BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 446

BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 446

IELTS Academic Reading Test

Cross-cultural Communication: Melvin Schnapper

A. A Peace Corps staff member is hurriedly called to a town in Ethiopia to deal with reports that one of the volunteers is treating Ethiopians like dogs. What could the volunteer be doing to communicate that? Another foreign volunteer in Nigeria has great trouble getting any discipline in his class, and it is known that the students have no respect for him because he has shown no self-respect. How has he shown that? Neither of these volunteers offended his hosts with words. But both of them were unaware of what they had communicated through their non-verbal behaviour.

In the first case, the volunteer working at a health centre would go into the waiting room and call for the next patient. She did this as she would in America – by pointing with her finger to the next patient and beckoning him to come. Acceptable in the States, but in Ethiopia her pointing gesture is for children and her beckoning signal is for dogs. In Ethiopia one points to a person by extending the arm and hand and beckons by holding the hand out, palm down, and closing it repeatedly. In the second case, the volunteer insisted that students look him in the eye to show attentiveness, in a country where prolonged eye contact is considered disrespectful.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

B. While the most innocent American-English gesture may have insulting, embarrassing, or at least confusing connotations in another Culture, the converse is also true. If foreign visitors were to bang on the table and hiss at the waiter for service in a New York restaurant, they would be fortunate if they were only thrown out. Americans might find foreign students overly polite if they bow.

C. It seems easier to accept the arbitrariness of language – that dog is chien in French or aja in Yoruba – than the differences in the emotionally laden behaviour of non-verbal communication, which in many ways is just as arbitrary as language. Secondly, we assume that our way of talking and gesturing is ‘natural’ and that those who do things differently are somehow playing with nature. This assumption leads to a blindness about intercultural behaviour. And individuals are likely to remain blind and unaware of what they are communicating non-verbally, because the hosts will seldom tell them that they have committed a social blunder.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

It is rude to tell people they are rude; thus the hosts grant visitors a ‘foreigner’s licence’, allowing them to make mistakes of social etiquette, and they never know until too late which ones prove disastrous. An additional handicap is that the visitors. have not entered the new setting as free agents, able to detect and adopt new ways of communicating without words. They are prisoners of their own culture and interact within their own framework. Yet the fact remains that for maximum understanding the visitor using the words of another language also must learn to use the tools of non-verbal communication of that culture.

D. Non-verbal communication – teaching it and measuring effect – is more difficult than formal language instruction. But now that language has achieved its proper recognition as being essential for success, the area of non-verbal behaviour should be taught to people who will live in another country in a systematic way, giving them actual experiences, awareness, sensitivity. Indeed, it is the rise in linguistic fluency that now makes non-verbal fluency even more critical.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

A linguistically fluent visitor may tend to offend even more than those who don’t speak as well if that visitor shows ignorance about interface etiquette; the national may perceive this disparity between linguistic and non-linguistic performance as a disregard for the more subtle aspects of intercultural communication. Because non-verbal cues reflect emotional states, both visitor and host national might not be able to articulate what’s going on.

E. While it would be difficult to map out all the non-verbal details for every language that the Peace Corps teaches, one can hope to make visitors aware of the existence and emotional importance of non-verbal channels. I have identified five such channels: kinesic, proxemic, chronemic, oculesic, and haptic … These five channels of non-verbal communication exist in every culture. The patterns and forms are completely arbitrary, and it is arguable as to what is universal and what is culturally defined.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

Of course, there is no guarantee that heightened awareness will change behaviour. Indeed, there may be situations where visitors should not alter their behaviour, depending on the status, personalities, and values in the social context. But the approach seeks to make people aware of an area of interpersonal activity that for too long has been left to chance or the assumption that visitors to other countries will be sensitive to it because they are surrounded by it.

BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 446

Reading Passage 3 has five sections, A-E.

Choose the correct section for each main idea from the list of main ideas given below.

Write the correct number; i-vii, in boxes 27-31 on your answer sheet.

List of Headings

i. How Americans would interpret the non-verbal behaviour of foreigners

ii. How Africans would interpret the non-verbal behaviour of American volunteers

iii. Non-verbal behaviour of foreigners in Africa

iv. Five channels of non-verbal communication as identified by the writer

v. A word of warning from the writer

vi. Non-verbal fluency as necessary as linguistic fluency

vii. Why one needs to learn about intercultural behaviour

IELTS Academic Reading Test

27. Section A ___

28. Section B ___

29. Section C ___

30. Section D ___

31. Section E ___

IELTS Academic Reading Test

Choose the correct letter A. B, C or D.

Write the correct letter in boxes 32-36 on your answer sheet.

32. In Ethiopia, to call someone, one can ___

A. point at them with one finger

B. call out their name aloud

C. beckon them with head movement

D. beckon with whole arm and hand.

33. The assumption that leads to an ignorance about intercultural behaviour is ___

A. our own cultural practices are normal and natural

B. we need not know what we are communicating non-verbally

C. we are allowed to make mistakes in social etiquette

D. we can notice and learn new non-verbal behaviour in a new environment.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

34. Which one of these is not listed as part of the suggested training in non-verbal behaviour? ___

A. real experience

B. critical attitude

C. enhanced awareness

D. heightened sensitivity

35. A linguistically fluent visitor to a new country is likely to offend the locals if ___

A. they are ignorant about the local social etiquette

B. they show off their linguistic skills to locals

C. they do not use their linguistic skills

D. their non-verbal cues reflect their emotional states.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

36. Which one is not true about the five channels of non-verbal communication? ___

A. Visitors can be made aware of their existence.

B. Visitors can be shown their emotional importance.

C. They exist in every culture.

D. Being aware of them will change interpersonal behaviour.

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 3? In boxes 37-40 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE if the statement agrees with the information

FALSE if the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this

IELTS Academic Reading Test

37. One of the Peace Corps volunteers was understood as treating the Ethiopians like dogs.

38. In a New York restaurant, banging on a table to call for service is usual.

39. A foreigner’s license allows visitors to make mistakes when travelling in a new country.

40. A linguistically fluent visitor will also have non-verbal fluency.

IELTS Academic Reading Test


BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 446

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IELTS Academic Reading Test

27. II

28. I

29. VII

30. VI

31. IV

32. D

33. A

34. B

35. A

36. D

37. TRUE




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