An Investigation of Chinese Students´Difficulties in Intercultural Communication and its Role in Elt.

Hong Xiao (1), Eleni Petraki (2)
(1) ELT & Culture Department, Beijing Police College, Changping District, Beijing, China, China,
(2) School of Languages, International Studies and Tourism University of Canberra, Bruce, ACT, Australia., Australia


This study discusses the intercultural communication competence of Chinese students who were studying at an Australian University. The study specifically explores the frequency of interactions between Chinese students and students from other countries; the difficulties they encountered and the reasons they attributed to these difficulties. Research results, derived from questionnaires and interviews, reveal that the Chinese students encountered many difficulties when interacting with students from other countries which they ascribed to lack of knowledge of intercultural communication, cultural shock and differences in nonverbal communication and politeness strategies. Findings suggest that intercultural communication skills should be an important component of English language teaching (ELT) in China particularly with the rapid globalization of English and its use in international business communication.

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Hong Xiao (Primary Contact)
Eleni Petraki
Author Biographies

Hong Xiao, ELT & Culture Department, Beijing Police College, Changping District, Beijing, China

Hong Xiao is a Lecturer at Beijing Police College, China. She has 10 years experience in TEFL and taught English at various levels in China. She received her MA degree in Professional English from the University of Canberra. Her research focuses on TEFL practices and pedagogy in China and Intercultural Communication.

Eleni Petraki, School of Languages, International Studies and Tourism University of Canberra, Bruce, ACT, Australia.

Dr Eleni Petraki is a Lecturer at the University of Canberra, Australia, teaching sociolinguistics, linguistics and research methods in language teaching. She holds an MSc in Applied Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD from the University of Queensland, Australia specialising in discourse analysis. Her research focuses on family communication, cross-cultural communication, talk in interaction, ethnicity and genre analysis and combines discourse analysis, conversation analysis and narrative analysis.

Xiao, H., & Petraki, E. (2007). An Investigation of Chinese Students´Difficulties in Intercultural Communication and its Role in Elt. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 7(1), 1–16.

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