Culture, wrote Mc Omie, is “a way of seeing, a way of perceiving, and a way of behaving on the basis of that perception (1990, p.177)”. “People carry their culture wherever they go, and that culture influences how people behave and respond to other’s behavior. Despite the beauties and uniqueness of each, when two different cultures come together, there is a strong likelihood that some clashes may occur”. Hofstede (1986 p.30) observed, “When teacher and student come from different cultures…many perplexities can arise”.
Employing new academic strategies and adjusting to a new classroom style requires maximum attention. Many countries education systems value different academic and social skills than the United States’ higher education system, Street (p.6). She continues to say, “In some countries the most important thing is to master the text. American students just don’t work that way. The American students suss out the professor, get a sense of what the demands are for each course. They anticipate class discussion.” Due to this it takes time for the international students to adjust to the classroom method of discussion and engaging with the professor.
Due to the discussions in the U.S system, it may be difficult for international students to participate effectively as needed. Different cultures put more or less value on oral communication, and it is consequentially important not to assume that interpretation of a concept or experience is the same across cultures (Kearney, McCroskey & Richmond 1986). Research has supported the existence of communication distinctions between individualistic, low-context and collectivistic, high-context cultures.
The concept “willingness to communicate” (WTC) describes the extent that individuals will talk to others in a variety of communication situations. Among the reasons why people will avoid communication are social alienation, low self-esteem, different cultural norms related to talking, lack of competency, skill deficiency, and/or communication apprehension (McCroskey &Richmond, 1987; 1998). While the individualistic, low-context cultures of the United States and Western Europe place a high premium on talking, in the collectivistic, high-context cultures of Southeast Asia and Japan quietness is a virtue.
A decisive amount of research shows that student’s perceptions of teachers’ nonverbal immediacy contributes significantly to motivation ( Christopel,1990 Christopel & Gorman , 1995; Frymer 1993) evaluation of instructors , and academic achievement (McCroskey & Richmond , 1992). They continue to say “verbal communication leads to increases in attributional confidence, self-monitoring, and social penetration.” One is able to monitor and know what is expected of them to do at the right time and order. International students should learn to communicate freely with their friends from which they will get the courage and ability to participate in class.
Adjusting to a new environment is an essential in order to...