Communication. Cultural awareness. The importance of English
- Humans are sociable creatures and communication is one of their basic needs, it is a part of their everyday life
- We can communicate by many different ways:
1.) we can talk (verbal communication)
2.) we can write (e-mail, letter, postcard, sms, note, message etc. – written communication)
3.) we can gesticulate, mime, pantomime (non-verbal communication)
- Our conversation also differs from situation to situation and it also depends much on the relationship we have with the people we communicate with – e.g. with teachers, superior persons in work, unknown or older people it would probably be more formal and on the other hand when we talk with friends, parents or people we know very well it would probably be informal
The secret of successful talk.
- There are some simple techniques anyone can use:
1.) When you talk to someone it is very important to show your interest
2.) You should pay compliments
3.) Use friendly body language
4.) Keep an eye-contact (but be careful, in some countries it is considered rude – e.g. Japan)
5.) Keep an open posture and smile
6.) If you send out friendly messages you will get friendly messages back
7.) You should pay attention, ask questions, listen carefully, don´t interrupt the other person´s speech unless you are asked to
Questions and tasks.
1.) Do you agree with the above mentioned points of successful talk? Which of them do you usually follow in your conversation ?
2.) Do you sometimes have problems with communication ? What sort of problems and in which situations ?
3.) What kind of communication do you use more – written, spoken, formal, informal ?
4.) Do you often argue with people ? What about ?
5.) Do you gesticulate a lot while talking ?
6.) Are you a good listener or do you often interrupt people while talking ?
- Globalzation and the development of new infrastructures and technologies cause that people travel more often than in past, meet people from other countries and to be able to communicate it is necessary to know at least one foreign language
- Nowadays ENGLISH is used as universal language and you can use it almost everywhere
- In past during the era of communism people in former Czechoslovakia had to learn Russian language, but now learning of western languages is growing on popularity
- The most common languages, which are also usually taught in schools are: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian and also Russian.
- There are many ways how to learn a foreign language – the fastest is to go to the country where the language is spoken so you are foced to use it all the time and you need just a few months to be able to communicate on the basic level
- Or you pay lessons and learn language this way
The importance of English language.
- Two thousand years ago English did not exist
- Its predecessor was – Old English which was brought to England by Germanic tribes – Angles, Saxons and Jutes in the 5th century
- It was totally different from Modern English – it was more complicated and had 4 cases (pády) and inflections (koncovky)
- In 1066 William the Conqueror invaded Britain and brought French element to English
- But there were also other influences – e.g. – Latin, Scandinavian, Dutch, Italian, Spanish even Russian
- Today English is spoken by more than a billion people on the planet as their first (the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland), second (India, Pakistan, South Africa) or even third language
- English currently dominates – science, business, mass media and culture – e.g. 80% of e-mails are in English
Questions and tasks.
1.) Why is English and learning of foreign languages so important nowadays ?
2.) How many languages can you speak ? Have you ever had a chance to speak that language abroad ?
3.) Why are you learning English ?
4.) Do you think that English will become the only universal language in the world in the future ?
- Travelling to all corners of the world is much easier nowadays than it used to be in the past
- We live in a global village, but it doesn´t mean that we all behave the same way
- What is quite OK in one country may be considered very rude in another one
- So how should we behave in a foreign country or when we meet a foreigner not to be rude or just to avoid problems ?
- Each country or nation has its own so called codex of moral rules which they follow and they also try to behave that way – here are some examples :
- e.g. – when doing business – in most countries an exchange of business card is essential for all introductions – in Japan you must present your card with both hands with the writing facing the person you are giving it to
- Japanese business people consider it their professional duty to go out after work with their colleagues to restaurants, clubs, or bars – if you are invited you shouldn´t refuse even if you don´t feel like staying out late
- Or considering eating and drinking out – in France you shouldn´t sit down in a café untill you´ve shaken hands with everyone you know
- In India and Middle east you must never use lef hand for greeting, eating or drinking
- In America you should eat your hamburger with both hands and you shouldn´t try to have conversation untill it´s eaten
Questions and tasks.
1.) There is a saying in English – „When in Rome do as Romans do.“ What does it mean ? Do you agree with it ?
2.) Think of some examples of bad manners in your country. What advice would you give to someone living and working in your country ?
3.) Have you ever had so called „culture shock“ ? In which country – describe it.