With our advancement of information technologies, we can communicate with our friends instantly without the restrictions of time and space. Such instantaneous communication has the potential to increase the amount of communication that occurs among people from different cultures (Lustig and Koester 7-8). However, we are not able to experience other countries’ culture unless we have been to that place.
In this journal, I will share my cultural shock experienced in Lancaster. It is a small city in the North West of United Kingdom (UK) which is a historic city dominated by Lancaster Castle. I am going to analyze my cultural shock by using the D-I-E framework. I will describe my experience in Lancaster in two sections, which are interactions and doing group assignments with students. Then interpret the situations and afterwards evaluate it. Self-reflection and improvements on intercultural competence will also be included in the conclusion.
Interpersonal communication is a form of communication that involves a small number of individuals who are interacting exclusively with one another and who therefore have the ability both to adapt their messages specifically for those others and to obtain immediate interpretations from them (Lustig and Koester 19). However, when I was in Lancaster, I had encountered difficulties in communicating with the local students and I could not understand their messages at once. I felt confusion and frustration so I was not able to respond to them immediately. The main reason behind is contributed to the language difference between HK and UK. The mother language in HK and UK are different and I found that I miss my familiar language which at home would have been part of my everyday environment. British students speak quickly, fluently and with some accents which make me hard to comprehend their messages. Besides, they use a lot of slang in their everyday language, for example “fancy a sarnie?” means “would you like a sandwich?” These languages confuse me in understanding their words and meanings neither (Jandt). When I was doing self-evaluation of this communication problem, I found that I do not have many chances to communicate with native English speakers and I seldom use idioms to talk with my friends in HK. It is an obstacle for me to fully understand their messages in an environment that English language is replete with idioms. The D-I-E can be summarized as below.
Description Interpretation Evaluation
I felt difficult to communicate with the local students and understood their messages at once. HK and UK have different mother language.
Local students speak quickly, fluently and have some accents.
Local students use a lot of slang in their everyday language. I do not have the chance to communicate with native English speakers in HK.
I am lack of vocabulary equivalence and seldom use idioms to talk with my friends in HK.
Apart from interacting with people, I had...