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Question: CHALLENGES OF INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION It has become a widespread notion that speakers' use of different languages results in intercultural miscommunication and misunderstanding. As Scollon and Scollon (1995) state: When we are communicating with people who are very different from us, is very difficult to know how to draw inferences about what they mean, and so it is impossible to depend on shared knowledge and background for confidence in our interpretations (p. 22). Indeed, the lack of knowledge and beliefs and cultural diversity make it more complicated to arrive at the correct inference or interpretation of meanings. But it can also be argued that English is now a global lingua franca. In fact, with the ASEAN integration, English has been declared the official or working language of ASEAN. So with just one language to be spoken or used by many countries including the 10 member countries of the ASEAN, what else can go wrong? It is thus important to emphasize that the ownership of English cannot be attributed to just one country or to those who use it as a native or home language. The varieties of English spoken by different speech communities have evolved for a reason. They use it for communal purposes. These varieties have been heavily influenced by the local culture and its speakers. Recent studies have shown that the problem of misunderstanding is not overt and can be traced to speech perturbations, poorly managed turn-taking, and non-aligned, "parallel talk" (House, 1999, p. 80). Meierkord (2000, p. 11 as cited by Kaur, 2016) emphasizes that communication in English as a lingua franca (ELF) is "a form of intercultural communication characterized by cooperation rather than misunderstanding" (p. 135). This she noted in her study of participants coming from 17 different first language backgrounds which yielded the result that the participants displayed communicative behavior not generally associated with their linguacultural backgrounds making the talk cooperative and supportive in nature with few misunderstandings. Note that misunderstanding in intercultural communication may not always be caused by verbal utterances. Misunderstandings may also occur due to wrong interpretation of the non-verbal code. For instance, the handshake which is commonly done by people introduced to each other by a third party should be done and interpreted correctly as the type of handshake varies from culture to culture. Study the table below and find out how handshakes differ from country to country. Create the content of the PowerPoint report for this topic.
Slide 1: Title: "Intercultural Communication Challenges" - Brief explanation of the topic. - Quote by Scollon and Scollon (1995). Slide 2: Title: "Impact of Cultural Diversity" - Explanation of how a lack of shared knowledge, beliefs, and cultural diversity complicates communication. Slide 3: Title: "Use of English as a Global Lingua Franca" - Brief history and reasons why English became a global lingua franca. - Information on the ASEAN integration and the use of English as the official language. Slide 4: Title: "Ownership and Variations of English" - Explanation on the concept of English's ownership not limited to native speakers. - Overview of how English varies across different cultures and regions. Slide 5: Title: "Misunderstandings in English as a Lingua Franca (ELF)" - Emphasize House's (1999) and Meierkord's (2000) findings on the sources of misunderstandings and communication challenges in English as a lingua franca. Slide 6: Title: "The Importance of Non-Verbal Communication" - Explanation of how misunderstanding in intercultural communication may not always be verbal. - Citing the handshake as an example of non-verbal communication. Slide 7: Title: "Cultural Differences in Handshakes" - A table showing how handshakes differ from country to country and how they might be interpreted differently. - Brief explanation of the significance of understanding these differences. Slide 8: Title: "Conclusion" - Recap of the key points discussed in previous slides. - The importance of overcoming intercultural communication barriers for a harmonious global community.
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