ERIC Number: ED274154
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jun
Common American Attitudes That Help and Hinder in Communicating in a Foreign Culture. ACTFL Master Lecture Series.
Geno, Thomas H.
Five American cultural characteristics hinder communication in foreign cultures: feelings of Anglo-American superiority, a myopic and insular mentality due to geographic isolation, lack of international perspective, chronic anti-intellectualism, and snobism attributed to the speaking of foreign languages by those who do not. Professionals teaching foreign languages have been hindered in their goal of promoting intercultural communication by their own insularity, a narrow focus on only language students, and a narrow focus on instructional material and content. However, the profession has begun to make some progress in these areas. In addition, there are peculiarly American traits and factors that can aid in dealing with other cultures: geographic mobility, ethnic consciousness, popularization of foreign cultures, an eagerness to do good, pragmatism, the motivation of good students to enroll in college language courses, the reinstatement of foreign language requirements, which are increasingly tied to proficiency rather than an accumulation of credits, and a trend toward international education. There are ways to change the negative attitudes and capitalize on the positive ones to promote intercultural communication and foreign language learning. (MSE)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Defense Language Inst., Monterey, CA.
Note: Paper presented at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center. (Presidio of Monterey, CA, June 1982).