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UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES & INTERNATIONAL STUDIES,

VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI


FACULTY OF LINGUISTICS AND CULTURES OF ENGLISH-SPEAKING
COUNTRIES

ASSIGNMENT COVERSHEET
COURSE NAME : Intercultural communication
INSTRUCTOR : Ms. Do Thi Mai Thanh M.A

STUDENT’S NAME: Nguyen Thi Thu Hien


STUDENT ID : 17040087
STUDENT EMAIL : ngthithuhien.1999@gmail.com

ASSIGNMENT : Final Assignment


DUE DATE : 24/11/2019

DECLARATION:
I have read, understood and followed the guidelines for this assignment provided by the teacher. I
have read and I understand the criteria used for assessment
I understand that if this assignment is submitted after the due date it may incur a penalty for
lateness unless I have had an extension of time approved by the teacher.
I declare that the work contained in this assignment is my own and has not been previously
submitted in this course or any other courses.
I have not copied in part, or in whole, or otherwise plagiarized the work of other students or people; I
have acknowledged all material and sources used in the preparation of this assignment. I understand
that should this declaration be found to be false, disciplinary action could be taken and penalties
imposed in accordance with University policy and rules.
I understand that this assignment may undergo electronic detection for plagiarism, and a copy of the
assignment will be retained in a database and used to make comparisons with other assignments.

Student’s Signature_______________________________________Date_______________
INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT

Topic: If you have traveled/ will travel to (an)other culture(s), what are some things
that made you/ will make you more or less effective or helped/ will help you adapt or
not adapt? What skills/ concepts would you like to work on in yourself to make you
more effective in intercultural communication?
One of my recent adventures was to the bustling city of Seoul in South Korea. It is
undeniable that K-pop, K-dramas, Korean cosmetics, and Korean food are the highlight of
Korean popularity. Korea was a dream destination when I was a child. I came to realize
that attitude-stereotypes, background knowledge, motivation and several basic skills are
the golden key to learn and adapt about the new culture, also make more effective
intercultural communication after travelling here for a month.

Regarding to the stereotypes and attitude, the first thing I'm going to tell you is that your
stereotypes should be come from your own experiences instead of from second hand
experiences or from other sources of information. In my experiences, it was very difficult
for me at the beginning to get rid of pre-shaped ethnocentrism. According to the concept
of stereotype was originally introduced by Walter Lippmann (1922) in “Intercultural
competence” (2010) that " Stereotypes are models which people use to organize and
simplify perceptions of other people" (p.152). While the term “ethnocentrism”, William G.
Sumner (1906) states that the theoretical concept of ethnocentrism as "the view of things
in which one's own group is the center of everything, and all others are scaled and raled
with reference to it". Neuliep & McCroskey (1997) also claimed that Ethnocentrism has
both positive and negative outcome, viewed as “an obstacle to intercultural communication
competence” (p. 389). Agreeing to say that ethnocentrism influenced partly my perception
of this country. Before coming to this beautiful country, I have consulted and read many
things related to this country, but actually coming to experience, I found it completely
different from what I imagined. I had heard a lot of different information about people,
lifestyle, food and nature, about unfriendly behavior as well as the arrogance of Koreans.
However, It is amazing that people here are so friendly to tourists, they are willing to help
whenever you encounter difficulties. This was the first time I got lost when I found the way
to my idol concert in new country. I was so scared because I knew that few Koreans spoken
English and I only knew that language. With my bewildered expression of fear, a young
Korean man came to offer to help, even though we were different in language, we were
able to communicate with each other by using body language. I finally got to the concert
thanks to the Korean guy's guidance. It is true that that different countries will have
different cultures and lifestyles. We should not impose our culture nor give negative
opinions about them. Keeping an open mind and having an overview will make it easier
for you to adapt to a new culture. The first thing appeared in my mind was plastic surgery
when mentioned about Korea. It seems that Koreans are always obsessed with plastic
surgery, also take care a lot about appearances. The reason why many people have such
plastic surgery is that an attractive appearance is an advantage for their work during the
continuous development of the entertainment industry in Korea, although not all Koreans
tend to have plastic surgery. Therefore, the undeniable aspect about attitude to help you
adapt another culture is acceptance of cultural diversity and a general tolerance for people.

Background knowledge is the important element when travelling new country, include
culture-general and culture-specific information. Before planning the trip, I spent hours
searching for the background knowledge of Korea about climate, culture, and customs,
which helped me to have a basic foundation when I arrived. Lustig, M. W., & Koester, J.
(2010) claimed that background knowledge is the cognitive information you need to have
about the people, the context, and the norms of appropriateness in a specific culture. I had
the Culture-general information about the weather, the food, the social greetings and the
etiquette of Koreans that provides insights into the intercultural communication process
abstractly and can therefore be a very powerful tool in making sense of cultural practices,
regardless of the cultures involved [Lustig, M. W., & Koester, J. (2010)]. I also prepared
about culture specific information- refers to particular characteristic of specific cultures
which is used to understand a particular culture. Lustig, M. W., & Koester, J. (2010) stated
that such knowledge should information about the forces that maintain the culture’s
uniqueness and fact about the cultural patterns that predominate. When travelling abroad,
we need to act in accordance with the rules of the country's life about social norms, values,
special customs and history. It would be rude if you do not take off your shoes when coming
to the Korean’s house, meet the elderly also need to bend down to bow regardless anytime.
Moreover, Korean people are not allowed to lift up bowl of rice while eating, they must
use spoons and chopsticks to eat politely. This might be common Vietnam but in Korea
you might get weird looks. While culture specific knowledge helped me understand a
specific culture a little better, culture general knowledge helped me understand and relate
more deeply to cultural differences when I encountered them.

Besides knowledge, the last but not least to help me adapt new cultures in Korea is
motivation. Motivations as the overall set of emotional associations that people have as
they anticipate and actually communicate intercultural [Lustig, M. W., & Koester, J.
(2010)]. Judith N. Martin and Thomas K. Nakayama claimed that Motivation refers to the
root of a person’s desire to foster intercultural relationships and can be intrinsic or extrinsic
(Intercultural Communication in Contexts, 2010, p465). My biggest motivation was having
the opportunity to go to concerts and meet famous artist groups like BTS, Blackpink...
Known for its beautiful nature and best places to see cherry blossoms, I was excited about
autumn in Korea. Autumn brings with her a splendid palette of rich browns, blazing reds
and yellows to dress up even the most ordinary pavements. For K-drama fans like me, the
romantic nature of autumn in Korea inspired me travel to Korea to reenact scenes in my
favorite dramas. To sum up, motivation include objectives and intrinsic or extrinsic desires
makes intercultural communication a voluntary, rewarding is crucial for acculturation to
communicate across cultures.

From my experience after travelling to Korea for a month, I realized that the
communication skills needed when communicating with people from another cultures
which I need to work on myself about display of respect, orientation to knowledge,
empathy, tolerance for ambiguity, interaction posture to make more effective in
intercultural communication.

According to intercultural competence: interpersonal communication across cultures


(2009):

Display of respect is the capacity to show respect and positive regard for another person.
Display of respect builds better relationships, creates feelings of trust, safety, and
wellbeing. Each country has different cultures and customs, so learn to respect another
cultures make it adapt easily. For example, most Koreans eat kimchi - spicy traditional
food in their meal, you should try it and probably love it from the first time.

Orientation to knowledge is the terms people use to explain themselves and the world
around them. Orientation of knowledge helps people communicate fluently and express
themselves which is needed in order to talk with cultural others. For instance, before
coming to Korea, people should learn the Korean alphabet to be able to understand basic
communication sentences, the knowledge about the weather and food to see if you can
adapt Korea's life.

The term empathy was first introduced in 1909 by psychologist Edward B. Titchener as
about the ability to behave as though you understand the world as others do, to emotionally
understand what another person is experiencing. It’s the ability to make a psychic and
emotional connection with another person, allows people to build social connections.
People are able to respond appropriately in social situations by understanding what people
are thinking and feeling. A lack of empathy for another cultures makes warfare and conflict
possible.

Tolerance for Ambiguity is the ability to react to new and ambiguous situations with little
visible discomfort. People must be more confident in our approach with intercultural
encounters. We must live with an open mindset, learn about the culture beforehand, adapt
and change to fit the current environment.

Myron Lustig and Jolene Koester states that Interaction posture refers to the ability to
respond to others in a way that is descriptive, non-evaluative, and nonjudgmental. With
Interaction posture, nonverbal gestures play a big role in conveying a clear message. As
mentioned in my story above about kindness of Korean. Although we did not the same
language, we still understood each other and interacted well through gestures to achieve
the purpose of communication.

I strongly believe that adaptiveness is a key competency include intellectual flexibility


with an open mind; receptiveness particularly to change to respond with a positive attitude
and a willingness to learn new ways ; creativity actively seeking out new ways of doing
things and modification of behavior to meet the needs of a situation that creating effective
intercultural communication.
REFERENCE LIST:
1. Lustig, M. W., & Koester, J. (2010). Intercultural competence: Interpersonal
communication across cultures (6th ed.): Pearson/A and B.

2. Baldwin J. R, Coleman R. R. M et al (2014). Intercultural communication for


everyday life: Wiley Blackwell

3. Diana Pekova and Jakkoo Lehtone. (2005).Cultural Identity in an Intercutural


Context.
https://www.academia.edu/896244/Cultural_Identity_in_an_Intercultural_Context?auto=download

4. Qingwen Dong, Kenneth D. Day and Christine M. Collaço. Human


Communication. A Publication of the Pacific and Asian Communication
Association. Vol. 11, No.1, pp. 27 – 38
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/3208/817843de2f921a5ff9cd1780fab5308deeb7.pdf

5. Sumner, W. (1940). Folkways (p. 27). Boston, MA: Ginn.