Our English Classes

A blog for Maribel's students at EOI and CEP Granada

Advanced 1 01.12.10

Posted by maribel on 03/12/2010

It is important to understand and respect cultural diversity: the differences between regions, countries and cultures. You have to learn the skills of proper etiquette, manners, and intercultural communication.

When people go into another cultural environment some of the things that can be different for them are such things as the verbal communication style, that can be radically different. And we’re not just talking about a different language but literally the way that we use verbal communication.

Secondly, the non-verbal communication, body language, the gestures and the things that we do as part of our communication. For example, when you greet someone, body contact is generally taboo in most Asian countries but in other parts of the world hugging and kissing is acceptable. Even within France, some people kiss on one cheek only, some on two cheeks, some on three cheeks.

Another good example of cultural difference is in the way different cultures view time. Do we see time as a linear process with a fixed series of events following each other, or is time something much looser, much more flexible? People have different attitudes to time and experience time in different ways. Westerners feel that Easterners are rude when they come 20 minutes to half an hour late to an appointment. But when an Easterner says “11:00” he or she means “between 11 and 12”. In contrast Westerners divide time into strictly-measured hours, minutes and seconds, into which one carefully arranges one’s plans, appointments, and activities so as to fit exactly and not cause delays to one’s own or anyone else’s plans. When persons with different assumptions come into contact there is great room for misunderstanding!

Here you have a link on international etiquette, customs, manners and protocol.

HW

Handouts: Use of English and Reading: “The shell artist”

TB pg. 134 ex. 2B a & b; pg. 24 reading and vocab.

Composition: Travel annecdote.

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