How Different are We?: Spoken Discourse in Intercultural Communication
Author: Helen Fitzgerald
This book examines the influence of cultural values and communication styles on intercultural communication and demonstrates how training can develop intercultural communication competencies. A large number of interactions between well-educated immigrants from all continents and from more than a hundred countries, together with some including native speakers, are examined and participants’ answers to questionnaires compared with their actual communicative behaviour. The author raises questions of interest to many groups: linguists, educators, business people and sociologists. Which values are most salient and enduring, and which cause clashes between cultural groups? To what extent do people retain the communication style identified with their first language and how do these different styles impact on others?
Dr Helen FitzGerald has had extensive experience teaching English to immigrants and international students in both Australia and Asia. At present she is an advanced skills teacher at the Canberra Institute of Technology teaching immigrants in the Adult Migrant Education Program. For the last ten years, she has also had an overlapping career as an intercultural communication consultant and trainer, designing and delivering customised courses and briefings for a wide range of Australian organisations in both the private and public sectors. During this time, she has written a textbook, Cross-Cultural Communication for the Tourism and Hospitality Industry, and written and co-authored a number of articles, training courses and online courses on intercultual communication, on English writing and grammar, and on equity and diversity issues.