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Information for teachers

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Non-verbal communication

Non-verbal communication

See also

Non-verbal communication

Non-verbal behaviour causes communication problems in multicultural classrooms. Experts assert that up to 70% of communication is non-verbal. This includes body movements or kinesics and elements of speech known as paralinguistics. There are cultural differences in every aspect of non-verbal communication. The difficult part of these differences is that we often don’t recognise them. Difficulties in communicating verbally are obvious, but not nearly as obvious when their body contact or tones of speech, for example, are different and yet these can also cause communication problems. 

Non-verbal communication is as important as what we say, but we’re less conscious of it than we are of speech. So our reactions are often subconscious. We may decide that Carlos is pushy and aggressive, for example, without realizing it’s because he stands closer than we’re comfortable with. Carlos, for his part, has probably decided that we’re stand-offish, unfriendly and possibly dishonest because we keep moving away from him.

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Teachers and non-verbal communication

Understanding non-verbal communication helps teachers manage a classroom. It helps interpret students’ needs. Some cultures are highly expressive, for example, while others have muted responses.  A Japanese student who is very animated is more likely to be very upset or excited than a Brazilian exhibiting similar behaviour. The latter may just be trying to get a point across.  Knowing what certain gestures mean can help teachers respond appropriately. An upward glance from a Japanese student, for example, often means they haven’t understood but hesitate to ask.

Watching and listening carefully can help us identify friction between students. Cultural differences can make it difficult for students to work together. Add culture shock and the general frustration of language learning and it’s easy to understand why students sometimes get annoyed with partners from other cultures or try to avoid working with some classmates. When teachers detect tension, they can intervene at critical moments, move students around so the students involved don’t work together for extended periods and help students understand differences.

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Contact: Ngaire Jehle-Caitcheon | Email: info@culturesintheclassroom.com

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michael kors black friday michael kors Black Friday michael kors black friday michael kors Black Friday michael kors black friday michael kors black friday Abercrombie and fitch cyber monday lululemon black friday lululemon cyber monday kate spade black friday Abercrombie and fitch black friday Chanel cyber monday Prada black friday coach black Friday bose cyber monday pandora black friday canada goose cyber Monday uggs black friday lululemon black friday beats by dre cyber Monday north face cyber Monday lululemon black friday victoria secret black friday uggs cyber monday north face black friday uggs cyber monday beats by dre black friday canada goose cyber Monday nike black friday kate spade cyber monday beats by dre black Friday canada goose cyber Monday north face cyber Monday uggs black Friday beats by dre cyber Monday kate spade cyber monday michael kors black Friday michael kors cyber Monday michael kors black Friday dior cyber monday Versace black Friday uggs cyber monday uggs cyber monday under armour cyber monday michael kors black Friday north face black friday sale michael kors black Friday michael kors black Friday uggs cyber monday uggs black friday beats by dre black Friday Juicy Couture cyber monday chanel cyber monday uggs black friday michael kors black Friday north face black friday uggs black friday michael kors black Friday nike black friday louis vuitton cyber Monday beats by dre cyber Monday abercrombie and fitch cyber Monday kate spade cyber monday michael kors cyber Monday canada goose black friday beats by dre black Friday beats by dre cyber Monday michael kors cyber Monday uggs black friday Babyliss cyber Monday Uggs cyber monday beats by dre cyber Monday Ray Ban cyber Monday north face cyber monday north face cyber monday deals Tiffany cyber Monday canada goose cyber monday beats by dre cyber Monday michael kors cyber Monday Hollister cyber Monday lululemon black friday michael kors cyber Monday uggs cyber monday beats by dre cyber Monday beats by dre black Friday coach cyber monday jordan 13 grey toe coach cyber Monday jordan 13 grey toe north face black Friday michael kors cyber monday michael kors outlet beats by dre black Friday jordan 13 bred coach cyber monday michael kors cyber monday uggs cyber monday uggs cyber monday legend blue 11s gucci black friday victoria secret cyber monday uggs cyber monday michael kors cyber monday victoria secret cyber monday uggs cyber monday nike black friday uggs black Friday legend blue 11s jordan 6 black infrared true religion black friday jordan 11 legend blue hollister black friday beats by dre cheap north face black Friday coach outlet online uggs cyber monday north face outlet kate spade black friday victoria secret cyber monday canada goose cyber monday michael kors black friday hollister cyber monday lululemon cyber monday north face black Friday canada goose black friday victoria secret cyber monday