Issue 39, November 2015

Diler Aba

Towards an Intercultural Communication Competence Tool for Academic Mobility Purposes

This research investigates intercultural communication competence (ICC) and its main components (affective, cognitive and behavioral) in relation to academic mobility. It also discusses the value of assessing intercultural competence in higher education and points out the relationship between academic mobility, foreign language learning and the development of intercultural competence. The discussion then leads to the development of an intercultural communication assessment tool for academic mobility: Mobile Students’ Intercultural Competence Scale (MSICS). This tool focuses mainly on analyzing Turkish Erasmus students’ intercultural competence before and after their study abroad experience. Even though many intercultural competence assessment tools exist in the present literature, there is a lack of materials in this context which mainly focus on analyzing mobile students’ intercultural communication competence.

Keywords: intercultural communication competence, academic mobility, Erasmus programme, foreign language development

Dominic Busch

Culture is leaving conversation analysis, but is it really gone? The analysis of culturalist performances in conversation

This paper traces the ways in which culture has been integrated into linguistic research in the past 30 years. Recently, more and more authors seem to cautiously refrain from considering culture in their linguistic studies. One reason for this cautiousness may be found in cultural anthropology’s concerns on the deterministic effects of considering culture as a concept of research at all. This paper proposes a concept for precise descriptions of culture in interaction avoiding the risk of imposing culturalist interpretations from a researcher’s perspective. To this aim, approaches from ethno-methodology’s membership categorization analysis (MCA) are combined with Judith Butler’s assumptions on the performativity of discourse and interaction.

Keywords: conversation analysis, culture in interaction, membership categorization analysis, performativity, definitions of culture in linguistic research

Ingrid Hanssen

Dementia, Communication and Culture - Implications of linguistic and cultural diversity in intercultural dementia care

Several dementia subtypes affect either some aspect of speech fluency and/or comprehension. Linguistic diversity affects healthcare delivery, not the least in the field of dementia care. In-depth interviewing were conducted with a total of 26 family members of patients with dementia and 35 nurses experienced in dementia care in six geriatric facilities (one in Oslo, Norway, one in a Sami town in northern Norway, and four in Tshwane, South Africa). In all these facilities many nurses had different cultural and linguistic backgrounds than their patients. Language difficulties constituted a central communicative challenge in intercultural dementia care as patients often lose their knowledge of the majority language and the nurses’ knowledge of the patient’s language and culture may be limited or non-existent.

Keywords: culture, dementia, intercultural communication, patient-nurse relationship

Andréa Machado de Almeida Mattos

Third Space - Narratives and the clash of identities in Disney’s Brother Bear

The turn of the millennium has witnessed a renewed interest in narratives and narrative modes of thought and expression (Bruner, 1986). This paper aims to consider this recent interest in narratives, discussing the relationship between narratives and identity construction and/or understanding. The paper tries to embrace a political perspective of identity, discussing the concept both from the point of view of researchers who deal with the issue of narratives or life stories as identity construction and from the point of view of postmodern authors. The paper also discusses the concept of Third Space, as proposed by Bhabha (2000; 2003), using Disney’s Brother Bear as an example.

Keywords: narratives, identity, third space, integratedness, perspective of the other

Kelsi and Keri Matwick

East Meets West - The Discourse of Japanese American Cookbooks as Intercultural Communication

This study explores the discourse of cookbooks as intercultural communication through the examination of a corpus of recipes in order to describe their linguistic features and the communicative strategies employed by the authors. The analysis is of recipes from two cookbooks written by two well-known Japanese chefs for an American audience. By nature, cookbooks are a didactic text and accordingly exhibit recognizable features of a manual. That is, recipes include cooking-related lexicon, imperative verbs, and descriptive clauses. However, the recipes from the data also incorporate speech-like elements, such as first person and second person pronouns, and ambiguous and contemporary language. Findings suggest that the written features provide ways to maintain the integrity of the recipe genre while the spoken features provide ways for the authors to align themselves with their foreign readers. Thus, new insights into how writers can relate to their foreign audience through cookbooks, an everyday text yet rich with different practices of communication, can be inferred as more and more cookbooks become platforms for intercultural communication.

Keywords: intercultural communication, written and spoken discourse, cookbooks, recipes, Japanese, American

Rebecca Merkin

The Relationship between Individualism / Collectivism - Consultation and Harmony Needs

This study examines how individualism and collectivism impact the need for consultation versus harmony respectively and whether they underlie direct and indirect communication during face-threatening situations. A MANCOVA design was employed testing individualism/collectivism, while controlling for social desirability, on consultation expectations and harmonious facework strategies from self-report questionnaires (n = 654) collected in the Chile, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Sweden, and the United States. Linear regression results show a direct link between individualism and consultation needs and collectivism and harmony needs indicating that when individualists’ face is threatened, they need to be consulted directly about the situation at hand, while face-threatened collectivists need to be treated with harmonious (indirect) communication to manage their face.

Keywords: face, facework, national culture, individualism, collectivism, cross-cultural communication, value survey module, VSM 94

Sonia Oliver

English as a Lingua Franca in Public Health Care Services - The Spanish Challenge

Throughout the last few decades, English has become the lingua franca for professionals in many fields. However, within the framework of health services in Spain, English does not seem to work as the main vehicle of communication among providers and users. Therefore, the goal of this study is to shed light into how and why certain categorization of languages frequently emerge and circulate in public health institutions. In this sense, our method is based on ethnographic fieldwork and includes 10 interviews with key members of one Health Care Unit for women. Our results seem to corroborate that medical discourses work at institutional, professional, and moral levels and that the way the Institution supports or prioritizes English, in particular, unfolds certain linguistic hierarchies underlying governmental policies as it is made more accessible and considered “better” by medical professionals and staff.

Keywords: English, lingua franca, language proficiency, health, migration

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