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Unit 1 Intercultural Communication


Intercultural Communication: Theory and Practice
跨文化交际教程
北京大学出版社

Intercultural Communication: Requirements of this course
? Previewing: Preview the text before coming to class. ? Presence: Presence in class is a must. Role-calling will be done from time to time. 1/3 of absence means automatically failure in this course. ? Practice: Practice communicating with English-speaking people whenever the chance comes and write down your experience of intercultural communication and hand in as homework (1). ? Discussion: Oral discussion will be conducted in class and written discussion will be required out of class. Hand in the written discussion in time (2). ?

Unit 1 Communication and Culture
? Why do we need to take this course? ? Studying a second language without learning the culture is like learning how to drive a car by studying a driver’s manual and never getting behind a steering wheel.

Why Learn Cross-Cultural Communication?
? The world is moving closer to being more global. People from diverse cultures are coming into contact with one another. We face the challenge of communicating effectively with people who have culturally based values, which emphasize their communication preferences. Advances in cross-cultural communication research are very important not only to help people of different cultures feel comfortable with each other but also to avoid misunderstandings that may result in negative stereotypes or premature judgments of “the other” speaker regardless of nationality or culture.

1. Cross-Cultural Awareness
? What is cross-cultural awareness? ? Cross-cultural awareness is the ability to understand cultures—your own and others’—by means of objective, non-judgmental comparisons. It is an appreciation for, an understanding of, cultural pluralism—the ability to get rid of our ethnocentric tendencies and to accept another culture on its own terms. Many cross-cultural interactions go sour due to a lack of such an awareness.

Why do we study a foreign language?
? We study a foreign language in order to communicate with people who have learned their native language not in a classroom, but in natural, everyday interactions with people and situations in their culture.

2. Communication
? How do you understand this sentence? ? It has been said that without a culture we cannot see, but with a culture we are forever blind. ? 有人说,没有一种文化我们什么也看不清,但是有了一种 文化我们永远是瞎子。 ? Each of us is born into a culture that teaches us a number of shared meanings and expectations. We usually learn our own culture’s ways of doing, speaking, and thinking so well that it becomes difficult to think, feel, speak, and act as people in other cultures do.

Where do the meanings of words come from?
? The meanings of words are very much influenced by culture. Meaning is in the person, not in the word, and each person is the product of a particular culture that passed on shared and appropriate meanings. Thus, if we want to learn to communicate well in a foreign language, we must understand the culture that gives that language meaning.

Why do we learn a culture when learning to communicate?
? Culture and communication are inseparably linked. Culture gives meaning and provides the context for communication, and the ability to communicate allows us to act out our cultural values and to share our language and our culture.

What is “ethnocentrism”?
? Using our own culture as the standard by which to judge other cultures is called ethnocentrism. Although unintentional, our ethnocentric ways of thinking and acting often get in the way of our understanding other languages and cultures.

Cultural Shocks
? Our own culture seems very natural to us. We feel in our hearts that the way that we do things is the only right way to do them. Other people’s culture often makes us laugh or feel disgusted or shocked. We may laugh at clothing that seems ridiculous to us. Many people think that eating octopus or a juicy red piece of roast beef is disgusting. The idea that a man can have more than one wife or that brothers and sisters can marry each other may shock people with other cultures.

Examples of Different Cultures Regarding Beauty
? Ideas of what is beautiful differ from one culture to another. The Flathead Indian of North America used to bind the heads of babies between boards so they would have long sloping foreheads. In the Flathead culture, long sloping foreheads were beautiful. Other cultures might think that they are strange-looking and unattractive. Many people cut scars into their bodies or tattoo themselves so that others in their culture will think they are beautiful. Objects are inserted in holes in the nose, lips, and ears in a number of different cultures in many twentieth-century societies, rouge, lipstick, eye shadow, perfume, and hair spray are all used to increase attractiveness.

Examples of Different Cultures Regarding Death
? When people die, different cultures dispose of their bodies in different ways. Sometimes bodies are buried in the ground. In many cultures in the past, people were buried with food, weapons, jewelry, and other things that might be useful in the next life. For example, the ancient Egyptians buried people with little human figures made from clay. This clay figures were supposed to work the death person in the other world. A religious group called the parses exposed their dead on platforms for birds to eat. Some people practice a second burial. After the bodies have been in the earth for several years, the bones are dug up and reburied, sometimes in a small container. ? The different ways that are the customs of different cultures are neither right nor wrong. It is simply that different people do the same things in different ways.

Cultures Are Acquired
? As humans, we learn some of the ways of our culture by being taught by our teachers or parents. We learn more of the ways of our culture by growing up in it. We see how other people in our culture do things, and we do them the same way. We even learn how to think and feel in this way. ? All human beings have certain basic needs, such as eating, drinking, keeping warm and dry, and so on. However, the way in which they take care of their needs depends on the culture in which they grow up. All cultures have ways of eating, dressing, finding shelter, marrying, and dealing with death. The foods that we think are good to eat, the kind of clothes we wear, and how many people we can marry at one time are all parts of our culture.

Is one culture superior to another?
? No. Each culture has developed a set of patterns that are right and appropriate for that culture. If people do things differently in another culture, they are not “wrong”— they are just different!

What is intercultural communication?
? Intercultural communication occurs whenever a person from one culture does something that is given meaning by a person from another culture.

What are the problems in communicating across cultures?
? Communicating across cultures is made difficult by each person’s ethnocentric tendencies to perceive objects, events, and behavior through lenses designed in the person’s own culture.

How to make a successful intercultural communicator?
? An honest desire to communicate with people from other cultures, coupled with (外加;加上) an attempt to understand cultural differences, will go a long way in helping you become a successful intercultural communicator.

What does communication in a new culture mean?
? (The complicated process of communication in a new culture) ? It means learning what to say (words, phrases, meaning, structure), who to communicate with (the role and status of the person), who you are (how you perceive yourself), how you communicate the message (emotional components, nonverbal cues, intonation), why you communicate in a given situation (intentions, values, assumptions), when to communicate (time), and where you can or should communicate. ? People with communicative competence should know when, where and what to speak to whom and how.

3.What is Culture? .
? Culture一词来自拉丁语 colore,意为“耕耘”, 因为文化修养和种庄稼一样,必须经过辛勤的耕 耘,才能获得丰硕的果实。 ? What does “a man of culture” mean in ordinary speech? ? In ordinary speech a man of culture is a man who can speak languages other than his own, who is familiar with history, literature, philosophy, or the fine arts. But to the anthropologist, to be human is to be cultured.

What does culture mean in anthropology and linguistics?
? 1) “Culture” in anthropology means the total life way of a people
(一个民族的全部生活方式), the social legacy the individual acquires from his group. There are, therefore, specific cultures such as Chinese, American, Russian, British, Hottentot, Inca. ? 2) Culture can be regarded as that part of the environment that is the creation of man. (Culture in general) The general abstract notion serves to remind us that we cannot explain acts solely in terms of the biological properties of the people concerned, their individual past experience, and the immediate situation. The past experience of other men in the form of culture enters into almost every event. Each specific culture constitutes a kind of blueprint for all of life’s activities.

Chinese translation
? 文化的这一抽象概念提醒我们不能仅从相关人的生物学特 性、他们个人的过去经历以及最近的情形方面来解释人的 行为。其他人的过去经历也以文化形式融入几乎每件事情 当中。每种特定文化都是一幅描绘所有生活习性蓝图。

3) Culture is that which binds men together.
? Some paths we follow willingly, others we follow because we know no other way, still others we deviate from or go back to most unwillingly. Mothers of small children know how unnaturally most of this comes to us—how little regard we have, until we are “culturalized,” for the “proper” place, time, and manner for certain acts such as eating, excreting, sleeping, getting dirty, and making loud noises. But by more or less adhering to a system of related designs for carrying out all the acts of living, a group of men and women feel themselves linked together by a powerful chain of sentiments.

Chinese version
? 有些路我们是情愿走的,有些路我们走是因为我 们不知道其它路,也有一些路我们背离或极不情 愿地返回来走。小孩子的妈妈都知道许多事情我 们接受起来(发生在我们身上)是多么不自然 ――我们是多么的轻视,直到我们 被“教化(受 到文化的熏陶)”过来,了解做某些事情如吃饭、 排泄、睡觉、弄脏和叫喊等的“适当”地点、时 间和方式。但是人们通过不同程度地遵循一种相 关设计体系(文化)完成所有生活行为,他们感 到自己被一个强大的情感链连在一起。

Culture: an interdependent system
? 4)A culture is an interdependent system based upon linked premises and categories whose influence is greater, rather than less, because they are seldom put in words. ? 一种文化是一个建立在相互关联的前提和范畴基础上的相 互依赖体系。这里的前提和范畴影响较大,而不是较小, 因为很少用语言将它们表述出来。 ? Human life is driven forward by its dim apprehension of notions too general for its existing language. ? 人类生活就是通过对种种概念的模糊理解而推向前进的。 这些概念太笼统,现有语言难于描绘。

What does culture do?
? Culture regulates our lives at every turn. (文化时时规范着我们的生活) ? 5) A culture is a distinctive way of life that is handed down as the social heritage of a people. ? a) It supplies a set of skills for making a living and a set of blueprints for human relations; ? b) It makes its own assumptions about the ends and purposes of human existence, about what human beings have a right to expect from each other and the gods, about what constitutes fulfillment or frustration. ? Assumptions(假定;设想): Some are made explicit in the lore of the folk; others are tacit premises which the observer must infer by finding consistent trends in word and deed.

Words and Expressions
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 1. developing cross-cultural awareness: 培养跨文化交际意识 2. cultural similarities and differences: 文化方面的异同 3. non-judgmental: 非主观判断的 4. cultural pluralism: 文化多元性 5. ethnocentric tendencies: 民族中心倾向 6. on one’s own terms: 按照自己的条件[价钱]; 按照自己的主张 7. go sour: v.变酸, 出漏子, 不再受欢迎 8. interactions: having an effect on each other or something else交 互作用, 互相影响 ? 9. cultural context: 文化环境

Words and Expressions
? 10. building block n.(儿童游戏用的)积木 ? 11. communicative competence: 交际能力 ? 12. social legacy: 社会遗产 (historical legacy历史遗产;national legacy 民族遗产) ? 13. anthropology n.人类学 (the scientific study of the human race, including its different bodily types and its beliefs, social habits, etc. ) ? 14. technical term: 术语, 专门名词 ? 15. cooking pot: 蒸煮罐 ? 16. Beethoven: 贝多芬(1770-1827,德国大作曲家) ? 17. sonata: n.[音]奏鸣曲 (a piece of music for one or two instruments, one of which is a piano) ? cf. serenade: serenade n.小夜曲v.唱小夜曲 concerto: n.协奏曲 symphony: n.交响乐, 交响曲

Words and Expressions
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 18. a man of culture: 有教养的人(=a cultured person) 19. the fine arts: 美术 20. clique: n.私党, 小圈子, 派系, 阀vi.结党 21. biological properties: 生物学特性 22. at every turn adv.事事, 经常 23. deviate (from): vi.背离, 偏离 24. go back to: 返回 25. have little regard (for): 轻视 (have a low regard for 轻视, 小看 have regard for重视, 注意到) ? 26. lore n.学问,知识,智慧;传说 knowledge or old beliefs not written down


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