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ERIC Number: ED336951
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Need for Nonverbal Communication Theory When Teaching English as a Second Language: A Case Study in China.
Schnell, Jim
Based on a native English-speaking teacher's perception that Chinese university students of English as a Second Language have greater skill in vocabulary than in the communication of ideas, a survey of students in one class investigated attitudes about the role of nonverbal communication in the communication process. Responses indicate a lack of understanding of nonverbal communication processes. Over half the students surveyed felt they were more expressive nonverbally when they are speaking English than when speaking Chinese, and most felt nonverbal communication in the two languages differs. A strong majority felt they could communicate better in English if they learned more nonverbal communication norms in English-speaking countries. The need for more emphasis on nonverbal communication is evident from these responses. High- and low-context communication processes illustrate the effect of culture on the listening process. Expectations can differ greatly in the two kinds of communication. At a minimum, theory that can enhance understanding of nonverbal communication processes should be taught, with emphasis placed on general ideas rather than specific skills. Work in proxemics, vocalics, kinesics, eye behavior, and tactile communication would contribute to awareness. A 13-item bibliography is included. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: China