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GEC 5-


Source: Purposive
Using English
Prepared by: in Multilingual Contexts
Mrs. Via Huiso-Alberto,LPT By Marilu Rañosa Madrunio
Liberal Arts and Education Department Isabel Pefianco Martin
Cultural Issues Affecting
In order to develop skills as communicators, we must gain practical
knowledge of the factors that make communication across cultures succeed or
fail. According to experts in the field,some of those factors or issues include:
1. Cultural identity
2. Racial identity
3. Ethnic identity
4. Gender roles
5. Individual personalities
6. Social class
7. Age identity
8. Role identity
Cultural Issues Affecting
1. Cultural Identity
Culture can be defined as the
values, attitudes, and ways of
doing things that a person brings
with him from the particular place
where he was brought up as a
Cultural Issues Affecting
2. Racial Identity
Racial identity refers to how one's membership to a particular race affects
how one interacts with co-workers of different races.
Cultural Issues Affecting
3. Ethnic Identity
Ethnic identity highlights the role ethnicity play in how two co-workers
from different cultures interact with one another.
So, what is the difference between race and ethnicity? According to some
experts “While race and ethnicity share an ideology of common ancestry, they
differ in several ways. First of all, race is primarily unitary. You can only
have one race, while you can claim multiple ethnic affiliations. You can
identify ethnically as Irish and Polish, but you have to be essentially either
black or white.”
Cultural Issues Affecting
4. Gender Roles
This means that communication between members of different cultures is
affected by how different societies view the roles of men and women.
For example, Women in the Philippines are graceful, lovely, and tolerant.
They want some rights as men possessed.
Cultural Issues Affecting
5. Individual Identity
This means that how a person communicates with others from other
cultures depends on his own unique personality traits and how he esteem
Cultural Issues Affecting
6. Social Class
The social identity factor refers to the level of society that a person was
born into or references when determining who she wants to be and how she
will act accordingly.
Cultural Issues Affecting
7. Age Identity
The age identity factor refers to how members of different age groups
interact with one another. This might be thought of in terms of the “generation
Cultural Issues Affecting
8. The Roles Identity
The roles identity factor refers to the different roles a person plays in his or
her life including their roles as a husband or wife, father, mother or child,
employer or employee, and so forth. How two members from a workforce
from two different cultures view these various roles influences how they will
interact with their colleague or counterpart. (Source: Internet)
Global Issues Affecting Communication
Catherine Skrzypinski (2012) enumerates and discusses global issues that may
affect communication.
1. The Issue of Face to face Communication
2. The Issue on Social Network
3. The Issue on Culturally Competent Workers
Impact of Communication on Society
Communication as well as technology have impacts on society. People use
technology to communicate with each other.
Electronic media like radios, televisions, internet, social media have
improved the way we exchange ideas which can develop our societies.
Technologies have improved education and learning process. Many schools
have started integrating eductional technologies in their schools with great
aim of improving the way students learn.
Technologies like smart whiteboards, computers, mobile phones, iPad,
projectors and internet are being used in classrooms to boost students moral
to learn.
Impact of Communication on Society
Visual education is becoming more popular and it has proved to be the best
method of learning in many subjects like mathematics, physics, biology,
geography, econmics and much more.
The business community has invested money in various educational
technologies which can be used by both teachers and their students. For
example, on iTunes, you will find many educational applications which can
allow students and teachers exchange academic information at any time, this
has made learning mobile.
Programs like long distance learning or open university system have opened
boundaries to so many scholars around the world.
Impact of Communication on the World
Communication is now possible with the help of wireless technology. In
fact, wireless technology is the fastest and best form of technology that we
could have ever asked for.
The wireless communication and technology have changed the world in the
following ways:
1. Impact on Healthcare
2. Impact on Aids of Catastrophic Events
3. Impact on Environmental Protection
4. Impact on News Reporting
The diversity of people and culture impacts
communication. Communicating with
people coming from unfamiliar cultures
poses challenges.
The success of intercultural communication
does not depend on language skills alone,
but on openess and sensitivity to cultural
diversity, as well as on a genuine desire to
understand and be understood.
How then do we approach intercultural
Before reading the text, below are the meanings of the following words and
phrases that are used in the selection.
Take for granted
-to accept without question or objection; assume:
Cultural biases
-the tendency for people to judge the outside world through a narrow view
based on their own culture.
Domestic workforce
-the people engaged in or available for work, either in a country or area or in a
particular company or industry relating to the running of a home or to family
Communicating Across Cultures
By Carol Kinsey Goman (2011)
(1) Communicating across cultures is challenging. Each culture has set rules
that its members take for granted. Few of us are aware of our own cultural
biases because cultural imprinting is begun at a very early age. And while some
of a culture's knowledge, rules, beliefs, values, phobias, and anxieties are taught
explicitly, most of the information is absorbed subconsciously.
(2) The challenge for multinational communication has never been greater.
Worldwide business organizations have discovered that intercultural
communication is a subject of importance—not just because of increased
globalization, but also because their domestic workforce is growing more and
more diverse, ethnically and culturally.
(3) We are all individuals, and no two people belonging
to the same culture are guaranteed to respond in exactly
the same way. However, generalizations are valid to the
extent that they provide clues on what you will most
likely encounter when dealing with members of a
particular culture.

High-Context vs. Low-Context

(4) All international communication is influenced by
cultural differences. Even the choice of communication
medium can have cultural overtones. The determining
factor may not be the degree of industrialization, but
rather whether the country falls into a high-context or
low-context culture.
(5) High-context cultures (Mediterranean, Slav,
Central European, Latin American, African, Arab,
Asian, American-Indian) leave much of the
message unspecified, to be understood through
context, nonverbal cues, and between-the-lines
interpretation of what is actually said. By contrast,
low-context cultures (most Germanic and English-
speaking countries) expect messages to be explicit
and specific.
Sequential vs. Synchronic
(6) Some cultures think of time sequentially, as a
linear commodity to "spend," "save," or "waste."
Other cultures view time synchronically, as a
constant flow to be experienced in the moment, and
as a force that cannot be contained or controlled.
(7) In sequential cultures (like North American,
English, German, Swedish, and Dutch), business
people give full attention to one agenda item after
(8) In synchronic cultures (including South America,
southern Europe and Asia) the flow of time is viewed
as a sort of circle, with the past, present, and future all
interrelated. This viewpoint influences how
organizations in those cultures approach deadlines,
strategic thinking, investments, developing talent from
within, and the concept of "long-term" planning.
(9) Orientation to the past, present, and future is
another aspect of time in which cultures differ.
Americans believe that the individual can influence the
future by personal effort, but since there are too many
variables in the distant future, we favor a short-term
view. Synchronistic cultures’ context is to understand
the present and prepare for the future. Any important
relationship is a durable bond that goes back and
forward in time, and it is often viewed as grossly
disloyal not to favor friends and relatives in business
Affective vs. Neutral
(10) In international business practices, reason and emotion both
play a role. Which of these dominates depends upon whether we
are affective (readily showing emotions) or emotionally neutral
in our approach. Members of neutral cultures do not telegraph
their feelings, but keep them carefully controlled and subdued.
In cultures with high affect, people show their feelings plainly
by laughing, smiling, grimacing, scowling, and sometimes
crying, shouting, or walking out of the room.
(11) This doesn't mean that people in neutral cultures are cold or
unfeeling, but in the course of normal business activities, neutral
cultures are more careful to monitor the amount of emotion they
display. Emotional reactions were found to be least acceptable in
Japan, Indonesia, the U.K., Norway, and the Netherlands and
most accepted in Italy, France, the U.S., and Singapore.
(12) Reason and emotion are part of all human communication. When expressing
ourselves, we look to others for confirmation of our ideas and feelings. If our
approach is highly emotional, we are seeking a direct emotional response: "I feel
the same way." If our approach is highly neutral, we want an indirect response: "I
agree with your thoughts on this."
(13) It's easy for people from neutral cultures to sympathize with the Dutch
manager and his frustration over trying to reason with "that excitable Italian." After
all, an idea either works or it doesn't work, and the way to test the validity of an
idea is through trial and observation. That just makes sense—doesn't it? Well, not
necessarily to the Italian who felt the issue was deeply personal and who viewed
any "rational argument" as totally irrelevant!
(14) When it comes to communication, what's proper and correct in one culture
may be ineffective or even offensive in another. In reality, no culture is right or
wrong, better or worse—just different. In today's global business community,
there is no single best approach to communicating with one another. The key to
cross-cultural success is to develop an understanding of, and a deep respect for,
the differences.
Have you experienced
communicating with a
foreigner in any instance?
Did you find it
challenging? What were
some of your most
unforgettable memories?
There are different varieties of
English spoken by countries
colonized by Britain, the US,
Canada, and Australia:
Singapore English, Malaysian
English, Philippine English,
and Thai English, among
others. These varieties have
their own grammatical,
lexical, and syntactic features
and should not be considered
as errors.
Spoken language is a language provided by articulate sounds, as opposed to a
written language. Many languages have no written form and so are only
1. Professional Spoken Language
This type of language is used by professionals from specific industries. the
speech used here is highly technical, with stress put on facts, figures, data, and
industry jargons.
2. Literary Spoken Language
This is the language used in magazines and newspapers.
The stress is more on communicating with a large section of the
crowd. The speech follows all rules in grammar and yet, the words
used are simple and common.
3. Conversational Spoken Language
This English is more widely used in daily conversation, where rules of
grammar are more relaxed, stress is more on just getting the message across.
Sentences might be dropped half-way on realizing that the listener has gotten the
4. Slang, Ethnic, and Vulgar Language
Every language comes with a set of words that have multiple meanings, and
depending upon the situation in which you use them, multiple interpretations as
well. These words are called slangs, and are native to a particular region.
Certain words might not be strictly off-limits in a society, but could be highly
offensive to a particular community. These ethnic slangs and vulgar words find
their way into the slang talk. Close friends use this mode for communication
while having a friendly, informal conversation.
The written language is more carefully organize, more self-explanatory, the
word choice is more deliberate. Insofar as the actual situation in which a
language is being used.
The written language is only secondary.
The written language is mostly maintained in the form of monologue, the
written language is able to live forever with the idea it expresses.
The written language can be detailed and objectively looked at. The writer has
an opportunity to correct and improve what has been put on paper. It also bears
a greater volume of responsibility as the writer can be seen and viewed.
Using Appropriate Terms, Expressions, Images and
Slow down when you speak.
Speak clearly and concisely.
Keep it simple.
Maintain respect and courtesy for people who come from different cultures.
Smile and be open.
Avoid slang.
Shun humor.
Adopt a formal communication approach until you develop a rapport with your group.
Stay away from using negative questions or answers.
Ask for feedback.
Summarize what you have said.