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INTERCULTURAL

COMMUNICATION
French: Bonjour
Spanish: Hola.
Russian: Privet.
Chinese: Nǐn hǎo.
Italian: Salve
Japanese: Konnichiwa.
German: Guten Tag.
Definition and Nature of
Intercultural Communication
Intercultural communication
happens when individuals
interact, negotiate, and
create meanings while
bringing their cultural
backgrounds.(Ting-Toomey,
1999)
For some scholars,
intercultural
communication
pertains to
communication
among people from
different
nationalities.
(Gudykunst, 2003)
Others look at
intercultural
communication as
communication that
is influenced by
different ethnicities,
religions and sexual
orientations.
In intercultural
communication, the
intended meaning of any
messages by a person of a
certain culture and
decoded by someone of
the other. The different
meaning of symbols/
nonverbal cues in different
culture also vary making
the interpretation difficult.
 Nodding means “yes” in the Indian
subcontinent, Latin America, North
America and many part of the world.
However, in Greece , Lebanon and
Syria nodding indicates disagreement.
 People from Africa , Latin America
and the Caribbean avoid eye contact
to show respect.
 Russian consider smiling strange and
even impolite.
 Sitting with legs crossed is offensive in
Ghana.
 In Indonesia, no one pats the top of
a child’s head.They believe it is
where the child’s spirit resides.
 Europeans only have to wait 5 min
beyond the appointed time. Filipinos
will still wait for as long as an hour
(even longer!).
 In Thailand, only the King can
wear yellow.Tourists who dare to
wear yellow are punished.
The Developmental Model of
Intercultural Sensitivity

 The Developmental Model of


Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS)
offers a structure that explores
how people experience cultural
differences. According to Bennett
and Bennett (2004), it has six
stages. These are the following:
Stage 1: Denial

The individual does


not recognize
cultural differences.
Stage 2: Defense
 The individual starts to
recognize cultural
differences and is
intimidated by them,
resulting in either a superior
view on own culture or an
unjustified high regard for
the new one.
Stage 3: Minimization
Although individuals see
cultural differences,
they bank more on the
universality of ideas
rather than on cultural
differences.
Stage 4: Acceptance

The individual begins


to appreciate
important cultural
differences in
behaviors and
eventually in values.
Stage 5: Adaptation

The individual is
very open to world
views when
accepting new
perspectives.
Stage 6: Integration
Individualsstart to go
beyond their own
cultures and see
themselves and their
actions based on
multifarious cultural
viewpoints.
 Note that in addition to culture, other
elements such as gender, age, social status,
and religion must also be taken into
consideration when communicating with
others:
 .1.Avoid stereotypes, i.e.,
generalizations about a
certain group.
 2. Challenge gender norms;
avoid using “he” and “man”
to refer to a general group of
people. To remedy this, you
may use plural pronouns or
rewrite a sentence to avoid
using pronouns. The use of
his/her is also acceptable.
 3. Do not talk down on
younger people and the
elderly.
 4. Be sensitive to the
religious practices of others.
 5. Be polite at all times; do
not belittle people you
perceive to be on a lower
social class than you.
ACTIVITY: Form five groups. Each
group will represent a particular
country (Japan, France, China,
Philippines, and Mexico). Imagine
yourselves as the ambassadors of the
country assigned to your group. work
together and come up with some
interesting data about your country.
Write questions (how, what, why,
where, when and who) and provide
corresponding answers.
 Example:
China
 Question: When is the best time to visit
your country?
Answer: _____________________
France
Question: What is the history behind the
Eiffel Tower?
Answer____________________
Japan
Question: How did you earn the title “The
Land of the Rising Sun?”
Answer: ______________________
Mexico
Question: How would you describe your
cuisine?
Answer: _______________________
Philippines
Question: Why are you called the “Pearl of
the Orient Seas?”
Answer:_________________________
 Come up with as many questions and
answers as you can. After brainstorming,
pretend that you are in an international
conference for peace and that you will
field a foreign correspondent who will
answer questions from the audience
about your assigned country. Choose one
of your members to act as the foreign
correspondent. The remaining members
will act as the audience from other
nationalities who will ask the questions
you listed. Present this in a three-minute
skit.

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