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Impact of Culture in Communication: Different Verbal Styles and Miscommunications

  • The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea
  • Abbr : 사회언어학
  • 2006, 14(1), pp.25-50
  • Publisher : The Sociolinguistic Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > Linguistics

Yu, Kyong Ae 1

1중앙대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Yu, Kyong-ae. 2006. Impact of Culture in Communication: Different Verbal Styles and Miscommunications. The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea 14(1). Verbal interaction styles reflect the overall values and patterns of a culture. As Hall (1976) suggests, meaning or intention in low-context communication is best expressed through explicit verbal messages, while in high-context communication it is best conveyed through context and non-verbal channels such as pauses, silence and tone of voice. If different verbal styles are ignored or not understood, miscommunication may occur in cross-cultural communication, which may contribute to communication conflict or even hostile stereotyping (Milroy 1984: 26). Understanding of communication rules, sociocultural norms, and inferences involved in conversation are being accorded greater importance in language teaching and learning for effective communication in intercultural interactions. This paper introduces different communication styles based on cultural diversity, discusses the extent to which Korean EFL students are concerned with English pragmatic strategies, and analyzes Korean language and culture influence on their communication styles in English speech. This paper shows that Korean EFL students attempt to follow English styles in English conversation but their communication styles in English are largely influenced by their native language and culture, which can lead to miscommunication and conflict in intercultural interactions.

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