(中学篇)2018年第03期:基于高中英语学科核心素养的阅读教学设计——以北师大版《英语》模块七Unit 19 Lesson 3 Body Language为例(北京:艾慧、郝奇斐)一文涉及的教学内容

 
1.  教材文本
Body Language Speaks For Itself
 
If you saw a father patting his son on the back while smiling happily, what would you think was going on? You would probably think that the father was congratulating his son on doing something well, maybe passing an exam or winning a race. You would know what was going on because you understood the message conveyed by the father's body language. Across the world, a pat on the back and a smile usually means, “Well done”.
 
Body language is used every single day by people of different nationalities all over the world. It is a language without words that consists of gestures, facial expressions and body movements that greatly add to — and sometimes even replace — spoken language. Body language is used to communicate both attitudes and feelings from affection to anger just like any other language, but it differs from spoken language as it is not always explicit. Somebody jumping for joy is easy to see while a raised eyebrow conveying doubt is easier to miss.
 
People often use body language on purpose. Someone who does not know the answer to a question will move their shoulders upwards away from their upper body and then let them fall, meaning “I don't know”. However, body language can be unconscious as well. A person who is feeling uncomfortable or nervous will often hold their body in a very rigid manner and have a tight look about their mouths. They might also cross their arms and move in an abrupt way resembling a robot more than a human. They might not even realise how they are acting but their body language will tell anyone who cares to look closely enough how they are feeling. Body language can therefore make people's feelings more transparent as although we can lie with words, it is not as easy to do so with our bodies.
 
Learning to be aware of your body language can be a very useful tool. For example, in a job interview, you will probably be feeling nervous but you won't want to appear to be in a state of unrest. You will want to appear calm with as much dignity as possible. Merely by uncrossing your arms, you will look more confident.
 
Body language can be very useful when people do not share a common spoken language. For example, in foreign countries, it is very easy to purchase something simply by smiling and pointing at what you want. On the other hand, you can also easily show what you don't like by shaking your head. You can negotiate the price by using your fingers and even ask questions by using your hands to outline the shapes of things you want — although this can cause confusion and a few laughs too!
 
However, body language can sometimes be ambiguous. Although every culture around the world uses the same gestures and expressions, they use them in different ways. For example, an American tourist at a German hotel might give an “OK” sign by making a circle with his fingers. Unlike in America where this sign means everything is fine, in Germany, this gesture can cause offense. Another example is that in most cultures to nod one's head means “Yes” and to shake one's head means “No” while in some cultures the opposite is true!
 
Regardless of these differences, experts agree that across the globe there is one form of body language that receives universal approval — the smile. Smiling has a high success rate so never be afraid to use it — even when you're nervous — and especially in foreign countries!
 
 
 
2. 课外阅读
 
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!