ERIC Number: ED368540
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Beyond the Language: Native Americans' Nonverbal Communication.
Chiang, Linda H.
Facing an increasingly heterogeneous society, teachers need to be communicators. Most of human communication is nonverbal, but nonverbal behaviors are largely culture-bound. Teachers' sensitivity and understanding of students' nonverbal behaviors and their competence in sending correct nonverbal messages can make a difference in classroom interactions. Native Americans' communication style is influenced by values that emphasize humility, respect for elders, learning through storytelling, intuitiveness, and concern for group harmony. Six Cherokee, Navajo, and Hopi educators in the public schools or university were interviewed about Native American nonverbal behaviors. In their own behaviors and their comments, interviewees indicated the appropriateness of the following behaviors: soft talk; gentle handshake; minimal eye contact, especially with elders; little facial display of emotion; most facial movement around the eyes; varying expectations as to personal distance; and intuitive time-related behaviors. Offers suggestions for increasing awareness of cultural differences among teachers and students. (SV)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Communication Styles; Native Americans
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Association of Teachers of Educational Psychology (23rd, Anderson, IN, October 1-2, 1993).