Cultural Literacy: Indonesian and American Non-Verbal Communication
Atik Umamah, Muhammad Syamsu Dhuha
University of Islam Malang
atik.umamah@yahoo.com         Syamsudhuha429@gmail.comAbstract

Being a part of international community means that people must be able to communicate in global language such as English. Communication is considered to be successful if it involves two-way communication from the speaker-listener or writer-reader. In oral communication, cross cultural understanding becomes a paramount of importance to achieve successful and effective communication. This is because insufficient comprehension of cross cultural aspects will result some barriers such as difficulty to convey and receive intended message from the interlocutors which causes misunderstanding. As a matter of fact, spoken communication is not only about words coming out from the mouth (verbal language) but also about body movements and expression which might appear during interaction (non-verbal language). That is why non verbal language, which is one of aspects in cross cultural understanding, plays very crucial role and must be understood very well. Unfortunately, in the world of education particularly in English language teaching, cultural literacy has not been a major concern. It is proven by the very limited time provided for the students to learn cross cultural understanding. Considering the reasons above, this article review then comes up with the purpose of comparing non-verbal language used in Indonesian and American context. Theoretical framework of non-verbal communication will be the first notion to discuss, and the next is the types of non-verbal communication. A brief discussion about cross cultural understanding theory is the following issue to highlight.This article is completed with the comparison of non-verbal language used in Indonesian and American context. Finally, to end this article, a conclusion and pedagogical implication are presented as the closure.

Keywords: communication, non-verbal, cross cultural understanding

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