation (cont.) Conversational style: Basketball—In between high involvement and high considerateness Conversational style: Basketball—In between high involvement and high considerateness moderate pace and level of excitement moderate pace and level of excitement one person speaking at a time with limited overlapped speech one person speaking at a time with limited overlapped speech floor opens to all interactants, not based on age or status floor opens to all interactants, not based on age or status relatively short wait time within and between turns relatively short wait time within and between turns

13 Culture and Social Conversation (cont.) cont High considerateness High involvement High considerateness High involvement Bowling Basketball Rugby Bowling Basketball Rugby New England The South The Midwest California New York England Australia England Australia Japan Northern Europe Eastern Europe South American Korean Italian Greek Greek Spanish Spanish Russian Russian African African Arab Arab (Scandinavian countries) (Scandinavian countries) Finland Norway Sweden Finland Norway Sweden

14 Culture and Social Conversation (cont.) Degree of privacy invasion allowed Degree of privacy invasion allowed Individualistic cultures collectivistic cultures Choice of conversation topics Choice of conversation topicsconversationtopicsconversationtopics

15 Intercultural Communication Tips Think beyond the language level: Think beyond the language level: How self, others, and the connection between the two are perceived in each culture How self, others, and the connection between the two are perceived in each culture What communication style is preferred to express one’s self and its connection with others What communication style is preferred to express one’s self and its connection with others Attend to both verbal and nonverbal dimensions of communication Attend to both verbal and nonverbal dimensions of communication

16 Interaction and Communication Tips (cont.) Avoid remarks that suggest ethnocentrism, stereotypes, prejudices and racism. Avoid remarks that suggest ethnocentrism, stereotypes, prejudices and racism. stereotypes Avoid absolute terms and sweeping remarks; instead, use provisional language and speak from your own experience and observations. Avoid absolute terms and sweeping remarks; instead, use provisional language and speak from your own experience and observations. Communication is a two-way process which requires collaboration and a sharing of power and responsibility. Communication is a two-way process which requires collaboration and a sharing of power and responsibility.

17 What had happened? Instance one: Instance one: In a role play in the conversation class, a student said to another student who played the role of an American female teacher, “Hi, nice to meet you. You are so young and beautiful.” Instance two: Instance two: In the public speaking class, a student at the very beginning of his speech said, “I’m not an expert on this topic, so I hope you can forgive me if I make any mistakes.” ——————————— ————————— I heard a lot about you. Apparently you are really popular among students. ———————————————— ——————————————————————————————— ————— Although I’m no expert on this topic, I’ve done some research by reading several books and academic papers on the topic. I’ve also talked to some friends who know a lot about it. And, based on the research I’ve done, I will talk about….

18 What had happened? Instance three: Instance three: Right after a class debate, a student approached her classmate apologizing, “I’m sorry that I asked you so many questions. Please don’t hate me for that.” A student approached her classmate and said, “You are great; you’ve really done an admirable job!” ———————————————— —————————————————————————————————— ———————————————————————————————

19 Q & A


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