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The fact that ESL classes (e.g., in Australia) include students from a variety of linguistic and cultural backgrounds can pose certain difficulties in communication. What are some of the potential problems that could be caused due to cultural differences in the forms of directives (how people get others to do things) and politeness used in the classroom? How might you, as a teacher of English, use these differences to achieve a positive outcome? Checklist for your submission:

The Significance of ESL Courses in the Present Times

The advent of the concept of multiculturalism and the change in the outlook of the people towards the people from the various diverse cultures as well as social background have much changed the way the different people react to the individuals from the other cultures and social backgrounds (Leung, Davison & Mohan, 2014). It is a reflection of this particular fact that the various nations of the world in the present time the various nations of the world consists of entities from diverse cultural as well as social backgrounds (Olson, 2012). One of the common problems which the majority of the nations therefore face in the current times is the problem of cross cultural miscommunication (Leung, Davison & Mohan, 2014). The concept of cross cultural communication can be defined as the process by means of which the various individuals from the different cultural as well as social backgrounds interact or communicate with each other (Leung, Davison & Mohan, 2014). This particular essay will focus on the concept of cross cultural communication especially in the context of the various “English as Secondary Language (ESL) Courses” and the means which are adopted by the teachers as well as the other individuals to overcome the problem of cross cultural miscommunication and achieve positive results.

The various “English as Secondary Language (ESL) Courses” in the present times have become an important part of the educational framework of the various nations of the world and it is significant to note that the various nations of the world take the help of diverse kinds of tests to access the vocabulary of the students and also to analyze whether the students seeking admission in their educational institutions would be able to cope with the educational requirements of the educational institutions or not (Phakiti, Hirsh & Woodrow, 2013). Therefore, it is a reflection of this particular fact the various “English as Secondary Language (ESL) Courses” gained popularity in the present times and various students take the help of these classes to improve their English (Phakiti, Hirsh & Woodrow, 2013). Thus, it is generally seen that in these classes there are individuals or entities from different cultural as well as social backgrounds (Myles & Mitchell, 2014). In the opinion of many people the menace of cross cultural miscommunication inevitably creeps when individuals from diverse cultural as well as social backgrounds are engaged in a particular conversation or process and the various “English as Secondary Language (ESL) Courses” inevitably involves a lot of conversations and group activities (Myles & Mitchell, 2014). The nation of Australia is a multicultural one and therefore the nation is composed of individuals from the different cultural as well as social background (Myles & Mitchell, 2014). It is generally seen that the standard of English of these individuals is not on par with the English of the other citizens of the nation who have English as their mother tongue language (Myles & Mitchell, 2014). Thus, these students take the help of various kinds of “English as Secondary Language (ESL) Courses” to improve their English which is likely to help them not only to get admission in the various courses of the educational institutions of the nation of Australia but also to interact in a much better manner with the native people of the nation (Phakiti, Hirsh & Woodrow, 2013).  

Challenges Faced in ESL Courses

The various teachers play a very significant role in almost all the educational institutions however the role of a teacher in the particular framework of the English as Secondary Language (ESL) Courses” where there are students from various diverse cultural as well as social backgrounds becomes especially more significant to note (Larsen-Freeman & Long, 2014). A teacher in an “English as Secondary Language (ESL) Course” not only needs to teach the various students who are a part of the “English as Secondary Language (ESL) Course” the basic precepts of the language of English and make the standard of their English on par with the English which is taught at the diverse educational institutions of the world but also take into consideration the factor of culture and ethnicity into consideration for the purpose of teaching of the various students who are a part of the class (Larsen-Freeman & Long, 2014). Therefore, it becomes very important for the teachers in the “English as Secondary Language (ESL) Courses” to take the help of various kinds of measures as well as strategies for the process of teaching the various students who are a part of the class (Larsen-Freeman & Long, 2014). The most common method which most of the teachers of the “English as Secondary Language (ESL) Courses” take the help is the policy of politeness (Crawford & Candlin, 2013). It is significant to note that the concept of politeness forms an important part of the behavior of the various individuals and in the opinion of many people this particular policy can be effectively utilized to improve the kind of conversation which they are having (Crawford & Candlin, 2013). Thus, this particular policy is utilized by the various teachers in the various “English as Secondary Language (ESL) Courses” to effectively teach the students English. Another method which the various teachers often take the help of is to use of various kinds of body language (Kinloch & Metge, 2014). It is significantly to note that the strategy of communication by means of body language is forms an important part of the process of intercultural communication and in the various “English as Secondary Language (ESL) Courses” there are students belonging to diverse kinds of cultural as well as social backgrounds (Kinloch & Metge, 2014). Therefore, it can be said that this particular method of communication will act as an important tool for the various teachers in the “English as Secondary Language (ESL) Courses” (Kinloch & Metge, 2014). Another important aspect of this particular method of communication is that in the process of intercultural communication it is generally seen that the same words have different meanings in different cultures however the various kinds of body languages as well as gestures have the same kind of meaning in all the culture and therefore this particular technique is often utilized by the various individuals in the present times (Carbaugh, 2013). The use of various kinds of audio as well as visual aids for the purpose of teaching in the various “English as Secondary Language (ESL) Courses” is another option which the various teachers have in this particular context (Bochner, 2013).

Strategies Adopted by Teachers for Effective Communication


In the recent times it is usually seen that the various teachers in the “English as Secondary Language (ESL) Courses” take the help of the diversity in the classroom in a bid to achieve better results with the students (Leung, Davison & Mohan, 2014). In the opinion of many people the more diverse a class is in terms of culture as well as social backgrounds the more chances the students as well as the teachers within the classroom will get to learn new things (Leung, Davison & Mohan, 2014). It is a reflection of this particular fact that the various teachers in the present day context try to use this particular to not only teach the various students the basics of English in a much better but at the same time the students are able to learn various new things about the other cultures as well (Phakiti, Hirsh & Woodrow, 2013). If the particular context of the nation of Australia is taken into consideration then it will become apparent that this particular factor will be very useful not only for the various students who are a part of the class but would also help the teacher in a significant manner as it would help the diverse entities related to the class to become more tolerant towards the various precepts of the other cultures (Phakiti, Hirsh & Woodrow, 2013). Therefore, it can be said that the differences in culture as well as social background if properly utilized will act as an added advantage to the diverse entities of the class.

To conclude, the world in the present times has become more multicultural than ever on the score of the various factors like the influx of various people from diverse cultural as well as social backgrounds. Therefore, the concept of cross cultural communication has emerged as one of the most important ones in the present times. A pertinent example of this particular concept is the problems faced by the various teachers in the diverse “English as Secondary Language (ESL) Courses” which are generally seen as a conglomeration of diverse cultural as well as social trends. Therefore, it is generally seen that the various teachers in the present times take the help of various kinds of methods to teach English to the diverse entities of the classroom. The common techniques which the teachers resort to are the practices of politeness, the use of body language as well as gestures to make themselves understood, the use of audio and visual aids and others. Furthermore, it is generally seen that if the teachers are able to utilize this particular cultural as well as social differences of the students then better results can be achieved.

References

Bochner, S. (Ed.). (2013). Cultures in contact: Studies in cross-cultural interaction (Vol. 1). Elsevier.

Braine, G. (Ed.). (2013). Non-native educators in English language teaching. Routledge.

Breen, M. (Ed.). (2014). Learner contributions to language learning: New directions in research. Routledge.

Carbaugh, D. (Ed.). (2013). Cultural communication and intercultural contact. Routledge.

Crawford, T., & Candlin, S. (2013). A literature review of the language needs of nursing students who have English as a second/other language and the effectiveness of English language support programmes. Nurse education in practice, 13(3), 181-185.

Johnson, K. (2013). An introduction to foreign language learning and teaching. Routledge.

Kinloch, P., & Metge, J. (2014). Talking past each other: problems of cross cultural communication. Victoria University Press.

Larsen-Freeman, D., & Long, M. H. (2014). An introduction to second language acquisition research. Routledge.

Leung, C., Davison, C., & Mohan, B. (2014). English as a second language in the mainstream: Teaching, learning and identity. Routledge.

Mary Angela Olson MA, B. S. N. (2012). English-as-a-second language (ESL) nursing student success: A critical review of the literature. Journal of Cultural Diversity, 19(1), 26.

Myles, F., & Mitchell, R. (2014). Second language learning theories. Routledge.

Phakiti, A., Hirsh, D., & Woodrow, L. (2013). It’s not only English: Effects of other individual factors on English language learning and academic learning of ESL international students in Australia. Journal of Research in International Education, 12(3), 239-258.

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