Non verbal communication Reply (Turabian Format)

You are required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 200 words, and assertions must be supported by 1 textbook and/or biblical citation and 1 outside academic resource.  

Reply to the following Post by a classmate (Brian)

In chapter 7 of Stella Ting-Toomey and Leeva Chung’s book Understanding Intercultural Communication they examine the impact of nonverbal communication, forms of nonverbal communication, boundary regulations, and temporal regulation across cultures.  Nonverbal communication is defined as “Message exchange process involving the use of nonlinguistic and paralinguistic cues which are expressed through multiple communication channels in a particular sociocultural setting”. 
One of the seven forms of nonverbal communications explored by Ting-Toomey and Chung is paralanguage, which is how something is said, and not what is said.  Features of paralinguistics include accent, pitch range, pitch intensity, volume, articulation, and rate. It is important to know the common paralinguistic rules when engaging in intercultural communication to speak and receive information appropriately.  If not accounting for these paralinguistic rules, it could negatively affect communication and gospel witness in an intercultural setting.  I have been fortunate to travel extensively over the past 15 years and experience many cultures, including visits to all 50 states and every major city in the United States, visits to all 7 continents, and visits to over 90 countries around the world.  During those travels I have learned a lot about paralinguistics and other nonverbal customs of other cultures.  For example, when traveling through the Middle East I have noticed that a high volume in voice is not considered rude, where in the United States it might be considered inappropriate yelling.  To that affect, I would suggest that street preachers that are using a megaphone to attempt to share the gospel are not using good nonverbal communication because they are communicating in a way that is viewed as combative in the United States.  
Another form of nonverbal communications explored by Ting-Toomey and Chung is gestures.  Of the nonverbal forms of communication, gestures can be highly cultural specific and be a significant form of nonverbal communication.  Gestures are categorized as “emblems” or substitutes for words, “illustrators” which are hand gestures that illustrate spoken word, “regulators” which are used to regulate the flow of conversation, and “adaptors” which are the unintentional habits to fulfill needs.  It is important to know the cultural display rules and procedures for expressing gestures when engaging in intercultural communication.  In India and some Eastern European cultures like Bulgaria shaking one’s head from side-to-side is an emblem indicating agreement, however in the United States shaking one’s head from side-to-side is an emblem indicating disagreement.  In China people sometimes point with their middle finger, but in the United States that would be an invitation for trouble.  Similarly, in the United States a thumbs up means everything is good, but in some West African and Middle Eastern cultures this is the equivalent of showing a middle finger.  Being mindful of the local culture regarding gestures is important to make sure it doesn’t negatively affect communication and gospel witness in intercultural settings.

Toomey, Stella T., and Leeva C. Chung. Understanding Intercultural Communication. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. ISBN: 9780199739790.


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