Has The Cat Got Your Tongue? Second Language Factors in Intercultural Difficulty Management

Min Hou (1) , Howard Nicholas (2) , Keith Simkin (3)
(1) Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade, People's Republic of China. , China
(2) Faculty of Education, La Trobe University , Austria
(3) Faculty of Education, La Trobe University , Australia


Previous intercultural communication research has relatively underplayed the influence of second language factors. This underplaying arises for three reasons: 1) the over-emphasis on the influence of cultural differences in intercultural communication; 2) the prevalent assumption that communication style in intercultural communication is the same as that in intra-cultural communication; 3) the dominant (post-) positive research approach in intercultural communication leading to the overlooking of linguistic factors and context. This paper reports an exploratory study on the influence of linguistic factors in intercultural communication by taking an interpretive research approach. It shows that in the process of dealing with intercultural difficulties in Australia, Chinese overseas students with different self-perceptions of second language (L2) communicative competence can influence their face concerns and difficulty management strategies in different ways.

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Min Hou
Howard Nicholas
Keith Simkin
k.simkin@latrobe.edu.au (Primary Contact)
Author Biographies

Min Hou, Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade, People's Republic of China.

Min Hou, a lecturer at School of languages, Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade, China. Her research interests are in intercultural communication, second language teaching and learning.

Howard Nicholas, Faculty of Education, La Trobe University

Dr. Keith Simkin, A Lecturer at the Faculty of Education, La Trobe University, Australia. He has wide research and teaching experience in intercultural communication and second language teaching.

Keith Simkin, Faculty of Education, La Trobe University

Dr. Keith Simkin, A Lecturer at the Faculty of Education, La Trobe University, Australia. He has wide research and teaching experience in intercultural communication and second language teaching.

Hou, M., Nicholas, H., & Simkin, K. (2012). Has The Cat Got Your Tongue? Second Language Factors in Intercultural Difficulty Management. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 12(1), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.36923/jicc.v12i1.587

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