Journal of Intercultural Communication, issue 15, November 2007

Ronald Schmidt-Fajlik

Introducing non-verbal communication to Japanese university students


Non-verbal communication is an important aspect to teach Japanese English language students if they are to communicate effectively in English. The purpose of this research is to determine which aspects of non-verbal communication would be important to teach Japanese university students studying English. Literature regarding Japanese use of non-verbal communication is described and used as a basis to determine aspects of non-verbal which would be important to introduce Japanese university students to. These finding are also used to develop a survey which was administered to further determine which types of non-verbal communication used in communication would be important to introduce. The Pedagogical implications of this research is described and practical teaching suggestions are given. The importance of conducting classroom research regarding the introduction of cultural material is emphasized as findings in an initial search of literature regarding Japanese use of non-verbal communication often did not support responses given in the survey.

Keywords: non-verbal communication, body language, intercultural communication, cross-cultural communication, English language education, cultural differences, Japan, eye contact, personal space, touch, paralanguage, culture, teaching culture

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