Cultural Differences in Conversational Strategies-Japanese and American University Students

Linda Viswat (1), Junko Kobayashi (2)
(1) Otemon Gakuin University, Japan, Japan,
(2) Kansai Gaidai University, Japan, Japan

Abstract

This paper deals with cultural differences in conversational strategies between Japanese and American university students. Based upon a questionnaire distributed to 106 Japanese students with intermediate English proficiency and 97 American students, the paper examines specific problems caused by the differences in expectations, and identifies several culturally held values. At the same time, it also mentions individual differences in empathic ability, and suggests that people with intercultural or life experiences pass through perceptual changes over time. Then, it explores possible educational programs to help both Japanese and American students become aware of each other’s differing views and make adjustments to their conversational strategies so as to meet the other person’s expectations.

Full text article

Generated from XML file

References

Blight, R. & Stephens, M.(2006). Discourse strategies involving topic nomination in English and Japanese language usage. Ehime University, English Education Center Journal, 4, 41-53.

Davis, K.A. & Henze, R.C.(1998). Applying ethnographic perspectives to issues in cross-cultural pragmatics. Journal of Pragmatics 30, 399-419. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(98)00010-1

Gillham, B.(2000). Developing a questionnaire. London: Continuum.

Grice, H.P.(1975). Logic and conversation. In Cole, P. & Morgan, J.L.(Eds.). Syntax and semantics 3: Speech acts(pp.41-58). New York: Academic. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004368811_003

Gumperz, J.J.(1982).Discourse strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511611834

Gumperz, J.J.(1992). Contextualization and understanding. In A. Duranti & C. Goodwin (Eds.), Rethinking context: Language as an interactive phenomenon (pp.229-252). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gumperz, J.J.(1996). The linguistic and cultural relativity of conversational inference. In J.J. Gumperz & S.C. Revinson (Eds.), Rethinking linguistic relativity (pp.374-406). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Howell, W.S.(1982). The empathic communicator. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Kawakita, J. (1967). Hasso hou [Creativity techniques]. Tokyo: Chukoshinsho.

Kawakita, J.(1970). Zoku hasso hou [The second series of creativity techniques]. Tokyo:Chukoshinsho.

Kindaichi, H.(1988). Nihongo [The Japanese Language]. Tokyo: Iwanami.

Kobayashi, J. & Viswat, L. (2007). Cultural differences in motivation to learn. Internet TESL Journal, 8, 11.

Loveday, L. (1983). Rhetoric patterns in conflict: The sociocultural relativity of discourse-organizing processes. Journal of Pragmatics, 7, 169-190. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-2166(83)90051-6

Nakayama, O.(1989). Bokashi no shinri [Psychology of fuzzy thinking]. Tokyo: Sogensha.

Samovar, L.A. & Porter, R.E.(2001). Communication between cultures (4th ed). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Stewart, E.C. & Bennett, M.(1991). American cultural patterns: A cross- cultural perspective (Rev. ed). Yarmouth: Intercultural Press.

Thomas, J.(1995). Meaning in interaction: An introduction to pragmatics. London: New York.

Authors

Linda Viswat
viswat@res.otemon.ac.jp (Primary Contact)
Junko Kobayashi
Author Biographies

Linda Viswat, Otemon Gakuin University, Japan

Linda Viswat is a professor at Otemon Gakuin University where she teaches courses in intercultural communication. Her research has focused on sojourner adjustment, learning strategies of Japanese university students, motivation, and the development of a learning community.

Junko Kobayashi, Kansai Gaidai University, Japan

Junko Kobayashi is an associate professor at Kansai Gaidai University, Japan. She is the author of six English textbooks on intercultural communication.

Viswat, L., & Kobayashi, J. (2008). Cultural Differences in Conversational Strategies-Japanese and American University Students. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 8(3), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.36923/jicc.v8i3.471

Article Details

Smart Citations via scite_
Views
  • Abstract 113
  • Download PDF 45