In the context of an intercultural communication class, how do students' communication abilities affect teachers' perspective on students?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

If the teacher we are talking about is a good teacher, then a student’s communication abilities should not have an impact on whether or not he or she likes a particular student. The teacher’s perspective, however, can be affected in the sense of realizing that a student may require guidance or extra tutoring if he or she is struggling to follow course material because of a language barrier or cultural differences.

It is important to realize that communication abilities is a very broad term. A “communication disability” could imply that a student struggles to speak him/herself, to understand what is said when he/she is spoken to, or to understand text that is written down or on a computer. It could also mean a combination of the three options. In any of these circumstances, it is the role of a good teacher to try and help the student in any way possible.

Since we are discussing this in the context of intercultural communication, it is also important to note that various gestures are interpreted differently across cultural divides. For example, in a typical western culture, it is considered polite to look a person in the eye when you speak to them. In certain African cultures, on the other hand, this would be deemed extremely disrespectful. It is therefore up to the teacher to understand that different behaviors which may appear rude at face value are actually signs of respect from members of other cultures.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial