André & Shoji
We assisted André & Shoji in not only their linguistic development, but also learning to read body language, cultural cues, and recognise different types of learner.
André was a French engineer, Shoji, a Japanese banker. The two of them seemed to be having some difficulty communicating, though both of them had reasonably good English. It would have been natural to assume that this again was a cultural issue. We filmed a discussion between them. When they watched the recording they both immediately realised what the problem was. André was an auditory communicator; he didn’t actually look at Shoji very much. Shoji, on the other hand, was a very kinaesthetic and visual communicator. André was waiting to hear the communication, whereas Shoji was using facial expressions, and wanting to see André’s communication. This enabled us to explore the concept of what is an acceptable amount of eye contact. It is good to remember that communication is not just a question of shared cultural understanding. It also involves personal communication styles – even though these can, of course, be influenced by culture. Also, communication is not just a question of words! Learning how to communicate in another language also includes understanding body language.