Linguistic, cultural and social differences compound the task of communicating effectively across cultural lines. In this Assignment, you will use film or television as your window into the linguistic, cultural, and social differences that affect intercultural communication. Your Assignment is to observe and report the verbal and nonverbal communication of the characters portrayed on screen, assess their effectiveness as intercultural communicators, and offer your ideas about the effect of different cultural identities and how best to communicate across cultures.
You should observe 20 to 30 minutes of the film or television program you choose, taking notes on your observations to be sure you understand what happens and have plenty of detail when it is time to write. Get your media in a way that lets you view the segment(s) more than once, so that you can observe each of the categories that you will assess with as little complication from other things as possible.
As long as the segments you are watching contain characters that display different cultural attributes, genre does not matter. Drama featuring human actors may be best for this project, but comedy, reality, or even animation is usable as long as you can identify clear cultural differences among the characters you observe. You will get the best results by following this order:
- Watch the material you have chosen. Take notes on the words the characters use, how they construct their conversations, and whether a dialect is involved. Do all the characters speak the same language with the same facility? Does language give you any clues about culture or status?
- Turn down or turn off the sound and watch the material again. What do you observe about characters’ nonverbal communication? Does it reinforce, replace, or contradict what is being said? Does nonverbal communication help or hinder the verbal messages? Do you see misunderstandings because of cultural differences?
- Watch the material again. How does each kind of communication contribute to understanding? How does each cause misunderstandings?
The paper must:
- Be 700-800 words
Information to include:
- An introductory statement
- The name of the film or program and the characters you observed
- Observable linguistic differences
- Observable cultural differences
- Observable social differences
- Your assessment of the effectiveness of the verbal communication
- Your assessment of the effectiveness of the nonverbal communication
- Your ideas about how cultural differences affected this communication
- A summary statement