Adelaide Research and Scholarship
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|Title: ||The intercultural analysis of Indonesian and Australian students’ nonverbal behaviour: an effort to develop intercultural English learning material.|
|Author: ||Mokoginta, Karmila|
|Issue Date: ||2009|
|School/Discipline: ||School of Humanities : Linguistics|
|Abstract: ||This study investigates similar and different nonverbal behaviours of Indonesian and Australian students (focusing on proxemics, kinesics, touching and dress codes), examines the students' perception in relation to the behaviours, and isolates or predicts intercultural problems. It aims at creating learning resources to be used in English classes in Indonesia.
The data collection involved observations and interviews. Initial data analysis was conducted at the same time as the data collection, followed by an intensive analysis using a coding
Some similarities were found. There was a tendency among Indonesian students to sit together, reflecting their collectivist value. This tendency may also be evident among
Australian students. Similar patterns of eye gazing, hand movements, sitting posture, body position and body orientation probably demonstrate the universality of communicative
behaviour. In both cultures, head nodding indicates paying attention, or in certain situations, may be interpreted as a flattering gesture. However, the flattering meaning may result from a different degree of head nodding display in Indonesian and Australian contexts. Many of these similar behaviours need further investigation using video recording.
Many differences were found. In tutorials, Indonesians were more likely to be formal and restrained, in contrast to Australian informality and expressiveness. Different practices in the
use of the hand were also identified. Dress code was one of the most significant areas of difference, together with the public display of affective behaviour, and the preference to sit on
the floor or to sit and lie on the lawns. Eye contact, gender-mixing in gatherings and some touching behaviours may be problematic for a few Indonesians. Further discussion also shows that smiling to strangers commonly practised by Australians can be unusual in Indonesia. In contrast, head nodding, eye contact and head tossing that have specific cultural meanings in Indonesia appear to be unproblematic in the Australian context.
It was concluded that the different behaviours indicate that several issues – including conflict avoidance, face saving, respect for authority, harmony maintenance, ingroup-outgroup divisions and religious regulations – are practiced in different ways and valued to differing degrees in Indonesia and Australia. The analysis also revealed a strong indication that in
Indonesian culture, nonverbal behaviour has similar emphasis with, and often can be more significant than, verbal behaviour. In Australia, the emphasis would be more likely to be on
It seems that some of the differences did not result in negative perception among students. However, certain things may result in problems at various levels - ranging from uncomfortable feelings, and lack of interactions, up to the formation of negative perception about a culture. Having tolerance and willingness to evaluate a matter from different perspectives can be useful to minimize ethnocentrism and avoid any negative stereotypes.
As part of this study I conducted a literature review about intercultural learning and created two examples of learning material, both focusing on nonverbal behaviours. The first material is intended to raise the issue of cultural difference, and the second one raises the ethnocentrism issue.|
|Advisor: ||Amery, Robert Maxwell|
|Dissertation Note: ||Thesis (M.A.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Humanities, 2009|
|Keywords: ||intercultural; Indonesia; Australia; nonverbal behaviour|
|Provenance: ||Master of Arts|
Copyright material removed from digital thesis. See print copy in University of Adelaide Library for full text.
|Call number: ||09AR.M M716|
|Description (link): ||http://library.adelaide.edu.au/item/1458568|
|Appears in Collections:||Research Theses|
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