Teaching Intercultural Communication in China and Australia: Intellectual and Contextual Constraints and Opportunities

Ying HUANG, Keith Simkin


As the world turns more towards China through trade, tourism and knowledge exchange, Chinese professionals will increasingly need to communicate directly with foreigners inside China. This face-to-face communication will require not only linguistic and communicative competence, but also a deep cultural knowledge of China as well as of other cultures, to help strangers adapt effectively to Chinese cultural contexts and to improve mutual understanding. In this paper we suggest that it might be useful for Chinese teachers of intercultural communication to examine their assumptions and practices by comparing them with those in other countries. We illustrate this argument through a comparison of the teaching of intercultural communication in Yunnan with an equivalent program in professional education in Melbourne. We argue that there are many similarities in the two programs, reflecting their common disciplinary basis. There are also differences between the programs reflecting different assumptions about teaching and learning, and different contexts of intercultural communication. This comparison helps identify the cultural and contextual influences on what is currently identified as appropriate in Yunnan, and the possible constraints on how much the program could be altered without clashing with acceptable aims, strategies and outcomes.
Key words: Intercultural Communication; Communicative Competence; Professional Education; Globalization


Intercultural Communication; Communicative Competence; Professional Education; Globalization


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/n


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