Intercultural communication language




A literature review refers to any collection of materials on a topic, not necessarily the great literary texts of the world. The literature review is a body of text that aims to review the critical points of current knowledge on a particular topic. The literature review can be just a simple summary of sources, but it usually has an organizational pattern and combines both summary and synthesis. Therefore, this chapter will discuss published information in a particular subject area. In addition, this research also will discuss sometimes information in a particular subject area within a certain time period. This chapter details the relevant secondary data obtained to present various works published by various authors in many different countries. The literature review usually precedes a research proposal, methodology and results section. This chapter is organized according to several components. This chapter will focus on the intercultural communication is affected by language use in university for different ethnic groups. The independent variables like languages proficiency, language conflict, acculturation motivation to learn, and interaction potential about communication languages and too much documentation will be studied.(Virginia, 2002)



A language is considered to be a system of communication with other people using sounds, symbols and words in expressing a meaning, idea or thought. This language can be used in many forms, primarily through oral and written communications as well as using expressions through body language (APA Style, 2009).

Ethnic groups

The term ethnic means of or pertaining to a group of people recognized as a class on the basis of certain distinctive characteristics such as religion, language, ancestry, culture or national origin (Babylon, 1997).

Intercultural communication

This is in many ways similar to group communication, but the role of groups is taken by ethnic cultures. However, as it is used in communication studies, intercultural communication tends to describe the relations between members of different ethnic groups and languages, and interacting in an international context (Kwintessential, 2009).


A relatively efficient process either requires fewer inputs or produces more outputs compared to a similar process, to achieve the objectives of the process (Dave Chaffey, 1997a).


Effectiveness is very similar to efficiency, but the measure is related to some enterprise objective rather than the technical quality of output. Therefore, the effectiveness measure of a business process can be indicated by the resource inputs needed to produce a level of an enterprise objective (Dave Chaffey, 1997b).

Teamwork spirit

A joint action by two or more people, in which each person contributes with different skills and express his or her individual interests and opinion to the unity and efficiency of the group in order to achieve common goals (Buzzle, 2000).

Independent variables

A manipulated variable in an experiment or study which is the presence or degree determines the change in the dependent variables. The independent variable is the element that is subject to arbitrary (not random) change, in order to test the results. An independent variable is a hypothesized cause or influence on a dependent variable. One way to distinguish these variables is to ask yourself what you are wanted to learn from this research (Wikipedia, 2009).

Language proficiency

Refers to the degree to which the student exhibits control over the use of language, including the measurement of expressive and receptive language skills in the areas of phonology, syntax, vocabulary, and semantics and including the areas of pragmatics or language use within various domains or social circumstances. Proficiency in a language is judged independently and does not imply a lack of proficiency in another language (Wren, 2009).


The exchange of cultural features that results groups of individuals having different cultures come into continuous first hand contact; the original cultural patterns of either or both groups may be altered, but the groups remain distinct (Kottak, 2007).


Motivation is defined as communicating to an internal force that actuates a behavioral pattern, thought process, action or reaction. Negative forces or positive forces can act as actuators (Speechmastery, 2009).

Language Proficiency

Martin and Nakayama (1999), communication is the most rewarding one as well teaching us that culture always changes and the most important quality for work on intercultural society. Because of the internal and external influences, intercultural communication is important because people from different cultures have been encountering each other. Communication is a interpretive, symbolic, transactional, contextual process of difference between people is large and important to create dissimilar interpretations and expectations about the regarded as competent behaviors that should be used to create shared meanings.

The theories in philosophy of languages will make a distinction between two communicative challenges (Hale and Wright, 1997; Ludlow, 1997). The first concerns need to have a platform of a shared language (Burge, 1979; Peacock, 1992). According to Fodor (1992) and Nordby (2003), imagine the reindeer herder and some government official can represents the interests of “the public” having a dialogue about the idea of turning the relevant areas into national parks. The way to understand language is shaped by the overall beliefs and socio-cultural contexts. It is obvious that the herder’s and the official’s respective understandings the sufficiently similar for their associating and the same meaning with the same expressions (Burge, 1979).

Most respondents believe that the proficiency of language is Latvia’s inhabitants must know the Latvian language. More than two year, they need to improve their Latvian language. Thus the attitude of Latvian language is positive. This is supported towards growing the proficiency in Latvian among non-Latvians. Inhabitants of Latvia may improve inter-ethnic relationships, constant process and, promote the process of integration and communication between each others (Bratt, 1994).

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The communicative similarities and differences across cultures provide is to understand the cross-cultural misunderstandings occur, and misunderstanding can be reduced in future intercultural encounter. The individual made the communicative adaptations when they move between cultures provides cross-cultural adaptation models, and they can informative indexes to understand cross-cultural newcomer’s dynamic status of intercultural transformation (Kim, 2001).

According to Bartlett and Johnson (1998), the English is a sort of creoles language. It is more difficult for native speaker rather than non-native ones to understand. The use of English in multinational companies is that able to master the foreign languages tend to centralize communication within the company. Because of the few problems they have in making acquaintance with all kinds of people and interacting with then in a competent ways. This centralization of communication is often associated with a concentration of power into the hands of who can cope with communication in an autonomous way. Therefore, language skills may become an important tool in internal company politics with consequent significant strategic potentialities.

Students learn second language may possesses skills ranging from conversational fluency acquired from contacts with the second language-speaking world to formal knowledge obtained in second language as a foreign language classes in their countries of origin. For example, High schools students are learning English as a second language in U.S. classroom. The extent and type of prior knowledge is an essential consideration in planning instruction. For example, a student with informal conversational English skills may have little understanding of English grammatical systems and may need to specific instruction in English grammar (Eric, 2000).

Language Conflict

In different social-cultural contexts, teachers and students face different challenges, such as power and control, local structural conditions, language policies, ideology, and discursive rules that generate practice of inclusion and exclusion (Bertein, 1996; Phillpsom, 2001). Teachers and students in a foreign context will lack familiar frames of references. Therefore, they may find the situation such as unfriendly, unwelcome, inhospitable, and “confusingly varied and unpredictable” (Holliday, 1994) and may fail to recognize and meet both experiences, public, and personal theories may often lead to misunderstanding and frustration.

According to Dyke (1985), the language conflict is a worst problem in Latvia. Regarding this conflict, the psychological factors are importance because Latvian language is a national symbol of Latvians as an ethnic group. Besides that, a part of Russians and “Russian speakers’ the reversal from dominant to minority position is not acceptable. In the Baltic Data House survey data, the language conflict between Latvian speakers and Russian speaker’s is most obvious.

Stereotypes of the ethnic identities, the all ethnic are a rapist rejects the suggestion that this applies to personally act as catalyst of misunderstanding and communication difficulties. By dissociating, these stereotypes the interviewees support the argument that not all member of an ethnic group are alike. The ethnic groups are heterogeneous, and then the conflict of language will easy occur in the group (Bennett, 2004).

In intercultural communication, people often believe for granted because they have grown up in the culture and think their way is the best. In this case, they tend to transfer their own cultural values and beliefs to the situation of intercultural communication as guidelines for their behavior, so that misunderstandings or ineffective communication arise. Jensen and Longreen (1995), the negative transfer of deep-structure culture arises in such aspects as cultural values, thought patterns, religious beliefs and ethnics.

Turner (1982), in different ethnic groups has a different value on group membership or individual self-determination. As a result, a member of ethnic group may think someone from a different ethnic group with different values for politeness is rude. When this misunderstanding is occur without correction, this situation can escalate into a negative labeling of all members in the group. This can be a major source of negative ethnic stereotypes.

Worldwide migration induces multicultural contact in societies, including health care. The multicultural contacts and communication are often complicated by language barriers, and obstructions are caused by different culturally defined views and perceptions. According to Kleinman, (1995) both physician and patient need to exchange each other’s perceptions about the patient’s illness in order to achieve understanding and agreement about diagnosis and treatment. Lack of understanding and agreement is assumed to lead to less compliance and a reduction in perceived quality of care.

Communicating in English is confronted with a psycho-cognitive situation where his/her native linguistic and cultural schemata conflict with the English schemata dominant in international professional communities. Forced to negotiate and redefine cultural, the identity is to successfully communicate in international and intercultural settings. Furthermore, cultural interaction in international communities and organizations suggest the possibility of hybrid communicative schemata in which a new set of cultural values and identities-functional to communication in the wider community. This is created in response to communicate internationally. This is a counterpart of the ongoing process of economic globalization of which it is both an expression and an instrument. (Hofstede, 1991)

Stranger person will commonly interaction the stereotyping (Gudykunst, 2005). When people are group, they will perform the positive or negative evaluations to these groups. Turner (1982), groups with people identify are evaluated positively or negatively. This is regularly recognized as ethnocentric attitudes, biased, or prejudice (Togeby, 1997; Brown, 1995). According to Tajfel (1978), the negative evaluations can create problems in an interaction when people need a positive self-image.

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Acculturation and Motivation to learn

According to Chan (1997); Kennedy (2002); and Hu (2002), it is well acknowledged that Chinese students are extremely diligent, high achieving, hardworking, respectful, cooperative, trustworthy, persevering, and disciplined. Chinese students learning seriously and they show the respecting for the English native speakers in a hope to learn “real English” and get the best from them (Boyle, 2000). In their learning, Chinese student’s tent to exhibit a high degree to improve their knowledge of both western culture and the English language through diligent study and practice, and this can be a very stimulating motivation from a teacher.

Trueba (1988) argued that the conditions for effective learning are created only when the role of culture is recognized. The used in the settings is under which learning are taking place. The environments should recognize the importance of culture in specific instructional settings and attempt to integrate the home and school cultures into the teaching pedagogy. When cultural conflicts arise, they should be resolved instead of being dismissed.

A research study on the cultural identities of an ethnic group in China called the Miao. The undergraduate students of Miao and their life in the university, is an institution dominated by the majority Han Chinese and revealed that even when placed in a different learning environment. The strong cultural identity of the Miao students allowed them to draw on this affiliation for an increased motivation to succeed academically. Learning a second language is not detract. In fact, it is enhanced their pride in their identity and strong affiliation to their ethnic group. This study is important implications because it shows that being empowered in a new learning environment and do not necessitate forsaking one’s own culture and language; indeed their empowerment in a new society depended on their “being Miao” and retaining their identification and affiliation with Miao traditions, culture and language (Trueba and Zou 1994).

The importance of the host language in intercultural communication is self-evident. Effective of cross-cultural communication can take place when the language appropriate to a given society is as least minimally used and comprehended. According to Taft (1957), “The function of language in intercultural communication is to facilitate one’s cultural learning and to permit maximum group participation”. Research has largely supported the generalization that the learning of the host language accelerates acculturation (DeFleur and Cho, 1957; Breton, 1964; Chance, 1965; Richmond, 1967; Graves, 1967; Price, 1968). Similarly, fluency in English is considered to be the most important determinant of a sojourner’s exposure to the American mass media (Richmond, 1967).

Cross-cultural communication is attempts to link the variations in communication behavior to the cultural contexts. It also provides the conceptual tools to understand culture and communication influences the communications. The latter is relatively a new area and seeks to understand the changes in individual communication behavior that are related to the process of acculturation and communication interaction. This approach has provided a substantial body of literature dealing with stages, patterns and outcomes of adjustment. Intercultural communication helps to comprehend daily events in the multicultural world from the depth of social-cultural, especially cross-cultural level (Ting-Toomey, 1993).

According to Poppy et al. (1996), adapting to a new culture may be taken much time for newcomers. Children generally acculturate more rapidly and easily than their parents. It is important to note that there are varying degrees or levels of acculturation which students and their families may be experiencing at any point in time after arriving. The degree of acculturation can accelerate or delay learning in school. This is equally important that there is no right or wrong with regard to acculturation and any fix nature to any. The labels simply describe a cultural condition and psychological experienced in the process of acculturation.

Since the 1980’s, the concept of integrativeness has been extended to identification the general cultural and intellectual values associated with the speakers of other languages and the explaining the attraction toward languages in countries. Motivation is one of the most studied aspects of learning. Social psychologists working in Canadian bilingual programs, Robert and Wallace Lambert (1972) considered that the motivation is the primary enhancing or blocking communication between cultures. For many years, integrative motivation was regarded as the desirable motivation for foreign students.

Alicia Pousada (2006), some Puerto Rican students being like Americans is important because they may attend English-only schools, listen to English language music, travel to the U.S. Some have U.S.-born and/or raised parents or relatives, and plan to live or study in the U.S. in the future. For others, English is viewed solely as a tool for obtaining a good job. Their motivation is instrumental rather than integrative, since there is little desire to emulate Americans, even though cultural imitation or syncretism may occur unconsciously. English and Americans are totally foreign, somewhat frightening, and perhaps repugnant, as they represent a perceived loss of local Puerto Rican mores and a form of cultural homogenization.

Interaction Potential

Intercultural communication competence can improve by the communication apprehension. Beamer’s model did not make a clear distinction between competence and sensitivity and targeting developing intercultural communication competence (Beamer 1992). In there studies, intercultural communication competence was treated generally as the knowledge, motivation, and skills for effective communication. (Spitzberg, 1989; Wiseman, 2001).

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Herring (1990) presented that nonverbal communication was part of communication. Cultural misunderstandings and miscommunications must be reduced and increasing the cultural differences awareness in nonverbal communication patterns. Herring noted that many ethnic groups use nonverbal communications to expressions their feeling and attitudes. The incorporation of nonverbal communication in current and new counseling techniques could result in more appropriate and effective cross-cultural counseling.

Nowadays, the cultural competency is very important. We are not longer confined to out national and cultural borders. We mix with people from different cultures, ethnicity, religions and colours on a daily basis. According to Belay, (1993), to make this intercultural experience work on all levels from education to business and to the government, we have to develop basic skills in intercultural communication and understanding.

Shorris (1992) makes the point that umbrella labels such as “Latino” obscure important differences between Latinos of different countries of origin, thus confronting standard concepts of ethnic groups. Bershtel and Graubard (1993) discuss the role of religion in defining ethnicity, and also challenges students to consider intersections between race and ethnicity. Ethnic identity is not a constant throughout the life course.

Feiler (1991) served to cover Japanese culture. He wanted to reflect an international perspective and to bring the discussion of interaction of language and ethnicity outside of the American context. He also shows how one must understand the underlying logic of a culture, not just its language and local customs, and interaction potential between ethnic groups.

Anderson (1990) serves to address both Euro-American and African American ethnic groups. In a study, he focused on interactions between Euro-American and African American ethnic groups in public spaces in an urban setting. He showed students how nonverbal communication works through the lens of ethnicity and colour, and how social class and race affect the use of public spaces and urban territories.

Thomas (2000), inability to speak the same language presents significant obstacles to understanding will occur the stressful and it must be for the many international students in colleges and university throughout the United States who must expend considerable energy listening and trying to decipher the content of messages; little energy is available for the nuances and subtleties of the interaction.

The important concept in intercultural studies is intercultural sensitivity. That has been confused or treated indiscriminatingly and not yet fully understood with intercultural communication competence and intercultural awareness (Chen and Starosta, 2000). Intercultural awareness, intercultural adroitness, and intercultural sensitivity is an umbrella concept that subsumes by intercultural communication competence and representing the cognitive, affective, and behavioral aspect of intercultural communication competence and respectively. The multidimensional conceptualization makes it possible into how knowledge, motivation, emotion, and behavior may interact with each other. These elements may contribute the overall level of intercultural communication competence of the communication subjects. Thus, the insightful clues for rigorous research and theoretical framework will development the effective training programs for intercultural sensitivity.

Roux (2002) argued that successful educators are effective communicator and culturally competent in cross-cultural encounters. Communication can be a useful source of intercultural knowledge and mutual enrichment between culturally diverse students if managed proactively by the teacher. Therefore, teachers should be sensitive to the potentially problematic outcomes of intercultural communication in the culturally diverse class. Otherwise, communication could be a source of frustration, intercultural conflict, misapprehensions and ultimately school failure. Cross-cultural communication is complex and potentially problematic on education. A rich repertoire of verbal and nonverbal behavior to the intercultural situation will effective capabilities to react sensitively to fellow communicators from other cultures is a necessity in education (Linda, 1997).

Chen (2002) explored perceptions of intercultural interaction. The study addressed the connection between perceptions of intercultural communication and intercultural interaction satisfaction. The most common aspect that was realized the inability of the students to identify mutual topics of mutual interest. This was probably mutual the lack of familiarity with the partner’s culture. This factor was labeled “common ground” to reflect this characteristic of intercultural communication. Communication satisfaction was affective construct that reflected participant’s emotional reaction toward their interaction. In terms of the degree it had met or failed to their expectation. The competent intercultural communication was predicted the high communication satisfaction.


The beginning of this chapter two is basically about the brief overview flow of the chapter. Then followed by the discussion on informational literature review which the main content of this chapter. In this section, it focuses on past research that provides useful information for the progress and development in this research paper. In addition, it also exposed the readers with the knowledge and understanding towards the intercultural communication that is affected by language use in university for different ethnic group. After that, this chapter goes on with the relationship between the independent variables and dependent variable of this research, which is a really short and simple summary for the extensive literature review. Finally, this chapter ends with the summary for this whole chapter.

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