Eat your lunch slowly: Cultural patterns of communication and language miscues

Paul STAPLETON

Research output: Other contributionOther contributions

Abstract

When communication failure occurs between native speakers of two different languages, it is often perceived to be caused by a lack of vocabulary or a poor grasp of grammar. However, communication breakdown also occurs because of intercultural miscues. This talk will introduce patterns related to intercultural communication where misunderstanding between speakers of different cultures sometimes occurs. The patterns will be presented as contrastive pairs: 1) vertical-horizontal; 2) high and low context; and 3) process-product. Critical incidents, or real life examples of pragmatic success and failure, will be introduced with episodes taken from English, Chinese and Japanese to illustrate how a deeper understanding of the cultural values and assumptions associated with any language can help language learners avoid cultural "errors." These incidents may also lead the audience to reflect on their own way of interacting with speakers of other languages and provide clues on how to become a better intercultural communicator.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015

Citation

Stapleton, P. (2015, April). Eat your lunch slowly: Cultural patterns of communication and language miscues. Sharing sessions conducted at the Public Lecture Series 2015: The English you didn’t learned in school III, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China.

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