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English as an International Language

Autor:   •  November 29, 2018  •  1,021 Words (5 Pages)  •  182 Views

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language, combination of English and their own language to communicate with others. Since the reason for acquiring English language and the way each nations adapted it varies, we indeed have significant responsibility to acknowledge those differences when learning intercultural communication, in order to communicate well.

When communicating inter-culturally, we hold responsibilities as global citizens, to minimise intercultural conflict and to maximise our personal growth by encountering different cultural perspectives. Because communication is situated and contextual, behaviours are dependent on what we have perceived throughout our lives, which may complicate communications. (Jackson, J. 2014, p84). We have to be clear with the updated ownership of English, as well as people’s differing behaviours. For instance, in Korean culture, it is extremely rude to look into people’s eyes when having a conversation with them, however in Australian culture, it is rude if you do not do so. Therefore, when I first came to Australia, it was very difficult for me to get used to, which often lead to misunderstanding. Moreover, parameters of politeness varies. As a learner of Japanese language, it was highly evident that Japanese society and culture place emphasis on honorific terms to convey politeness, when in some other cultures, politeness is expressed in other ways. As from my experiences it can be confirmed that, “there are more possibilities of miscommunication, especially when a second language is involved” (Jackson, J. 2014, p. 83), because there are more chance of an unintentional communication getting misconceived when communicating internationally. To be a well prepared international communicator, who commutes sensitively across different cultures and ethnicities, it is pivotal to be aware of both vastly differing verbal and nonverbal communication (Williams, A., Ting-Toomey, S., & Nishida, T., 1999).

Understanding how English has been de and re- nationalised is imperative in learning intercultural communication by fathoming the whole process of changed ‘ownership’ of English. Through this process, we can “learn how to adapt and thrive in unfamiliar environments, and contribute to our planet in a constructive, peaceful manner” (Jackson, J. 2014, p. 4) without causing xenophobic conflicts. Only by being fully aware of cultural differences, we can become better international communicators who are well enough to respect any other existing cultures and appreciate the fact that international language is “no longer linked to a single culture or nation but serves both global and local needs as a language of wider communication” (McKay, S. 2002).


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