(中学篇)2019年第03期:高中英语阅读教学中高阶思维能力的培养(福建:许志鸿)一文涉及的教学内容

 
 
COMMUNICATION: NO PROBLEM?
 
Yesterday, another student and I, representing our university's student association, went to the Capital International Airport to meet this year's international students. They were coming to study at Beijing University. We would take them first to their dormitories and then to the student canteen. After half an hour of waiting for their flight to arrive, I saw several young people enter the waiting area looking around curiously. I stood for a minute watching them and then went to greet them.
 
The first person to arrive was Tony Garcia from Colombia, closely followed by Julia Smith from Britain. After I met them and then introduced them to each other, I was very surprised. Tony approached Julia, touched her shoulder and kissed her on the cheek! She stepped back appearing surprised and put up her hands, as if in defence. I guessed that there was probably a major misunderstanding. Then Akira Nagata from Japan came in smiling, together with George Cook from Canada. As they were introduced, George reached his hand out to the Japanese student. Just at that moment, however, Akira bowed so his nose touched George's moving hand. They both apologized - another cultural mistake!
 
Ahmed Aziz, another international student, was from Jordan. When we met yesterday, he moved very close to me as I introduced myself. I moved back a bit, but he came closer to ask a question and then shook my hand. When Darlene Coulon from France came dashing through the door, she recognized Tony Garcia's smiling face. They shook hands and then kissed each other twice on each cheek, since that is the French custom when adults meet people they know. Ahmed Aziz., on the contrary, simply nodded at the girls. Men from Middle Eastern and other Muslim countries will often stand quite close to other men to talk but will usually not touch women.
 
As I get to know more international friends, I learn more about this cultural “body language”. Not all cultures greet each other the same way, nor are they comfortable in the same way with touching or distance between people. In the same way that people communicate with spoken language, they also express their feelings using unspoken “language” through physical distance, actions or posture. English people, for example, do not usually stand very close to others or touch strangers as soon as they meet. However, people from places like Spain, Italy or South American countries approach others closely and are more likely to touch them. Most people around the world now greet each other by shaking hands, but some cultures use other greetings as well, such as the Japanese, who prefer to bow.
 
These actions are not good or bad, but are simply ways in which cultures have developed. I have seen, however, that cultural customs for body language are very general - not all members of a culture behave in the same way. In general, though, studying international customs can certainly help avoid difficulties in today's world of cultural crossroads!