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ESL preschoolers' interpretation of nonverbal communication Helmer, Sylvia 1985

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c ESL PRESCHOOLERS' INTERPRETATION OF NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION  by S y l v i a Carmen L i e s e l o t t e "Helmer B . E d . , The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1981  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT- OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Language Education)  We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the required  standard  THE UNVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA December,1985. (c)Sylvia Carmen L i e s e l o t t e Helmer, 1985  In  presenting  degree freely  at  this  the  available  copying  of  department publication  of  in  partial  fulfilment  University  of  British  Columbia,  for  this or  thesis  reference and  thesis by  this  for  his  scholarly  or  thesis  study.  her  for  Of  T.angnago  The University of British 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date  DE-6(3/81)  F H n r ^ - i nr,  December 3, 1 9 8 5 .  gain  the  shall  requirements  agree  that  agree  may  representatives.  financial  Columbia  I  I further  purposes  permission.  Department  of  be  It not  is  that  the  Library  permission  granted  by  understood be  for  allowed  an  advanced  shall for  the that  without  make  it  extensive  head  of  my  copying  or  my  written  Abstract  Studies i n d i c a t e that c h i l d r e n acquire both verbal and nonverbal a c u i t y at a very e a r l y age. Since i t i s a l s o agreed that the nonverbal forms of communication c h i l d r e n learn are c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c the a c q u i s i t i o n of nonverbal gestures by second language learners i s of considerable  interest.  A study by Kumin and Lazar(l974) i n d i c a t e s that  first  language speakers as young as three have considerable a b i l i t y i n encoding and decoding the group of gestures known as emblems. The present study extends t h e i r findings by comparing the decoding of gestures by native E n g l i s h speakers  (age 3-5) with  non-native speakers. T h i r t y - s i x emblems and i l l u s t r a t o r s , two forms of commonly used gestures, were decoded by f o r t y c h i l d r e n , twenty native speakers and twenty ESL speakers. The gestures chosen .were screened by a panel of ten p r a c t i c i n g ESL teachers who considered them to be t y p i c a l of classroom i n t e r a c t i o n . The videotape of the gestures was v a l i d a t e d by 62 native  speakers  before being administered to the c h i l d r e n . A n a l y s i s of variance r e s u l t s i n d i c a t e there i s a main effect  for age as w e l l as a very strong effect  for e t h n i c i t y  (native speakers vs E S L ) . A Spearman's rho rank c o r r e l a t i o n on the sequence of a c q u i s i t i o n of the gestures r a i s e s  the  i n t e r e s t i n g p o s s i b i l i t y that there may be a developmental pattern such as i s found i n the verbal domain.  i l  Table of Contents Abstract List of Tables List of Figures Acknowledgement  ii v vi vii  CHAPTER ONE A. Background of the Problem B. Assumptions C. Research Questions . D. Scope and Organization of the Study E. Limitations of the Study . . ... F. Definition of Terms ,  2 7 7 8 9 9  <>  CHAPTER TWO I. Related Research A. B. C. D. E.  11  Introduction Nonverbal Communication Education and Nonverbal Communication Cross-cultural Studies and Nonverbal Communication The Interface - Nonverbal Communication, Education and Cross-cultural Studies  11 18 23 28 31  II Gestures as a part of Nonverbal Communication  35  CHAPTER THREE A. Design B. Selection of Subjects C. Data Collection D. Scoring Techniques and Reliability E. Presentation of Data  46 51 53 55 56  , '  CHAPTER FOUR Results  57  CHAPTER FIVE I Comparison with the Kumin & Lazar Study  71  II The Present Study  73 iii  Ill A. B. C. D.  D r a w i n g C o n c l u s i o n s a n d what t h e y Theoretical Implications Practical Implications Suggestions for further research C l o s i n g Remarks  imply  BIBLIOGRAPHY  APPENDIX  A -  75 76 79 82 85  88  MULTIPLE  C H O I C E Q U E S T I O N N A I R E FOR EMBLEM/ILLUSTRATOR TEST  i.v  97  L i s t of Tables  I  Emblems and I l l u s t r a t o r s - Master L i s t  II  Percent Scores of Adults on Emblem and I l l u s t r a t o r Test  III  47  49  A n a l y s i s of Variance for E m b l e m / I l l u s t r a t o r Task Performance  IV  Rank Scores of Groups based on Age and E t h n i c i t y  V  Spearman's rho Rank C o r r e l a t i o n of Scores for Selected Groups  60 62  63  VI  Rank Scores for Emblems common to both Studies  65  VII  Percent Scores for Emblems common to both Studies  67  VIII Percent Scores for a l l t h i r t y - s i x Emblems and I l l u s t r a t o r s  V  68  L i s t of Figures  1.  Graph of T o t a l Scores  59  vi  Acknowledgement Many have been of invaluable a i d throughout what often seemed an interminable task. I wish e s p e c i a l l y to recognize: Dr. Bernard Mohan, t h e s i s a d v i s o r , who gave u n s t i n t i n g l y of both time and valuable suggestions, as w e l l as having the unerring t a l e n t of the true t e a c h e r / f a c i l i t a t o r  to force me  constantly to exercise my own i n t e l l e c t u a l muscles rather than allowing me to r e l y on him or anyone for the ultimate answers. Professor Mary Ashworth, whose no nonsense approach, infectuous laugh and a b i l i t y to help me put the world back i n i t s proper perspective when i t was desparately needed, combined to guide me through f r u s t r a t i o n s and e x u l t a t i o n s a l i k e . Dr. C l a i r e Staab, who took the time not only to read the draft v e r s i o n of the t h e s i s as she was required, but spent much time to set out lengthy comments and suggestions which have r e s u l t e d in a much improved f i n a l v e r s i o n . These are the p r o f e s s i o n a l s involved but i n r e a l i t y no one, l e a s t of a l l myself, e x i s t s only as "student". A s p e c i a l debt i s owed to the others i n my l i f e , my husband, my son, my mother and my f r i e n d s . For unflagging f a i t h and moral support my husband, Lee, and my mother, Roswitha, deserve high commendation. For t i p t o e i n g about the house on demand and p a t i e n t l y w a i t i n g h i s turn for my a t t e n t i o n , my son, Liam, has logged many hours of I . O . U . ' s . And f i n a l l y , to my many neglected friends my thanks that you are s t i l l t h e r e . vii  1 There i s a legendary account of the voyages of Captain Cook which i l l u s t r a t e s c u l t u r a l c o n d i t i o n i n g . I t i s s a i d that when Captain Cook landed on the F i j i I s l a n d s ' beach and walked to meet an oncoming band of n a t i v e s , he thrust out h i s hand i n token of f r i e n d s h i p . It never occurred to him that an offer to shake hands could be i n t e r p r e t e d as a threatening gesture, because h i s countrymen were a l l conditioned to ' r e a d ' h i s gesture as f r i e n d l y . In the s p l i t second of h i s a c t i o n , however, the n a t i v e s , who were not so c o n d i t i o n e d , i n t e r p r e t e d the thrust of hand and arm as an aggressive a c t i o n , and promptly k i l l e d the e x p l o r e r . Legend has i t that before he made h i s gesture they were ready to be f r i e n d l y ; they j u s t d i d not know about the conventional gesture we c a l l a handshake.  taken from BODY CODE by Lamb and Watson (1979)  2  CHAPTER ONE SCOPE AND FOCUS OF THE STUDY  A. Background of the Problem In Canada, c h i l d r e n of non-English-speaking background comprise an ever i n c r e a s i n g percentage of the t o t a l school p o p u l a t i o n . The Vancouver School Board, for instance,  estimates  that close to h a l f of i t s student population speaks a language other than E n g l i s h as i t s mother tongue. Teachers, however, are s t i l l predominantly from the w h i t e , E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g , middle c l a s s majority and therefore  bring to the teaching s i t u a t i o n a l l  that t h e i r c u l t u r a l heritage and i n s t i t u t i o n a l t r a i n i n g has taught them. The question then a r i s e s :  "Are there areas of  miscommunication between teacher and student by v i r t u e of t h e i r d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r a l , a s w e l l as l i n g u i s t i c ,  backgrounds?"  A h i s t o r y of extensive research i n both f i r s t and second language a c q u i s i t i o n ensures that teachers can be w e l l  prepared  to meet the l i n g u i s t i c needs of t h e i r non-English-speaking students. However,researchers and w r i t e r s such as Edward T. H a l l (1959,1969,1976,1983) and John Porter (1965), each from h i s own p e r s p e c t i v e , point out that a c q u i r i n g the l i n g u i s t i c knowledge of the dominant c u l t u r e i s not enough to permit f a c i l e i n t e r a c t i o n with members of that group. Schrank (1975) t e l l s us that from 200 to 5000 b i t s of nonverbal information per second are exchanged between two people engaged i n an ordinary c o n v e r s a t i o n . This he gauges to be 83% of an i n t e r a c t i o n , leaving a mere 17% for the verbal exchange. In our h i g h l y word oriented s o c i e t y t h i s seems impossible,yet i t i s i n North  3  American s o c i e t y that he c o l l e c t e d h i s data. E q u a l i t y Now ,the report of the S p e c i a l Committee on V i s i b l e M i n o r i t i e s i n Canadian S o c i e t y , defines t h i s  component  of communication as the hidden c u r r i c u l u m . The hidden curriculum i s the teaching of s o c i a l and economic norms and expectations to students. These norms and expectations are so much a part of schooling that they are seldom questioned or consciously examined. They range from the assumption that a l l students are f a m i l i a r with C h r i s t i a n heritage to assumptions about the meaning of eye contact, pause length and s o c i a l distance.(p.118) The report goes on to say that many o p p o r t u n i t i e s can be l o s t when t h i s hidden curriculum i s the basis of teaching methods used i n the classroom where a large percentage of the students do not have these norms and expectations  i n common with t h e i r  teacher. One aspect of t h i s hidden curriculum i s what i s known c o l l e c t i v e l y as nonverbal communication. It i s what Schrank concluded was the l i o n ' s share of any i n t e r a c t i o n . Extensive research  (Birdwhistell,1970; H a l l ,  1959,1969;Lamb & Watson,1979)  i n d i c a t e s that nonverbal communication i s indeed common to a l l , i s used by everyone and appears to be c u l t u r e based. In fact  it  i s such an i n t e g r a l part of our development that " c h i l d r e n acquire a nonverbal system of communication before the verbal system " (Weeks,1979). Not only t h a t , according to a study by A l l e n & Feldman (1975) c h i l d r e n are better at decoding nonverbal behaviour than a d u l t s . With t h i s in mind, i n a m u l t i c u l t u r a l and/or ESL ( E n g l i s h as a Second Language) classroom, i t seems  4  h i g h l y relevant to examine the nonverbal element of communication, e s p e c i a l l y that of the teacher, who i s u s u a l l y of a d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r a l background from many of the students. Do the students, for instance, to supplement,  interpret  the gestures commonly used  enhance or even replace the verbal message, in  the way that the teacher has intended, or i s there miscommunication,misunderstanding of i n t e n t i o n or meaning? Why i s i t important to know i f there i s m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of gestures? "It i s important because a c h i l d ' s a b i l i t y to learn from a teacher depends on the sharing of systems of nonverbal c o d i f i c a t i o n " ( B y e r s & B y e r s , 1 9 7 2 , p . 2 7 ) . This means a way of behaving that i s expected by the teacher, not taught, and since it  i s to a large extent below the l e v e l of conscious awareness,  involves much more than p o l i t e formulae of speech. As Scheflen (1974) puts i t : " I f a person behaves i n a customary and recognizable way h i s a c t i o n w i l l be communicative. I t w i l l evoke a common c o g n i t i v e image i n other people of the same c u l t u r e . " (p.21) Since native English-speakers acquire language and i t s attendant nonverbal s t r a t e g i e s from b i r t h and by example, they are already very adept by the time they begin formal s c h o o l i n g . The s o c i a l and contextual appropriateness  i s taken as t a c i t  knowledge i n the classroom. For the second language learner,however,  the s o c i a l , contextual and nonverbal aspects,  while present i n any communication, must take a p r o v e r b i a l backseat to the l i n g u i s t i c because not only does the school system transmit knowledge v i a language, but a l s o , s o c i e t y at large functions on a p r i m a r i l y v e r b a l l e v e l . Consider, for instance,  the d i f f i c u l t i e s involved for a second language  5  speaker to meet even the primary needs of food and s h e l t e r without using language to communicate. Thus while the native speakers are immediately at ease in the classroom s i t u a t i o n and "know" without being e x p l i c i t l y taught what i s appropriate language and behaviour i n a given s i t u a t i o n , the non-Englishspeaker has d i f f i c u l t y concentrating on the subject matter  at  hand because s/he i s not conversant with the norms and expectations, the process of classroom i n t e r a c t i o n . Not knowing does not imply ignorance, however. ESL speakers may be p a i n f u l l y aware that something i s missing i n t h e i r a b i l i t y to communicate and be at ease i n a s i t u a t i o n , but t h i s missing element i s not defined nor taught e x p l i c i t l y and i n t h i s way leads to the v e r t i c a l socioeconomic mosaic of which John Porter speaks. H i t h e r t o i t has, in essence, been demanded of m i n o r i t y c h i l d r e n to take t h e i r c u l t u r e off at the door l i k e a coat and don the garment of the dominant group without any help or guidance concerning what i s or i s not appropriate i n t h i s new environment (Koogler,1980). Furthermore, when teachers have been urged to become more m u l t i c u l t u r a l l y competent, they are often i n a p p r o p r i a t e l y advised to do such things as make eye contact and s m i l e , n e i t h e r of which behaviours are equally acceptable or s i m i l a r l y i n t e r p r e t e d by a l l c u l t u r e s (Wolfgang,1977). I t i s these nonverbal behaviours that f i r s t greet the nonEnglish-speaking c h i l d who wishes to l e a r n to communicate i n E n g l i s h . An ESL t e a c h e r ' s mandate i s to f a c i l i t a t e communication in a l l i t s aspects and thus help the second language learner to learn i n h i s / h e r new language a l l that i s necessary to enjoy f u l l p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g , Canadian s o c i e t y .  0  6  Therefore, i f the teacher  i s cognizant of not only the  l i n g u i s t i c aspects of the language, but a l s o the s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of some of our nonverbal communicative a c t s ,  i t would further enhance t h i s process. The  i n t e n t i o n i s not to have t h i s just be another burden for teachers,  but rather the l e a r n i n g process should be that much  e a s i e r with the conscious use of nonverbal means to a i d comprehension and expression. This study attempts to e l u c i d a t e one l i t t l e s t u d i e d , but much used area of nonverbal communication behaviour. The group of gestures known as emblems, though used by teachers g e n e r a l l y , are p a r t i c u l a r i l y prevalent i n the ESL classroom because of t h e i r highly f u n c t i o n a l value and t h e i r a b i l i t y to take the place of words, words that may not yet be understood by the learner. An emblem i s a c o n v e n t i o n a l i z e d gesture (such as a head nod s i g n i f y i n g ' y e s ' ) which can accompany speech or on occasion replace i t . A number of emblems common to North American c u l t u r e are h i g h l y appropriate as classroom management t o o l s . For instance, meaningful a c t i o n s spring to mind i n a s s o c i a t i o n with such d i r e c t i v e s as: be q u i e t , s i t down, stop, come here, get up. Even beyond management d i r e c t i v e s , many other emblems are useful such as the expression of f e e l i n g s : I'm t i r e d , i t ' s hot ( c o l d ) , I'm sad. C l o s e l y r e l a t e d to emblems i s another group of gestures c a l l e d i l l u s t r a t o r s . This type of gesture seldom replaces but rather accompanies speech and serves to enhance the verbal message i n some way such as v i s u a l l y demonstrating how long that  7 big f i s h caught r e a l l y was. Emblems and i l l u s t r a t o r s together form a s i z e a b l e part of a t e a c h e r ' s r e p e r t o i r e of  "facilitating"  techniques used in the classroom, e s p e c i a l l y the ESL classroom. Thus, when the teacher lays a finger p e r p e n d i c u l a r i l y across closed l i p s or crooks and wiggles a finger at a c h i l d to 'come h e r e ' , does the non-English speaker understand what the  gesture,  in t h i s case an emblem, attempts to convey? The present study i s an attempt to answer t h i s question about a number of both emblems and i l l u s t r a t o r s . Kumin and Lazar (1974) in t h e i r study with very young, Caucasian, middle c l a s s c h i l d r e n demonstrated that c h i l d r e n as young as three years o l d can decode and encode these types of gestures. The present study seeks to r e p l i c a t e t h e i r f i n d i n g s in p a r t , and then extend the study by comparing the performance of Caucasian, middle c l a s s c h i l d r e n with that of non-Englishspeaking c h i l d r e n . B. Assumptions This study i s based on the f o l l o w i n g assumptions. 1. Young c h i l d r e n are able to decode the nonverbal gestures t y p i c a l l y used i n the classroom s e t t i n g . 2. Both non-English-speaking c h i l d r e n and native speakers of E n g l i s h of preschool age (3-5) have had enough exposure to t e l e v i s i o n to be able to watch a videotape of gestures and i n t e r p r e t them as i n " r e a l  life".  C. Research Questions This i s for the most part a f i r s t and exploratory study i n  8  a f i e l d with no e s t a b l i s h e d research t r a d i t i o n . Therefore an attempt i s made to answer the following questions. 1. Are there s i g n i f i c a n t differences of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of gestures between non-English speakers and native speakers of English? 2. Is there a consistent pattern of a c q u i s i t i o n of gestures for e i t h e r group of c h i l d r e n ? 3. Which of these gestures are i n t e r p r e t e d s i m i l a r l y or d i f f e r e n t l y by the two groups of c h i l d r e n ? D. Scope and Organization of the Study This study i s confined to preschool c h i l d r e n between the ages of three and f i v e , where h a l f the c h i l d r e n are non-Englishspeaking, though they may be from more than one c u l t u r a l group, and the other h a l f have E n g l i s h as t h e i r mother tongue. The c h i l d r e n of the two groups are matched as c l o s e l y as p o s s i b l e in terms of age,and equivalent numbers of each sex are selected i n both groups. The task c o n s i s t s of a "guessing game" where the c h i l d r e n watch a videotape of 36 gestures performed by a p r a c t i c i n g teacher of ESL and are asked to t e l l the i n v e s t i g a t o r (with the help of an i n t e r p r e t e r ) o r a l l y what they think "the teacher i s t r y i n g to t e l l her c l a s s " . Each c h i l d ' s t o t a l response i s recorded and l a t e r evaluated for semantic equivalence with the agreed upon i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of each gesture. This agreed upon i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s based on the consensus of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n given by 10 p r a c t i c i n g ESL teachers as w e l l as the t e s t r e s u l t s from having 62 a d u l t s i n ESL teacher t r a i n i n g watch the videotape and give t h e i r  responses.  9  Adults were used for t h i s purpose in order to follow as c l o s e l y as p o s s i b l e the Kumin and Lazar model. I t was further f e l t appropriate since a d u l t s are the models from which c h i l d r e n learn t h e i r nonverbal behaviour. F i n a l l y , adults who have grown up i n t h i s c u l t u r e can reasonably be expected to be conversant with i t s nonverbal behaviour. Therefore t h e i r scores would provide a useful baseline against which both groups of c h i l d r e n can be measured. o  E. L i m i t a t i o n s of the Study The chief l i m i t a t i o n s of t h i s study are: 1. The use of a videotape of performed gestures rather than a l i v e performance may lead to some i n c o r r e c t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n due to the incomplete contextual information a v a i l a b l e to the viewer. 2. Completely random s e l e c t i o n of subjects was not p o s s i b l e w i t h i n both the time framework and the nature of the study i t s e l f . Within the groups selected for study, c h i l d r e n to some extent chose themselves, once they q u a l i f i e d according to age and sex, by being w i l l i n g to attempt the task.  F . D e f i n i t i o n of terms The following terms are frequently used i n t h i s study and are defined as f o l l o w s :  Non-English-speaking c h i l d refers to a c h i l d whose mother tongue i s not E n g l i s h and has as yet only a minimal command of E n g l i s h .  10  Native speaker refers to a c h i l d whose mother tongue i s E n g l i s h .  Mother tongue i s the f i r s t language learned and used i n the home.  Nonverbal communication refers to a l l that i s communicated over and above the use of words, thus i n c l u d i n g nonverbal acts  (see  below) as w e l l as coverbal (voice m o d i f i c a t i o n s , tempo, loudness,nasalization, etc.)  behaviour.  Nonverbal act refers to b o d i l y movement used to enhance, underline,accompany or replace speech.  Gesture refers to a nonverbal act that may be accompanied by speech. Generally speaking, a gesture involves some or a l l of the f o l l o w i n g : f a c i a l expression; hand and arm movement;total body movement.  Emblem refers to a nonverbal act that has been c o n v e n t i o n a l i z e d to the point where i t has a d i r e c t v e r b a l t r a n s l a t i o n common to members of the same c u l t u r e . An emblem, therefore,  can stand  alone ( i . e . without speech) but can a l s o be accompanied by i t s verbal  counterpart.  I l l u s t r a t o r refers to a nonverbal act that accompanies speech, serving to enhance, c l a r i f y or underline the words spoken. An i l l u s t r a t o r i s r a r e l y performed without verbal accompanyment.  11  CHAPTER TWO  REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE  I Related Research A. Introduction Now that the project has been o u t l i n e d , i t i s necessary to consider i t in i t s h i s t o r i c a l perspective in terms of r e l a t e d study i n t h i s f i e l d .  In order to set out the h i s t o r y of theory  and research that bears on the present study, i t i s f i r s t necessary to step back and look at a more g l o b a l perspective of communication and e s p e c i a l l y i t s nonverbal aspects. From t h i s vantage point one can more e a s i l y understand how t h i s study came i n t o being and i t s r e l a t i v e place i n the fast growing body of research concerning the nonverbal component of communication. Communication can be likened to a tapestry of i n t r i c a t e design. Most people have some idea of how i t i s put  together,  but only an expert craftsman can speculate on the elements of its  design, and even the expert tends to focus on one aspect  rather than the whole. Using the verbal to describe the nonverbal has for c e n t u r i e s been the domain of n o v e l i s t s and p l a y w r i g h t s , who seem to have been endowed with heightened powers of o b s e r v a t i o n . I f they had been asked whether the nonverbal i s important i n communication, the present meteroic r i s e of research i n t h i s f i e l d would have taken place much sooner. Anyone who has read S i r Arthur Conan D o y l e ' s s t o r i e s of Sherlock Holmes, s l e u t h  12  e x t r a o r d i n a i r e , or Agatha C h r i s t i e ' s accounts through the eyes of Hercule P o i r o t , f a s t i d i o u s and acutely observative Belgian detective,  i s w e l l aware how much, i s communicated by actions as  w e l l as such things as manner of dress,  stance and f a c i a l  expression. Even the p h y s i c a l set up of a room can be considered for i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e , e s p e c i a l l y where i t c o n t r o l s d i s t a n c e . S t i l l e a r l i e r i n the world of f i c t i o n ,  interpersonal  Shakespeare  d e f t l y described the power of the nonverbal element in communication i n such passages as the following from T r o i l u s and Cressida (Scene 4 . 5 , Lines 54-57). His acute observer was Ulysses. F i e , f i e upon her! There's language i n her eyes, her cheek her l i p . Nay, her foot  speaks;  her wanton s p i r i t s look out At every j o i n t and motive of her body.  In a more s c i e n t i f i c mode, Darwin (1872/1965) i n h i s treatise,  The O r i g i n of the Species pointed out the prevalent  use of nonverbal communication to express emotion. I t took nearly a century for h i s work to be re-examined (Ekman, 1973) and i t s true value acknowledged. Nonverbal communication as a separate f i e l d of study was f i r s t considered by psychologists and psychoanalysts. In t h e i r attempts to help t h e i r p a t i e n t s ,  they became acute observers of  behaviour because i t gave them valuable clues concerning the "hidden" problems which were, often as not, v e r b a l l y  , contradicted by t h e i r p a t i e n t s .  13  Since nonverbal communication i s  part of a l l i n t e r a c t i o n and occurs l a r g e l y below the l e v e l of conscious awareness, c a r e f u l observation and thoughtful i n t e r p r e t a t i o n can obviously be of great benefit  in the a n a l y s t -  c l i e n t r e l a t i o n s h i p . In f a c t , we are a l l amateur psychoanalysts. Who has not a r r i v e d on a scene i n v o l v i n g f r i e n d or family and interpreted a " f e e l i n g " being transmitted as anger, d i s t r e s s ,  or  sadness. No words need be spoken, you walk i n t o the room and you "know". Expressions l i k e " a p i c t u r e i s worth a thousand words do not only refer to a two-dimensional scene on canvas. However, despite the myriad examples that abound both i n l i t e r a t u r e and research i t i s s t i l l far too common, e s p e c i a l l y in Western s o c i e t y , to assume that the words are the message, and nonverbal communication i s only a minor adjunct which may be relevant when the communicants don't speak the same language. Language, after a l l , i s a "conventionalized code that i s dependable and p r e d i c t a b l e " (Dittman,1978, p . 7 0 ) . In f a c t , Funk and Wagnalls' d e f i n i t i o n of communication leaves l i t t l e room for the nonverbal: "transmission or exchange of ideas, information, e t c . as by speech or w r i t i n g " . Harrison (1983) postulates  that  at l e a s t part of the reason for the emphasis on the verbal part of communication l i e s i n the fact that Western t h i n k i n g , following a t r a d i t i o n that dates back to P l a t o and A r i s t o t l e , conceives of communication as a product of the i n t e l l e c t , whose primary function i s to i n t e r p r e t r e a l i t y out there beyond the In c o n t r a s t ,  i n words the s t a t i c ,  rational  fingertips.  Eastern teaching has long emphasized the  importance of s o c i a l harmony, which Harrison claims i s achieved  14  through r i t u a l i s t i c a c t s , c a r e f u l husbandry of time and space and j u d i c i o u s use of anything else that w i l l further  the  ultimate goal of unity with s e l f , others and the world at He a t t r i b u t e s the recent growth of i n t e r e s t  large.  i n and respect for  the nonverbal component of communication to the corresponding increase in contact and i n t e r a c t i o n between these two worldviews. Whatever the h i s t o r i c a l reasons for t h i s s o c i e t y ' s verbal o r i e n t a t i o n , a wider perspective on communication i s i n c r e a s i n g l y becoming evident. In fact the power of the nonverbal to influence the consumer i s being e x p l o i t e d by such persons as a d v e r t i s e r s and salespeople who now use h i g h l y s o p h i s t i c a t e d media to mold p u b l i c c h o i c e . In a d v e r t i s i n g , nonverbal communication may be being used to d e l i b e r a t e l y t r i c k or sway p e r c e p t i o n . A d v e r t i s e r s a l s o use nonverbal communication in an attempt to determine our true f e e l i n g s no matter what we "say". In terms of education, the d e f i n i t i o n of what e n t a i l s communication, a key s k i l l to be taught, i s expanding. Montagu (1967) makes i t c l e a r that the primary purpose of education  is  to help c h i l d r e n acquire the art of communication s i n c e , i n h i s view, c h i l d r e n l i t e r a l l y learn how to be human through communication. C e r t a i n l y t h i s e n t a i l s more than l e a r n i n g how to t a l k , read and w r i t e . Like V i c t o r i a (1970), he believes that education i s , i n essence, a communication process, not only i n the Funk and Wagnalls sense of transmission cf knowledge, but a l s o as i t r e l a t e s to interpersonal  i n t e r a c t i o n . Here again the  nonverbal component of communication i s strongly i m p l i c a t e d for  15  who can i n t e r a c t s a t i s f a c t o r i l y on a personal l e v e l without making automatic use of the norms and expectations that are part of s o c i a l  intercourse.  I t i s unfortuate that the study of human communication has been rather r i g i d l y departmentalized. L i n g u i s t s have t r a d i t i o n a l l y pursued the study of language as i f i t were an abstract  system that i s f u l l y s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t and therefore can  be analyzed q u i t e apart from the context of and/or purpose for i t s use. While punctuation and grammar help, they do not give any i n d i c a t i o n of the speaker's a t t i t u d e toward the l i s t e n e r , toward what i s s a i d and why, nor can they take i n t o account how the utterance has affected the l i s t e n e r . Anthropologists and other s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s , on the other hand, have given much a t t e n t i o n to that part of human i n t e r a c t i o n that i s communicative but not n e c e s s a r i l y l i n g u i s t i c . Their perspective l i e s i n the understanding of the i n d i v i d u a l as a member of a group and i n h i s / h e r attempts to communicate w i t h i n the c o n s t r a i n t s set out by t h i s membership. The language used i n t h i s attempt i s regarded as a r e l a t i v e l y minor component i n the complex act of communication. Neither perspective seems to admit the p o s s i b i l i t y that communication i n v o l v e s both a language of words and a r e p e r t o i r e of n o n - l i n g u i s t i c behaviours. H a r r i s (1981) i n h i s book, The Language Myth postulates that what i s needed i s an " i n t e g r a t i o n a l l i n g u i s t i c s " which would consider both the words spoken and the contextual s e t t i n g of the utterance. This s e t t i n g would include both the p h y s i c a l environment and the a c t i o n s of the communicants.  16  H a r r i s , a l i n g u i s t himself, never once mentions nonverbal communication in h i s book but i n d i c a t e s that the genesis,  over  t h e ' l a s t twenty years, of various branches of l i n g u i s t i c s (for example, s o c i o l i n g u i s t i c s ) i s symptomatic of the  dissatisfaction  w i t h i n the f i e l d that the o r i g i n a l perspective on language  is  inadequate to the task of encompassing a l l that communication i m p l i e s . Despite these movements toward a more w h o l i s t i c approach to communication, nonverbal communication i s  still  considered as a f i e l d apart and w i l l be discussed as such here. I t has been determined that the nonverbal part of a conversation i s by far the larger part of communication. B i r d w h i s t e l l (1970) e s t i m a t e s ' t h a t only about 30 percent of an i n t e r a c t i o n between two speakers of the same c u l t u r e i s verbal., Schrank (1975) suggests i t i s 17 percent and Mehrabian (1972) a l l o t s only 7 percent. While these figures must not be taken as d e f i n i t i v e , they do again i n d i c a t e c l e a r l y the h i t h e r t o  unheeded  importance of the nonverbal part of communication. Pennycock (1985) sums i t up s u c c i n c t l y when he quotes David Abercrombie as saying: "We speak with our vocal organs, but we converse with our whole body." Before proceeding to describe the parameters of nonverbal communication per se, i t may be h e l p f u l to summarize some of the more s i g n i f i c a n t differences between the verbal and the noverbal parts of communication. Condon and Yousef (1975) o u t l i n e areas of obvious  five  contrast.  1. Spoken language v a r i e s from place to place but there i s a tendency to b e l i e v e that much of nonverbal communication i s u n i v e r s a l . Though t h i s has not been proven to be s t r i c t l y true  17  (more on t h i s l a t e r ) there i s some basis in fact to the assumption that nonverbal communication i s " n a t u r a l " in the sense of being not consciously learned. 2. The spoken language has been l a i d out as a system and can therefore  be s y s t e m a t i c a l l y learned (and taught).  Birdwhistell  (1970) has made a v a l i a n t attempt to t r e a t nonverbal communication as a communication system but at present scholars are not able to set out " r u l e s " s i m i l a r to grammar and syntax simply because, as y e t , we s t i l l know too l i t t l e about the t o p i c . The obvious i m p l i c a t i o n i s that i f i t i s not a w e l l defined system, we cannot take i t apart and teach i t as i s done with language. 3. The spoken language has been recorded in w r i t i n g for a l l . A d i c t i o n a r y or phrase book w i l l give the meanings and usage of even foreign words. Though attempts have been made, there i s no d i c t i o n a r y of body language except a few o u t l i n e s of c u l t u r e s p e c i f i c hand gestures. There i s no way to check on the meaning of what a "speaker" may have meant. 4. I f a speaker i s not completely understood s/he can be asked for c l a r i f i c a t i o n or r e p e t i t i o n . It would be extremely odd to ask a speaker what was meant by the frown and sudden exhalation of breath together with r o l l i n g eyes that the l i s t e n e r observed. 5. Words can l i e . Except perhaps under duress, we exercise some conscious c o n t r o l over what we say. Though p o s s i b l e , i t i s very difficult  to c o n t r o l our nonverbal behaviour.  18  B. Nonverbal Communication The i n t r i c a t e , tapestry we c a l l communication has now y i e l d e d up i t s main s e c r e t . Like the warp and woof on a loom, i t takes both verbal and nonverbal to complete the message of  its  design, to communicate. Taking the r e l a t i v e l y f i x e d nature of language as the warp, i t i s the nonverbal, the woof, that i s at l i b e r t y to vary, to create a unique tapestry by v a r i a t i o n s i n t e x t u r e , mood, even the meaning of the message. To continue the a n a l y s i s i t seems v i t a l to delve deeper i n t o the very nature of nonverbal communication so that other experts may add t h e i r viewpoints. One w i l l have an educational perspective,  the other a c r o s s - c u l t u r a l p e r s p e c t i v e .  Finally,  the contextual background for the present study which combines nonverbal communication with education i n a c r o s s - c u l t u r a l s e t t i n g , can be presented. What then p r e c i s e l y does nonverbal communication e n t a i l ? Smith(1984) defines nonverbal communication, used synonymously with nonverbal behaviour i n the present study, as i n c l u d i n g " a l l e s s e n t i a l l y n o n - l i n g u i s t i c phenomena which impinge on and influence the human i n t e r a c t i o n process."(p.175)  From t h i s  d e f i n i t i o n i t i s c e r t a i n l y c l e a r that "nonverbal" implies much more than "not words". Condon & Yousef(1975) l i s t  twenty-four  areas subsumed under the r u b r i c of nonverbal communication and point out t h a t , depending on your p e r s p e c t i v e ,  many more may be  i n c l u d e d . In general terms nonverbal communication includes k i n e s i c s , proxemics, paralanguage and a r t i f a c t s .  Less easy to  c l a s s i f y but a l s o of note are the use of time and s i l e n c e i n interaction.  19  1. K i n e s i c s The term k i n e s i c s refers to a l l b o d i l y movement that i s involved in the communication process. The term was coined by Ray B i r d w h i s t e l l , whose minute a n a l y s i s of body movement pioneered t h i s area of noverbal communication. S e t t i n g out to study body movement ( k i n e s i c s ) as a communication system, he l a b e l l e d minute b i t s of movement or gesture, kinemes. An example would be an eyebrow r a i s e . These can then be further kines and s t i l l further  subdivided i n t o  i n t o a l l o k i n e s . This proves necessary in  order to analyze a l l b o d i l y movement, since the body i s l i t e r a l l y in constant motion during an act of communication (Pennycock, 1985). Needless to say such p a i n s t a k i n g a n a l y s i s i s nigh impossible with only the human eye for observer, but can be more r e a d i l y accomplished with the a i d of s o p h i s t i c a t e d  filming  techniques. The development of B i r d w h i s t e l l ' s system c l o s e l y p a r a l l e l s the phonetic d i v i s i o n s used by l i n g u i s t s , such that a kineme i s the nonverbal p a r a l l e l for the phoneme, the kine for the phone, the a l l o k i n e for the allophone. He seems to have drawn t h i s p a r a l l e l q u i t e d e l i b e r a t e l y in an e f f o r t  to point out the  importance of t h i s part of communication, which had h i t h e r t o not been considered s i g n i f i c a n t enough, or i f so, too  unmanageable  and undefinable to study along rigorous research methodology 1ines. Though p a i n s t a k i n g a n a l y s i s using t h i s system was not embraced wholeheartedly, the l a r g e r concept of a kine-morpheme, the nonverbal equivalent of a morpheme, l e d to a f r a c t u r i n g of the e n t i r e area of k i n e s i c s i n t o intense study of various of  its  20  subsystems. Thus, as w e l l as some "whole body" movement s t u d i e s , there are a wealth of studies i n selected areas such as  facial  expression (Ekman et a l , 1972; Boucher & Ekman,l975), eye movement and gaze (Bakan,1971; Argyle et a l , l 9 7 4 ) , and gesture (which includes stance and posture,hand, arm and trunk movement) (Michael & W i l l i s , 1 9 6 8 ; Cohen & Harrison,1973; Ekman,1976; Lamb & .Watson, 1 979) . What i s suggested by these studies i s that we a l l use k i n e s i c s in our i n t e r a c t i o n with others and we modify our behaviour based on s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l r u l e s . Our a b i l i t y to i n t e r p r e t c o r r e c t l y the k i n e s i c s of others i s hampered by our lack of conscious awareness of our own, e s p e c i a l l y where the i n t e r a c t a n t s stem from d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r e s or s u b - c u l t u r e s .  2. Proxemics Here again one man has coined the term and l e d the f i e l d of study. Edward T. H a l l , widely t r a v e l l e d a n t h r o p o l o g i s t , defines proxemics as " . . . t h e i n t e r r e l a t e d observations and theories of man's use of s p a c e . . . "  (Hall,1969, p 1 ) . This includes  i n t e r p e r s o n a l distance (personal space), touch (both i n t e n t i o n a l and a c c i d e n t a l body contact) and the use of space on a larger scale ( a r c h i t e c t u r e , for i n s t a n c e ) . What these studies have c l a r i f i e d i s that man's personal boundary does not end with the skin but rather includes a f l e x i b l e sphere of influence that expands and contracts depending on such factors as mood, s o c i a l s e t t i n g and the r e l a t i o n s h i p to the "other" i n any given i n t e r a c t i o n . H a l l sees a l l use of space as c u l t u r e based and draws on  21  examples from around the world to show the influence c u l t u r e has on proxemic behaviour. Though H a l l dominates the f i e l d ,  others  working in t h i s area include Nine-Curt (1976) with touching patterns of Puerto Ricans and Jourard (1966), who has done world-wide studies of c r o s s - c u l t u r a l touching behaviour.  3.  Paralanguage  This term was f i r s t used by Trager(l958) as a g l o b a l term for a l l aspects of voice m o d i f i c a t i o n i n speech. Therefore, included were such factors as voice timbre (which gives information on mood, age, sex, e t c . ) , v o i c e q u a l i t y (rhythm, tempo, a r t i c u l a t i o n and the l i k e ) and v o c a l i z a t i o n (noises made such as  laughter,  c r y i n g , mmhmm, uh-uh or uh huh). Since then the narrow sense of paralanguage as above has been expanded by some to include a l l of what i s c a l l e d nonverbal communication i n t h i s study. The part c a l l e d paralanguage here has been renamed paraverbal or coverbal behaviour. This wider d e f i n i t i o n appears to be gaining favour (Pennycock, 1985). Therefore the reader should be cognizant of t h i s a l t e r n a t e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , although for the purposes of t h i s review Trager's long e s t a b l i s h e d d e f i n i t i o n and usage h o l d s . Key (1975) i d e n t i f i e d several factors that influence the voice: nasalization, p a l a t a l i z a t i o n , l a b i a l i z a t i o n , p h a r y n g e a l i z a t i o n , sound placement and the use or non-use of the v o i c e . The s i g n i f i c a n c e of these q u a l i t i e s l i e s i n the c u l t u r a l l y d i f f e r e n t use made of them. For example, E n g l i s h speakers use l a b i a l i z a t i o n e x c l u s i v e l y when speaking to young c h i l d r e n (what we know as baby t a l k ) while German speakers  use  22  i t as part of normal speech. An E n g l i s h speaker would not take k i n d l y to being addressed with what he considers a condescending,  babyish manner at a business meeting,  for  instance.  4. A r t i f a c t s , Time and Silence L a s t , but not l e a s t , i s the part of nonverbal communication created and consciously manipulated by man. A r t i f a c t s include the p h y s i c a l environment i n which the i n t e r a c t i o n takes p l a c e , from the p i c t u r e s on the w a l l to the colour of the rug, from the p o s i t i o n of the seating a v a i l a b l e to how much l i g h t there i s i n the room or area. Also included are the personal adornments the communicants choose to wear, i n c l u d i n g j e w e l l e r y , c l o t h i n g , make-up and even h a i r s t y l e s and c o l o u r s . When someone repeats the o l d adage that "the clothes make the man", i t implies much more than the cut of h i s s u i t or lack of i t . What you wear speaks l o u d l y about you, with whom you a l l y y o u r s e l f , what your p r i o r i t i e s are and i n a very r e a l sense whether or not you get the job or make the  sale.  What has not yet been mentioned i s the importance of time and s i l e n c e i n communication. In Western s o c i e t y time i s very much a commodity: Time i s money; Don't waste my time. Being on time i s very important and a tardiness of more than a very few minutes c a l l s for extensive apologies, unless of course  the  i n t e n t i o n was to express displeasure or anger by being deliberately  late.  In L a t i n America being "on time" i n the Western sense i s considered rude,, to say the l e a s t , i n the Arab world i t  is  23  difficult  to pin down the day for a dinner date, l e t alone the  hour. H a l l ( l 9 8 3 ) explores the use of time i n considerable d e t a i l in h i s recent book, The Dance of L i f e . S i l e n c e , a l s o , i s a very strong nonverbal message and has been explored i n r e l a t i o n to p a r a l i n g u i s t i c behaviour  (see  above) where i t involves the length of pause in conversation t u r n - t a k i n g , and a l s o i n i t s use more generally ( H a l l , 1 9 5 9 ) . S i l e n c e i s considered valuable i n some s o c i e t i e s (Japan, Hopi) and downright uncomfortable i n North American s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n . A stony-faced s i l e n c e i n a North American business meeting implies displeasure and c e r t a i n l y not agreement with the t o p i c under d i s c u s s i o n . In Japan, t h i s same semblance of displeasure may s i g n i f y agreement. To r e i t e r a t e ,  a large p o r t i o n of any i n t e r a c t i o n , personal  or s o c i a l , i s communicated by the nonverbal features o u t l i n e d , be i t f a c i a l expression, voice q u a l i t y , gesture,  interpersonal  distance while communicating, s e t t i n g , or personal dress chosen for the i n t e r a c t i o n . I t i s s a i d you cannot not communicate in the presence of another person, even your s i l e n c e sends a message to be interpreted as s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l norms d i c t a t e . Or as Patterson  (1983) so s u c c i n c t l y puts i t : " A l l behaviour i s  communication." (p.37)  C. Education and Nonverbal Communication Although the previous s e c t i o n examines nonverbal communication i n i s o l a t i o n , i t must be kept i n mind that neither  24  the words spoken i n an i n t e r a c t i o n nor the accompanying nonverbal elements u s u a l l y e x i s t as solo e n t i t i e s but are both i n t e g r a l parts of the complex tapestry c a l l e d communication. The only acceptable purpose for such compartmentalization i s the furtherance  of understanding of the whole. The education  expert,  rather than l o o k i n g at what nonverbal communication i s , i s more concerned with i t s uses i n the classroom s e t t i n g . Argyle (1975), from h i s perspective of psychology, considers the primary functions of nonverbal communication to be fourfold: a. to express emotion b. to convey a t t i t u d e  (like/dislike;  superior/inferior,etc.) c . to present the s e l f to others ( c l o t h i n g , stance,  etc.)  d. to accompany speech (feedback and v o c a l i z a t i o n s ; emphasize, underline words;  etc.)  Do teachers and students use the nonverbal i n these ways i n the classroom? Since our classrooms are h i g h l y v e r b a l l y oriented the l a s t function l i s t e d i s c e r t a i n l y l i k e l y , and a moment's r e f l e c t i o n w i l l remind us that neither teacher nor student stop being human and i n t e r a c t i n g as such simply because the  situation  i s a classroom. Exchange of ideas and f e e l i n g s , as w e l l as encouraging, c r i t i c i z i n g , questioning and the l i k e are part of teaching,  too.  As Woolfolk & Brooks (1983) put i t , "Teachers and students are involved i n an ongoing, r e c i p r o c a l influence process.... i n which both p a r t i c i p a n t s are simultaneously making judgments, communicating a t t i t u d e s , and attempting to influence while being  25  influenced themselves, with nonverbal cues p l a y i n g a major r o l e in the exchange." (p.106) Stevick (1982) provides a good t r a d i t i o n a l education metaphor:  " I f verbal communication i s the  pen which s p e l l s out d e t a i l s , nonverbal communication provides the surface on which the words are w r i t t e n and against which they must be i n t e r p r e t e d . "  (p.163)  One of the f i r s t major studies that considered nonverbal communication i n the classroom was done by Grant & Hennings (1971), and looked s p e c i f i c a l l y at the nonverbal a c t i v i t y of the teacher. In t h e i r seminal work they categorized the t e a c h e r ' s nonverbal actions i n the following manner: a. conducting - gestures and motions which c o n t r o l part i c ipat ion b. a c t i n g - using the body to b u i l d i n t e r e s t , amplify,  clarify,  etc.  c . w i e l d i n g - as technican, manipulating the environment d. personal - motions with no i n s t r u c t i o n a l purpose. The f i r s t three come under the r u b r i c of i n s t r u c t i o n a l motions. Of these, conducting was observed to occur during 62.5 % of the t e a c h e r ' s a c t i o n s , while w i e l d i n g was e x h i b i t e d 28.7% of the time, l e a v i n g the remaining 8.8% for a c t i n g . Personal motions when compared with i n s t r u c t i o n a l were used an average of 22% of the time. Thus three fourths of the nonverbal communication used by the teacher i s used d i r e c t l y , though perhaps not e n t i r e l y c o n s c i o u s l y , i n connection with the teaching a c t , which of course implies transmission of knowledge. If so much nonverbal a c t i v i t y i s the norm i n the classroom, and we accept even the more conservative estimate of  26  B i r d w h i s t e l l ( 1 9 7 0 ) that 70 % of communication i s nonverbal, seems h i g h l y appropriate  it  that teachers be made more e x p l i c i t l y  aware of the nonverbal facets of communication. This need has been stressed by many researchers i n the f i e l d , notably Koch (1971a), Thompson (1973) and Galloway (1970,1976).  Pre-service  and i n - s e r v i c e t r a i n i n g i n nonverbal communication and awareness have been implemented i n at l e a s t some centers (French,1971; Love & Roderick,1971). S t i l l ,  the present lack of teacher  t r a i n i n g programs that include nonverbal communication seems to i n d i c a t e that teacher awareness of nonverbal communication i s not yet considered a v i t a l part of teaching s k i l l s taught. On the heels of the work of Grant & Hennings came a rash of studies l o o k i n g at the classroom s i t u a t i o n from the  perspective  of teaching, each concentrating on a p a r t i c u l a r aspect of the nonverbal (proxemics, k i n e s i c s , e t c . ) . Among the  results  i n d i c a t i o n s are that classroom environment can influence student behaviour and achievement  (Baron,1972; Stebbins,  1973; Romney,  1975 ), as can proximity to the teacher (Adams & B i d d l e , 1 9 7 0 ) . The use of gestures, eye contact and f a c i a l expression as an influence on student performance and whether or not the student l i k e d or was w i l l i n g to co-operate with the teacher were researched by such persons as Mehrabian, 1971; Breed, 1971; Wyckoff,1973, and, more r e c e n t l y , Smith,1984. Perhaps the c l a s s i c example of the power of nonverbal communication i n the classroom i s reported by Rosenthal & Jacobson (1968) i n Pygmalion i n the Classroom . Students were randomly assigned to the category of " i n t e l l e c t u a l bloomer", i n d i c a t i n g that the coming school year should see them making  27  great s t r i d e s i n c o g n i t i v e development. This information was then given to t h e i r teachers. What i s c r u c i a l here i s that a l l of the students p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the study were given standard I . Q . t e s t s but the "bloomers" were selected randomly,  regardless  of t h e i r scores. At the end of the school year those l a b e l l e d as "bloomers" evidenced a sharp r i s e i n I . Q . scores, while the c o n t r o l group e x h i b i t e d only normal development. The researchers attribute  t h i s phenomenon to subtle nonverbal cues that make up  what we c a l l teacher  expectations.  Of course i t must be remembered that the nonverbal influence i s not u n i l a t e r a l . Not only are teachers constantly i n t e r p r e t i n g the nonverbal behaviour of t h e i r students and responding a c c o r d i n g l y , but a l s o the students i n turn are i n t e r p r e t i n g t h e i r teachers'  behaviours in terms of  f r i e n d l i n e s s , approval and l i k i n g ( K e l l y , 1 9 7 3 ; Smith,1984). Looking from B i r d w h i s t e l l ' s p e r s p e c t i v e , K e i t h et a l (1974) concluded that the nonverbal part of classroom i n t e r a c t i o n was more important than the v e r b a l , while Koch (1971b) r e l a t e s personal observations i n which a t e a c h e r ' s n e u t r a l voice tone d i d not deter student i n t e r e s t  in the t o p i c because her  nonverbal behaviour as she spoke c a p t i v a t e d them. This lack of synchrony between the v e r b a l and nonverbal was a l s o observed to be of importance by Galloway (1970,1971) and Woodall & Burgoon (1981), so much so that the l a t t e r concluded that the more "out of synch" the two l e v e l s of communication, the l e s s the t o t a l message w i l l be accepted or b e l i e v e d . Further i f there i s a c o n f l i c t i n g message, believed.  i t i s the nonverbal that tends to be  28  Though t h i s review i s by no means exhaustive, i t can be concluded that- what teachers do i s at l e a s t as important as what they say. What i s missing so far i s a d i s c u s s i o n of the element of c u l t u r e , another factor i n today's classrooms. Does c u l t u r e have any effect on the nonverbal communication taking place i n the m u l t i c u l t u r a l classroom so common i n Canadian schools? Before t a c k l i n g t h i s m u l t i p l i c i t y of i n t e r a c t i n g factors i t i s necessary to look at nonverbal communication from the c r o s s c u l t u r a l perspective taken by anthropologists and other  social  scientists.  D. C r o s s - c u l t u r a l Studies and Nonverbal Communication So far the studies reported here have been conducted i n Western s o c i e t i e s by Western i n v e s t i g a t o r s on Western  subjects.  What i s made c l e a r by Edward T. H a l l (1976), considered by many the foremost a u t h o r i t y on c u l t u r e and i t s effects on behaviour and communication, i s the important r o l e c u l t u r e plays i n human i n t e r a c t i o n : "Culture i s man's medium; there i s not one aspect of human l i f e that i s not touched and a l t e r e d by c u l t u r e . " (p.16). Therefore i t can be assumed t h a t , although a l l humans use nonverbal communication i n i n t e r a c t i o n , what Western researchers have learned of nonverbal communication i s s p e c i f i c to Western s o c i e t i e s ' norms and expectations. This i s indeed the case. H a l l ' s (1959,1956,1976) work with foreign diplomats and others who must i n t e r a c t across c u l t u r e s i s r i c h with examples of  29  miscommunication founded in the c u l t u r a l differences of the interactants'  nonverbal behaviours.  K i n e s i c s i s c a l l e d body language by Wood (1981).She  defines  i t as " a l l r e f l e x i v e and nonreflexive movements and p o s i t i o n s of the body that communicate emotional, a t t i t u d i n a l and informational messages." (p.189) She states further that "body language i s c u l t u r e bound, and a body motion may communicate two e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t messages to members of two d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r a l groups." (p.173) This fact has been borne out by others i n c l u d i n g Efron,  1972; Garretson,1976; LaFrance & Mayo,1978;  Lamb & Watson,1979; Smith, 1984, so much so that some d i c t i o n a r y - l i k e accounts of gestures have been compiled, for example Morsbach,1973 & Nine-Curt,1976. B i r d w h i s t e l l (1970) states that "although we have been searching for 15 years, we have found no gesture or body motion which has the same s o c i a l meaning i n a l l s o c i e t i e s . " ( p . 5 ) He argues further that "insofar as we know, there i s no body motion or gesture that can be regarded as a u n i v e r s a l symbol." (p.81) This may be considered an extreme statement. I t i s , i n f a c t , a d e f i n i t i v e comment on one side of the s t i l l ongoing controversy concerning whether nonverbal communication i s based i n  "nature",  as postulated o r i g i n a l l y by Darwin (1872/1965) or "nurture",  as  B i r d w h i s t e l l i m p l i e s . ( I n t e r e s t i n g l y enough the same dichotomy is s t i l l  i n evidence i n the verbal domain of communication.)  The only area lending i t s e l f  to the p o s s i b i l i t y that  nonverbal communication has u n i v e r s a l tendencies across  cultures  i s i n the expression of emotion, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the face. In looking for these u n i v e r s a l s i n expression E i b l - E i b e s f e l d t  30  (1970) discovered that even the c o n g e n i t a l l y deaf and b l i n d express basic emotions in a way that i s recognizable by and s i m i l a r to that of normal hearing and seeing people. Further study of expressive behaviour demonstrated  that,  while there are s i m i l a r i t i e s of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the nonverbal expression of emotions (Ekman & Friesen,1971; E i b l - E i b e s f e l d t , 1970,1983; A r g y l e , 1 9 7 5 ) , these nevertheless  show much v a r i a t i o n  depending on the s o c i a l l y learned and c u l t u r a l l y s p e c i f i c " d i s p l a y r u l e s " (Ekman & F r i e s e n , 1975). According to Harper et a l (1978) these d i s p l a y rules c o n t r o l the extent of expression by: a. i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n - i n some c u l t u r e s emotions such as g r i e f highly  are  exaggerated;  a. d e i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n - Germans and B r i t o n s , f o r example are known for t h e i r understatement of emotion; c . n e u t r a l i z a t i o n - i n Western s o c i e t i e s boys are t o l d not to cry or show fear; d. masking - d e l i b e r a t e or c u l t u r e d i c t a t e d d i s p l a y as when the "sore l o s e r " pretends to applaud the winner or the Japanese smile to hide anger or sorrow. One of the most extensive studies in t h i s area i s the PONS ( P r o f i l e of Nonverbal S e n s i t i v i t y ) Test created by Rosenthal et a l (1979). I t consisted of a 45-minute black and white motion p i c t u r e i n which a Caucasian woman enacted various emotions which were then interpreted by 2300 people representing 20 d i f f e r e n t c o u n t r i e s . Channels a v a i l a b l e to the observer  (sound,  no sound, sound and v o i c e , e t c . ) were mixed randomly. Their main findings address the nature vs nurture i s s u e .  31  They discovered that there was great v a r i a b i l i t y i n a b i l i t y to decode. This would suggest that the u n i v e r s a l i t y of expression i s not supported. Nontheless, even the c u l t u r a l groups that d i d worst on the t e s t d i d better than chance,while groups c u l t u r a l l y and l i n g u i s t i c a l l y s i m i l a r to the PONS Test encoder ( B r i t a i n , Canada, New Zealand, A u s t r a l i a ) d i d far better on the t e s t than c u l t u r e s that are very d i f f e r e n t  ( l i k e Japan),  though s t i l l not as w e l l as members of the same c u l t u r a l group as the encoder. This f i n d i n g suggests support for the  nurture  side of the i s s u e . No s o l u t i o n to the controversy has been found but research  continues.  What has been c l e a r l y demonstrated i n t h i s part of the review i s that nonverbal communication i n general, and body movement ( i n c l u d i n g proxemics and k i n e s i c s ) i n p a r t i c u l a r ,  is  c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c and that i n c o r r e c t use of t h i s part of communication can lead to s i t u a t i o n s ranging from amusement through misunderstanding to i n s u l t . H a l l (1976) even ventures  to  say that c u l t u r e s as c l o s e l y a l l i e d as the Americans and the B r i t i s h have problems "reading" each o t h e r ' s nonverbal behaviour c o r r e c t l y . The PONS Test concurs.  E. The Interface - Nonverbal Communication, Education and Crossc u l t u r a l Studies The examination of the tapestry here c a l l e d communication i s now complete. The experts i n a l l three areas, nonverbal communication, education and c r o s s - c u l t u r a l s t u d i e s , have amply  32  demonstrated i t s complexity. It has been pointed out thus far that nonverbal communication i s an i n t e g r a l and v i t a l part of communication, plays an important r o l e in the t e a c h i n g / l e a r n i n g s i t u a t i o n and, for the most p a r t , v a r i e s considerably across c u l t u r e s . However, to the reader from an educational perspective the foregoing review r a i s e s at l e a s t as many questions as i t has answered. For instance, what does the factor of c r o s s - c u l t u r a l differences i n nonverbal behaviour imply for the teacher? I f i t i s r e a l l y important, does that mean we are dealing with miscommunication on the nonverbal l e v e l constantly because many of our students are not members of our c u l t u r e group? I f nonverbal communication i s v i t a l how do the ESL speakers learn English? Surely we c a n ' t be expected to learn t h e i r c u l t u r a l nonverbal communication when we have representatives  of several  c u l t u r e s i n our classes? On the other hand, they must learn to l i v e in our c u l t u r e , so shouldn't the onus be on them to learn our nonverbal behaviour patterns? How do you teach nonverbal communication and which c u l t u r e or c u l t u r e group should be used as the model? Would knowing t h e i r nonverbal communication patterns help us i n our attempts to teach them to speak English? The l i s t of queries could go on and on and, unfortunately,  the  general response i s , "Not enough i s known; not enough research has been done as yet, to advocate any one plan of a c t i o n . " Foreign language teachers were perhaps the f i r s t group to recognize that there was more to teaching a language than i t s grammar and syntax (see for example A l l e n & V a l e t t e , 1 9 7 2 ; Norstrand,1974). H a l l (1959) had stated that " c u l t u r e i s  33  communication and communication i s c u l t u r e . " (p.191) Seelye (1974) agreed that "culture includes anything man has learned to do." (p.6) and defined several " e x t r a l i n g u i s t i c " s k i l l s he f e l t needed to be included i n foreign language teaching i n order that students might gain some understanding of the c u l t u r e whose language they were l e a r n i n g . Though. Seelye mentions behaviour, he d i d not consider i t per se but rather as a r e f l e c t i o n of the p o l i t i c a l ,  social,  r e l i g i o u s and economic systems which have shaped the people whose language i s under study. In other words, what makes people of X c u l t u r e act and react the way they do, rather than s p e c i f i c s of how they "behave" while communicating. Thus, i f we look at nonverbal communication as i n c l u d i n g k i n e s i c s , proxemics, paralanguage and a r t i f a c t s emphasis i s c l e a r l y on the l a s t  (see Section B ) , the  area.  What was s t i l l the p r o v e r b i a l missing l i n k i n the t o t a l tapestry of communication was the nonverbal: "We communicate simultaneously on at l e a s t three l e v e l s i n i n t e r p e r s o n a l s i t u a t i o n s : The v e r b a l , nonverbal and the c u l t u r a l l e v e l which moderates and shapes the other two." (Wolfgang,1977,p.147). Seelye emphasized the c u l t u r a l l e v e l , a l l teachers work n a t u r a l l y with the v e r b a l , and f i n a l l y ,  some a t t e n t i o n began to  be paid to the nonverbal. Hayes (1972) noted the importance of the nonverbal i n " c o l o u r i n g " a message as e a r l y as 1972 and in 1971 Green had suggested nonverbal " i n v e n t o r i e s " to supplement foreign language teaching. But i t s t i l l took time to t r i c k l e through to a l l areas of education that i t was a d i s s e r v i c e to a l l i f the nonverbal  34  component of communication was, r e l a t i v e l y speaking, ignored. F i r s t the second language teachers took note ( K i r c h , 1979, Barnett,1983), then the regular classroom teachers began to see the nonverbal as an important element i n the m u l t i c u l t u r a l s e t t i n g so common i n today's classrooms (Feldman, 1977; Grove, 1977; Wolfgang, 1977,1979,1981; Matluck, 1979). ESL Teachers, to date, have had to be content,  for the most  p a r t , to glean information from other educational f i e l d s (Grove,1977), although some attempt has been made to t r a i n them for t h e i r unique r o l e (Taylor,1976; Adler & Towne,l978; Heaton,1978).Role p l a y i n g a c t i v i t i e s have become a very popular adjunct to classroom l e a r n i n g (for instance Nine-Curt,1976) as have other m a t e r i a l s and games that focussed on differences of perception based i n c u l t u r e (for instance, Levy, 1979). Though the increase in teacher and student awareness i s laudable, most of these a c t i v i t i e s do not take a language b a r r i e r to communication i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n , but rather take up the issue of nonverbal communication differences after  the  students have learned E n g l i s h or i n the case of foreign language l e a r n e r s , teach the nonverbal component in the students'  native  language. In f a c t , as w i l l be o u t l i n e d l a t e r , there i s a dearth of m a t e r i a l i n the l i t e r a t u r e that focusses on the r o l e of nonverbal communication in the ESL classroom s e t t i n g . To summarize, though there i s increasing awareness of nonverbal communication c r o s s - c u l t u r a l l y , and some attempts at teacher t r a i n i n g , there are s t i l l large informational gaps that deal with the i n t e r f a c e of a l l three areas, nonverbal, c r o s s c u l t u r a l and e d u c a t i o n a l . A case i n point i s the survey done by  35  Donaghy (1984). Of over 100 research f a c i l i t i e s responding to a survey conducted i n t e r n a t i o n a l l y , s i x of the ongoing studies were l i n k e d with education,  four looked at  nonverbal  communication c r o s s - c u l t u r a l l y , while only one dealt with an educational s e t t i n g that involved more than one c u l t u r e , and that was i n I t a l y . I t i s w i t h i n t h i s gap that the present study occupies a small space.  II Gestures as a part of Nonverbal Communication  This study focusses on a subset of the area p r e v i o u s l y defined as k i n e s i c s , the sum t o t a l of b o d i l y motions involved i n communication. Kendon (1984) defines t h i s area as gesture, a global term l o o s e l y defined e a r l i e r and much employed i n t h i s presentation:  "I use ' g e s t u r e ' to refer to any instance i n which v i s i b l e a c t i o n i s m o b i l i z e d i n the s e r v i c e of producing an e x p l i c i t communicative a c t , t y p i c a l l y addressed to another, regarded by the other (and the actor) as being guided by an openly acknowledged i n t e n t i o n , and treated as conveying some meaning beyond or apart from the a c t i o n i t s e l f . " (p.81) Gestures d i s t i n g u i s h themselves they vary widely between c u l t u r e s ,  further  as a group because  so much so t h a t , as mentioned  e a r l i e r , gesture d i c t i o n a r i e s have been created.  Therefore,  e a s i l y i d e n t i f i a b l e subsets of nonverbal communication are eminently s u i t a b l e for a study that i s considering the  such  36  possibility A word  of  cultural  of  caution  further  subdivided  literal  "translations"  gestures like and in  a  in  only  leave  one  which  it  is  basketball.  to  all  these  gestures  construed  or  court,  thus  which  they  enacted  to  mean of  the  A more  general  is  interpretation.  before many s t i l l  books  as  impression  the  proceeding  to  gestures  have  vital  examine  How  to  that  regardless  a  a  to read  a  person  gesture  has  of  the  in  football,  itchy  Lamb  same  turn  watch  it  one  circumstances  be  The  a  of  encoder  games,  on  the  for  meanings  would  did  game was  would  the  setting  thing  the  & Watson  which  and  expression  parlance.  depends...on  conventionalized  appropriate  an  gestures  referees  social  example  as  by  score  course  interpretation As  used  have  in  context  regarded  in  it  meaning,  referee,  unless  nose.  the  gestures  making  is  order  popular  with  gesture  Although  words,  Such  one  True  play,  be  in  of  used. the  or  here  in  inviolable  Consider  who  is  categories.  context.  book  differences  the  to  in  very  popular simply  it,  understanding  the  underlying  similar  of  field  discussion  nose"  put  a  one  necessarily  of  (1979)  "..presupposes  but  interpretation.  "finger doubt  common  playing  topic  such  may  not  soccer  "..proper  cultural  gesture nonverbal  have  an  reading  convention.."  understanding  (p.15). With of  these  nonverbal  have  been  behaviour  grouped  illustrators first  and  in  in  mind  let  that  come  under  various  constitute  defined,  emblems  cautions  then  the  illustrators  the  ways. focus  Of of  research that will  be  us  now the  proceed. rubric  these, this  of  emblems  study.  They  specifically  presented.  of  The  types  gesture and will  be  relates  to  "  37  A. Emblems According to Ekman (1983) t h i s term was f i r s t used by Efron in 1941 and i s defined as " . . s y m b o l i c actions where the movement has a very s p e c i f i c verbal meaning, known to most members of a sub-culture or c u l t u r e , and t y p i c a l l y employed with the i n t e n t i o n of sending.a message."  (p.89) Further he states that  " . . t h e person performing the emblem takes r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for having communicated, for having s a i d something with h i s face or body. He can be held accountable for h i s message."  (p.89)  Words do not need to accompany emblems to convey meaning nor i s the context a necessary component (Ekman, 1976). In other words, the meaning i s t o t a l l y unambigious when the a c t i o n i s seen in i s o l a t i o n of i t s contextual occurence. What remains i s whether one i n t e r p r e t s ,  for example, the head nod for YES as  ' y e s , I agree' as i s done in North America, or ' y e s , I'm l i s t e n i n g but not n e c e s s a r i l y agreeing or understanding' as i s the case i n Japan. Examples of emblems would be the head nod for YES (as above), shoulder shrug for I DON'T KNOW or a c i r c l e made with the index finger and thumb for A-OK. A quick perusal of the l i s t of emblems employed i n t h i s study (see Chapter I I I ) demonstrates that those chosen are what Lamb & Watson (1979) c a l l f u n c t i o n a l gestures and f i t w e l l i n t o the large p o r t i o n of i n s t r u c t i o n a l motions observed by Grant & Hennings (1971). Though there are a number of gestures that are encoded i n the same way across c u l t u r e s , t h e i r meanings are often r a d i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t . The OK s i g n , for instance, quite benign i n North American c i r c l e s , i s i n s u l t i n g or even obscene in some c u l t u r e s (Harrison,1974) and means 'money' i n Japan.  38  B.  Illustrators  According to LaFrance & Mayo (1978), i l l u s t r a t o r s are gestures that accompany the verbal message in an i n t e r a c t i o n and serve to u n d e r l i n e , emphasize, or i l l u s t r a t e the words. They are p r i m a r i l y enacted v i a the hands, although other parts of the body can come i n t o p l a y . An example would be to accompany the words " i t was t h i s b i g around" with arm and hand movements enclosing a c i r c l e . These gestures are l e s s c o n v e n t i o n a l i z e d and therefore can vary considerably in i n t e r p r e t a t i o n as w e l l as enactment.  Unlike  emblems, they are very much t i e d to the l i n g u i s t i c content and flow of the v e r b a l message. I l l u s t r a t o r s tend to vary i n type and frequency with ethnic group or c u l t u r e , increase when a message i s d i f f i c u l t  to convey i n words (define a z i g - z a g , for  i n s t a n c e ) , or be used i n a " f i s h i n g for the r i g h t word" sense to f i n i s h a thought (Ekman, 1976). Since what c h i e f l y d i s t i n g u i s h e s emblems and i l l u s t r a t o r s from other gestures i s t h e i r i n t e n t i o n a l i t y , they have received the most a t t e n t i o n i n the research (see for example Cohen & Harrison,1973). Ekman (1983) reports that many studies have been and are being conducted to e s t a b l i s h "emblem r e p e r t o i r e s " of various c u l t u r e s around the world. In fact there i s great v a r i a t i o n in the number of emblems c o n s i s t e n t l y used by d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r e s , from l e s s than 70 i n the U . S . to over 300 i n Iran (see for example Garretson,1976; Creider,1977; Morris et al,l979). In t h i s area, a l s o , some nonverbal u n i v e r s a l s were discovered. For instance,there are a number of emblems that look  39  the same but have d i f f e r e n t meanings in d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r e s . Peter C o l l e t (1982) c i t e s many examples of miscommunication based on one c u l t u r e ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of another  culture's  emblems. H i s t o r i c a l l y , a l s o , c r y p t i c use has been made of the fact that members of one c u l t u r e do not understand the emblems of another. S t i l l today, secret s o c i e t i e s use a nonverbal s i g n a l of some sort to i d e n t i f y members and keep out i n t r u d e r s . There are a number of "messages" that have an emblematic and d e f i n i t i v e performance, though the enactment d i f f e r s from one c u l t u r e to the next (Ekman,1983). What t h i s means i s that there are emblems for g r e e t i n g s , departures,  i n s u l t s and  d i r e c t i o n s found in a l l c u l t u r e s studied to date, but the enactments used vary from one group to the next (compare the HELLO handshake to the bow and steepled hands greeting i n Eastern c u l t u r e s ) . Foreign language teachers, as mentioned e a r l i e r , have long been i n t e r e s t e d i n emblems and i l l u s t r a t o r s in p a r t i c u l a r , because they are a r e l a t i v e l y stable r e f l e c t i o n of the nonverbal s t y l e of the target language group (see for example B r a u l t , 1963;  Barnett,1983; N i n e - C u r t , 1 9 8 3 ) . In a c t u a l f a c t , people who  have t r a v e l l e d have long been aware of the sometimes dramatic difference between c u l t u r a l gesture d i s p l a y s . Consider, for instance, the effusive use of gestures ( i n c l u d i n g emblems and i l l u s t r a t o r s ) by the French or I t a l i a n s compared to the very low key expression of the B r i t i s h . This sometimes r a d i c a l difference was c l e a r l y demonstrated in E f r o n ' s (1972) c l a s s i c study of New York Yiddish-speaking Jews, Southern I t a l i a n s , and the a s s i m i l a t e d o f f s p r i n g of both groups. His  40  i n t e n t i o n was to compare gesture s t y l e s with a view to f i n d i n g differences based on r a c i a l descent. Instead he found very c l e a r differences based on c u l t u r a l p r a c t i c e . As a side issue, he found that the types of gestures used were a l s o very d i f f e r e n t . The I t a l i a n s used many gestures that were h i g h l y p i c t o r i a l ( i l l u s t r a t i o n s to the words) while the Y i d d i s h speakers used gestures that served more regulatory functions and used the p i c t o r i a l gestures not at a l l . In terms of emblems, the I t a l i a n s had a large standardized  repertoire  (and invented extra ones f r e e l y when necessary) while the Jews d i d not. These findings have as yet not been explored further but such tendencies could p o t e n t i a l l y be useful as teaching/learning tools. L i t t l e research has been done in terms of the communicative value of gestures in general,the when and how of t h e i r use (Kendon,1983), or in the comparison of gestures or any of t h e i r subsets across c u l t u r e s . Work done i n the classroom has been discussed e a r l i e r in t h i s review. I t has c h i e f l y r e l a t e d the influence of teacher behaviour, student r e a c t i o n and t h e i r i n t e r a c t i o n , where both are members of the same c u l t u r a l group. In the m u l t i e t h n i c s e t t i n g we have gone l i t t l e further than the stage of "awareness of d i f f e r e n c e s " . Considering the long h i s t o r y of the study of verbal communication, i t i s probable that a long time and much work stands between teachers and the knowledge they are now beginning to seek i n the nonverbal area. It i s comforting, however, to see that l i n g u i s t s have at l e a s t recognized the existence of the nonverbal as p a r t of the communication pattern  (see Hatch,1983),  41 i f only i n terms of s p e c i a l i z e d speech such as motherese and foreigner t a l k . S t i l l much i s l e f t unknown about the  interactive  factors of nonverbal, verbal and c u l t u r a l i n a c r o s s - c u l t u r a l setting. In terms of c h i l d r e n and nonverbal communication, as i s the modus operandi of the present study, research to date demonstrates that the following are present, i n some cases at a remarkably young age. They are: a. c u l t u r e based g u i d e l i n e s of p h y s i c a l a t t r a c t i v e n e s s w e l l as a r e l a t i o n s h i p between a t t r a c t i v e n e s s  as  and p o p u l a r i t y  (Cavior & Lombardi,1973; Dion, 1973) b. developmental stages of proxemic behaviour ( A i e l l o & Jones,1971; Jones & A i e l l o , 1 9 7 3 ; Harper & Sanders,1975) c . e a r l y responses to and production of f a c i a l (Ekman,1973) as w e l l as eye contact  expression  (Norton & Dobson,l976)  d. c u l t u r e and age r e l a t e d p a r a l i n g u i s t i c behaviour (Dittman, 1972; Wood,1976) e. awareness of c u l t u r a l differences  i n nonverbal  communication (Weeks, 1979) f. sex and age as factors of how w e l l nonverbal behaviour i s decoded (Pendelton & Snyder,1982) g. i n d i c a t i o n s that young c h i l d r e n use more gestures and r e l y on them more for communication (Evans & Rubin,1979). Cross c u l t u r a l differences  in nonverbal communication  dealing s p e c i f i c a l l y with very young c h i l d r e n are somewhat rare and so far have not included non-English-speakers. Carol Koogler (1980), doing f i e l d work as an anthropologist  in  integrated  kindergarten classrooms i n the United S t a t e s , found that the  42 d i f f e r i n g c u l t u r a l s t y l e s of behaviour between white and black c h i l d r e n created disharmony when the black c h i l d r e n appeared to impede p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a c t i v i t i e s . The " d i f f e r e n t " ways of responding to music and dance as e x h i b i t e d by the black c h i l d r e n created a c o n f l i c t because of. how the white teacher reacted t o , and i n t e r p r e t e d  that  behaviour. When the group i n t e r a c t e d with a black teacher no c o n f l i c t developed, presumably because her r e a c t i o n to the same type of behaviour from the c h i l d r e n was i n keeping with t h e i r common c u l t u r a l background. Two research projects have focussed on the use of emblems s p e c i f i c a l l y , only one.of which used " c u l t u r a l group" as a v a r i a b l e . Michael & W i l l i s (1968) had c h i l d r e n age 4 to 7 communicate 12 messages without using words: go away, come here, yes, no, how many, how b i g , be q u i e t , I don't know, h i , goodbye, shape (round, s q u a r e , e t c . ) ,  l e t me have your a t t e n t i o n . The  r e s u l t s showed t h a t : a l l the c h i l d r e n are better decoders than encoders, older c h i l d r e n do better than younger c h i l d r e n on a l l t a s k s , middle c l a s s c h i l d r e n do better than lower c l a s s c h i l d r e n in both encoding and decoding and boys were more accurate decoders than g i r l s . The second study d i d not include c u l t u r e as a f a c t o r ,  but  rather looked for a b i l i t y to decode and encode i n r e l a t i o n to sex and age. The researchers,  Kumin & Lazar (1974), used a video  tape of 30 emblems with two age groups of middle c l a s s , Caucasian c h i l d r e n , age 3 to 3.5 and 4 to 4 . 5 . Their findings include the f o l l o w i n g : a b i l i t y to decode and encode improves with age; boys decoded more emblems i n the younger group; g i r l s  43  decoded more emblems in the older group; girls at both age levels encoded more emblems than the boys of corresponding ages; both groups decoded significantly more emblems than they were able to encode; there were some emblems that neither group could encode as well as some that were encoded and decoded with 100% accuracy by a l l groups. Both studies demonstrate that emblems are certainly a viable category for study with young children. The increased is  ability with age hints at the possibility of a developmental pattern, perhaps coinciding with language development stages. Neither study considered the possibility that the reason a child decodes or encodes incorrectly may be related to different interpretations based on cultural background. Rather the implication seemed to be that the lower class children of the Michael & Willis study were merely slower to develop, not different. A well known example of this type of interpretation difference concerns the daughter of a university professor who was given a standard I.Q. test. One question depicted a man chopping wood and the child was asked whether the man was working or relaxing. She said that he was relaxing which, of course, was considered wrong by the creators of the test. When queried later about what it was the man was doing she knew, but related that her father, who spent a l l day in the classroom and office, enjoyed chopping wood to 'relax', as he put it..  A final summation will help pull together the various threads that make up communication. What the sum total of  44  research into nonverbal communication from a l l perspectives confirms i s the complexity of human communication. Furthermore, the nonverbal element i s much more v i t a l than has h i t h e r t o been acknowledged and i t i s made even more e l u s i v e and complex because i t i s molded and modified i n various ways by the c u l t u r a l d i c t a t e s of a group or sub-group. Taking c u l t u r a l l y created nonverbal communication into a classroom containing many c u l t u r e s only compounds the complexities of communication. As y e t , l i t t l e research deals with a l l ' t h e s e elements as the i n t e r a c t i v e factors they are, while none has attempted to do a c r o s s - c u l t u r a l study in the classroom that involves nonEnglish-speakers. The next chapter o u t l i n e s the design and implementation of just such an attempt.  45  CHAPTER THREE  METHODS  "Every educational system i s i r r e v o c a b l y l i n k e d to i t s s o c i e t y ' s c l a s s s t r u c t u r e , s o c i a l m o b i l i t y , basic values, s o c i a l norms, and even the s t r u c t u r i n g of rewards and punishments." Fieg & Yaffee,  1977,p.38.  As the l a s t chapter i n d i c a t e s , there i s a r a p i d l y expanding body of knowledge in the f i e l d of nonverbal communication. Equally p r o l i f i c i s research i n t o nonverbal communication i n the classroom s e t t i n g . A great deal i s now known about teacher/student i n t e r a c t i o n on the nonverbal l e v e l , and there i s an i n c r e a s i n g awareness of how teachers i n f l u e n c e , whether consciously or not, the a t t i t u d e and performance of t h e i r students. The research a l s o confirms the c u l t u r a l l y based nature of nonverbal communication, p o i n t i n g to miscommunication problems i n r a c i a l l y and c u l t u r a l l y mixed s e t t i n g s ,  that seem to  be rooted s o l e l y i n d i f f e r i n g c u l t u r a l norms and behaviour expectations. To date l i t t l e has been done beyond p o i n t i n g out that d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r a l groups do indeed react and i n t e r a c t d i f f e r e n t l y on the nonverbal l e v e l . Part of the reason for t h i s lack i s the d i f f i c u l t y extremely d i f f i c u l t  inherent i n studying body movement. I t  to analyze movement, even i f one had the  s o p h i s t i c a t e d equipment required and were to use the micro-  is  46  a n a l y s i s system invented by B i r d w h i s t e l l  (1970).  The more concrete and definable subgroups of gesture known as emblems and i l l u s t r a t o r s , however, have been s u c c e s s f u l l y employed i n research with a l l age groups, i n c l u d i n g young c h i l d r e n . The study, of common North American emblems done by Kumin & Lazar (1974) i s only one example. On t h i s promising basis the present research has been founded.  A. Design In essence t h i s study i s of an ex post facto design ( t h i s term i s more p r e c i s e l y defined l a t e r ) , where the e t h n i c i t y , age and sex of the subjects are the independent v a r i a b l e s . Under s c r u t i n y i s t h e i r a b i l i t y to decode a s p e c i f i c group of gestures from the subgroups known as emblems and i l l u s t r a t o r s . These were chosen because t h e i r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s r e l a t i v e l y i n v a r i a b l e and they are t y p i c a l of the gestures commonly used i n an ESL classroom s e t t i n g . Kumin & Lazar (1974), on whose study the present work i s p a r t i a l l y based, grouped Caucasian, middle c l a s s c h i l d r e n by age and sex, then asked them to decode and encode gestures under f a i r l y standardized c o n d i t i o n s . The gestures t h e i r study used had been v a l i d a t e d by c o l l e g e students of the same c u l t u r a l background as the c h i l d r e n . The present study, began with the emblem l i s t of Kumin and Lazar. This l i s t was taken to several p r a c t i c i n g E n g l i s h as a second langauge (ESL) teachers, who discarded some items due to  47  lack of popular usage, while adding others which they d i d use c o n s i s t e n t l y i n the classroom. The new l i s t was then taken to ten ESL teachers i n the Vancouver area. Each teacher  separately  was asked to act out the emblems and i l l u s t r a t o r s given the verbal cues. Again some minor changes proved necessary when there was no consensus of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . The f i n a l l i s t of t h i r t y - s i x emblems and i l l u s t r a t o r s became the master for the next stage - the videotape. A s i n g l e ESL teacher agreed to perform the emblems and i l l u s t r a t o r s while the  researcher  recorded them on videotape. This f i n a l l i s t appears below with the i l l u s t r a t o r s marked by ( I ) . Table I Emblems and I l l u s t r a t o r s - Master L i s t YES OVER THERE QUIET PAST TENSE(I) IT SMELLS BAD THAT'S GOOD (WELL DONE) NO STOP LET'S THINK ABOUT IT GO AWAY LOUDER (CAN'T HEAR YOU) I ' M SAD O.K. I ' M AFRAID LISTEN COME HERE HELLO I ' M ANGRY YOU DON'T DO THAT GET UP I ' M HAPPY I DON'T BELIEVE IT(SURPRISE) I DON'T KNOW GOODBYE I'M COLD ME WELL—SORT OF SIT DOWN I ' M HOT WHAT TIME IS IT? IT'S TOO LOUD EVERYBODY (I) I ' M TIRED BIG AND ROUND(I) TASTES GOOD(YUMMY)  Next, a m u l t i p l e choice t e s t (see Appendix A) was created to accompany the 36 "actions" on the videotape. The t e s t included a f i f t h  "fill  i n .your own answer" option for those who  might disagree with the given wording for the other four choices..  48  To v a l i d a t e i t , t h e t e s t and the accompanying videotape were administered to classes of ESL teacher trainees at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia. A t o t a l of 62 adults took the t e s t . The r e s u l t s , expressed as a percentage, are l i s t e d i n Table I I .  Table II Percent Scores of Adults on Emblem and I l l u s t r a t o r Test  ITEM YES QUIET IT SMELLS BAD NO LET'S THINK ABOUT IT LOUDER(CAN'T HEAR YOU) ' O.K. LISTEN HELLO YOU GET UP I DON'T BELIEVE IT(SURPRISE) GOODBYE ME SIT DOWN WHAT TIME IS IT? EVERYBODY BIG AND ROUND OVER THERE PAST TENSE THAT'S GOOD(WELL DONE) STOP GO AWAY I ' M SAD I ' M AFRAID COME HERE I ' M ANGRY DON'T DO THAT I ' M HAPPY I DON'T KNOW I ' M COLD WELL--SORT OF I ' M HOT IT'S TOO LOUD I ' M TIRED TASTES GOOD(YUMMY)  %CORRECT 97 97 97 98 82 90 76 79 35 92 89 84 73 100 98 87 66 93 98 8 97 95 95 97 98 98 85 100 93 100 100 97 100 90 100 97  As expected,the scores were q u i t e h i g h . There were, however, a few notable exceptions. Much confusion was expressed concerning the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of HELLO and GOODBYE. What was enacted on the videotape as HELLO was judged to be GOODBYE by 53 percent of a d u l t s tested, while only 35 percent thought i t was indeed HELLO. On the other hand, there was 73 percent  agreement  50  that what was enacted as GOODBYE was what most people would judge to mean GOODBYE. Thus, although emblems are considered h i g h l y c o n v e n t i o n a l i z e d , there are s t i l l p o s s i b i l i t i e s of misunderstanding even w i t h i n a c u l t u r a l group when two emblems are very c l o s e i n v i s u a l appearance as i s the case here. What would have given the f i n a l clue for c o r r e c t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n ,  the  s i t u a t i o n a l context and/or accompanying words, was absent. The three i l l u s t r a t o r s included are: EVERYBODY, BIG AND ROUND and PAST TENSE. As noted e a r l i e r , i l l u s t r a t o r s can be quite v a r i a b l e i n t h e i r enactment. They were included nevertheless because the ten teachers who aided in the c r e a t i o n of the master l i s t agreed that they were frequently used, and agreed on a common enactment. There was, however, great variance in responses given on the t e s t . For instance, while 93 percent were i n accord concerning BIG AND ROUND,only 66 percent c o r r e c t l y i n t e r p r e t e d EVERYBODY, while only 8 percent i n t e r p r e t e d PAST TENSE as i n d i c a t i n g the past tense. One a l t e r n a t i v e answer for t h i s l a s t was "behind me", which received 85 percent of responses. During the d e b r i e f i n g d i s c u s s i o n with the a d u l t s , t h i s t e s t item was queried i n a l l groups. I t became apparent that those who had taught ESL knew t h i s i l l u s t r a t o r to be a tense marker, while those who had not taught had no idea at a l l what the gesture might mean and therefore took to be c o r r e c t the l i t e r a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n suggested by the back over the shoulders hand gesture — i . e . "behind me". Though there were momentary blackouts between a c t i o n s ,  it  was not p o s s i b l e to adminster the t e s t to the above groups without stopping the tape several times. This would have to be  51  taken into consideration when t e s t i n g the c h i l d r e n . I t  also  appeared that the m u l t i p l e choices were adequately r e p r e s e n t a t i v e , as very few opted for t h e i r own wording as allowed by option  five.  B. The s e l e c t i o n of subjects In following the Kumin and Lazar model, i t was decided to use c h i l d r e n of preschool ages. This was further  considered a  useful age group to study for several reasons. F i r s t ,  their  chances of having l i t t l e exposure to North American c u l t u r e would be s i g n i f i c a n t l y greater than for school age c h i l d r e n . This was d e s i r a b l e to enhance the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of  differences  being d i s c l o s e d based on c u l t u r a l upbringing, between these c h i l d r e n and t h e i r native English-speaking  equivalents.  Second, these c l a s s e s had been organized s p e c i f i c a l l y to meet a perceived need,, namely the c u l t u r a l and l i n g u i s t i c disadvantages apparent when these c h i l d r e n entered the school system at age  five.  F i n a l l y , since i t i s a l s o generally agreed that the years of schooling are of primary importance  i n shaping  c h i l d r e n ' s a t t i t u d e s toward schooling i t s e l f ,  i t seemed  p a r t i c u l a r l y important to f a c i l i t a t e t h e i r adjustment at juncture,  should the present study bring to l i g h t some  significant data.  early  this  52  The twenty ESL subjects,10 male and 10 female, were selected from several preschool programs in the Vancouver area. Their ages ranged from 43 months to 61 months; 7 were East Indian, Hindi or Punjabi speakers and 13 were Chinese, Cantonese speakers. I t i s a r e f l e c t i o n of the schools' l o c a t i o n s w i t h i n the Vancouver area that a l l twenty ESL c h i l d r e n were members of only these two ethnic groups. The s p e c i f i c c o n t r i b u t o r s of subjects were e n r o l l e d i n ESL preschool programs at the Immigrant Resources Project preschools or the Sexsmith Demonstration P r e s c h o o l . The s e l e c t i o n of subjects involved the preschool t e a c h e r ' s evaluation of each c h i l d based on the following c r i t e r i a : a. the c h i l d ' s exposure to E n g l i s h language and c u l t u r e i s minimal b. the c h i l d ' s s o c i a l development i s advanced to the point where s/he f e e l s confident enough to go w i l l i n g l y with the researcher and t r a n s l a t o r to the t e s t i n g room ( i . e . away from the f a m i l i a r environ of the preschool classroom) c . the c h i l d i s w i l l i n g to p a r t i c i p a t e in the task d. the c h i l d ' s parents consent to having the c h i l d participate. I t had been decided to attempt to t e s t equal numbers of boys and g i r l s . This proved e a s i l y achievable because of the large number of c h i l d r e n a v a i l a b l e . The twenty native E n g l i s h speakers were a l l students at the C h i l d Study Centre i n Vancouver. They were of mixed heritage but a l l spoke E n g l i s h as t h e i r mother tongue. They were selected from the four c l a s s e s at the Centre using the same c r i t e r i a as  53  for the ESL c h i l d r e n (except that there was no need of a t r a n s l a t o r ) . They were further matched to the already tested ESL c h i l d r e n by age and sex. When a c h i l d proved u n w i l l i n g to attempt the task, or h i s / h e r parents were not w i l l i n g to l e t the c h i l d p a r t i c i p a t e , another c h i l d was chosen u n t i l twenty c h i l d r e n had been t e s t e d . Each of the f o r t y c h i l d r e n was tested by the same researcher, with the help of a t r a n s l a t o r where the ESL c h i l d r e n were concerned.  C. Data C o l l e c t i o n The adults had been t o l d with what the study concerned i t s e l f and what the task i n v o l v e d . This was of course not p o s s i b l e nor p a r t i c u l a r i l y d e s i r a b l e with such young c h i l d r e n . Instead a standardized patter was created by the researcher. The task was set up as a guessing game. After i n t r o d u c t i o n s and s e t t l i n g in the t e s t i n g room the. c h i l d was t o l d the  following:  I'm going to show you a teacher on t h i s T . V . Her name i s S u z i e . She's a teacher just l i k e ( name of c h i l d ' s t e a c h e r ) . She's p l a y i n g a game with her c l a s s . Do you l i k e p l a y i n g games? (allow c h i l d to elaborate b r i e f l y ) This game i s a guessing game. In t h i s game, she i s pretending she cannot t a l k but wants to t e l l her c l a s s something. She uses only a c t i o n s , no words. Now, l e t ' s you and me t r y t h i s game and see i f you can guess what I'm t r y i n g to say with my a c t i o n s . I f I go l i k e t h i s (shaking head side to side) what do you think I mean? ( e l i c i t answer "No"; i f c h i l d seems unsure, give a second example) T h a t ' s r i g h t . I can see that you know how to play t h i s game. Now  54  l e t ' s turn on the T . V . and play the game with Suzie and her class. Are you ready? (make sure c h i l d i s a t t e n d i n g , l o o k i n g at T . V . ) Here's the f i r s t one. (Stop the videotape after each gesture to ask for an answer i f i t has not already been c a l l e d out. Encourage the c h i l d to make a guess. When the c h i l d does not know the answer be supportive saying that some are t r i c k y even for grownups .) (Record the answer g i v e n . ) O . K . , now l e t ' s t r y the next one. (Conclude the t e s t with encouragement, thanks for p l a y i n g the game and emphasize how w e l l they d i d , what good guessers they are. )  A p i l o t study of two English-speaking c h i l d r e n was conducted. Several minor issues came to l i g h t . I t had never been intended that the c h i l d r e n should have to e i t h e r read the test or choose one of the m u l t i p l e choice options when presented with them o r a l l y . However, the researcher intended to record each c h i l d ' s answer using the m u l t i p l e choice format. As i t turned o u t , t h i s proved too time consuming even for the researcher who had created the t e s t . I t seemed easier to simply w r i t e down the exact words of each c h i l d and l a t e r compare these with the agreed upon answers. This was because the c h i l d r e n , u n l i k e the a d u l t s , d i d not tend to respond with a word or two. Rather, they would e x p l a i n q u i t e i m a g i n a t i v e l y , and at some l e n g t h , what they f e l t was o c c u r r i n g . Attempting to sum t h i s up on the spot to see if  i t would f i t one of the categories of the m u l t i p l e choice  t e s t was perceived as leading to hasty and p o s s i b l y wrong " r e t r a n s l a t i o n " on the part of the researcher. The very young age of the subjects precluded lengthy time i n t e r v a l s between  55  "actions" as they simply stopped attending to the task i f too much time elapsed. Even without pauses for l e n g t h i e r t r a n s c r i p t i o n s of answers, the videotape took s i x minutes, i n c l u d i n g the momentary blackout between a c t i o n s . As with the a d u l t s , the tape nontheless had to be stopped several times to give time for responses and the recording of same. Therefore, as back-up, and to f a c i l i t a t e the smooth flow of t e s t i n g ,  the  c h i l d r e n ' s answers were a l s o recorded on c a s s e t t e . The p i l o t study c l e a r l y demonstrated that the c h i l d r e n d i d indeed recognize a large number of the gestures and could i n t e r p r e t them. In f a c t , they often shouted out the answer before the a c t i o n was a c t u a l l y concluded on the videotape'. Thus a l l was in readiness for the a c t u a l t e s t i n g of the  subjects.  D. Scoring Technique and R e l i a b i l i t y The t e s t i n g proceeded using the format o u t l i n e d e a r l i e r . Once each c h i l d had been s u c e s s f u l l y t e s t e d , s/he was r e g i s t e r e d on the response sheet only by sex, age i n months and ethnic origin. The t e s t s , when completed, were numbered from 1 to 40, then photocopied. One set was scored by the researcher, the other by an independent adult who had seen the videotape and taken the test himself.. He was provided with the agreed upon c o r r e c t answers for those items with which he was not f a m i l i a r . Semantic equivalences were accepted. For example, for the emblem of head nodding "Yes", a, c h i l d ' s answer of "She's saying i t ' s O.K. to do  56  t h a t . " was considered c o r r e c t . When the t e s t s had been scored, they were rema.tched by number and any disagreements i n scoring were examined. I n d i v i d u a l items were checked for any d i f f e r e n c e s . In the rare instance where no agreement between the two scorers could be reached, the conservative route was taken and the item was marked wrong.  E. Presentation of Data The data c o l l e c t e d were grouped by age, sex and e t h n i c i t y . E t h n i c i t y was defined in two ways: the d i v i s i o n of subjects  into  ESL and native speaker groups and the further d i v i s i o n of the ESL group i n t o Chinese and East I n d i a n . The t h i r t y - s i x emblems and i l l u s t r a t o r s used in the study were considered as a whole, as i n d i v i d u a l items and i n terms of the subset of nineteen emblems t h i s study has i n common with the Kumin & Lazar study. Under c o n s i d e r a t i o n was the a b i l i t y of the c h i l d r e n (based on age, sex and/or e t h n i c i t y ) to decode these gestures. A l s o , both the group of t h i r t y - s i x and the group of nineteen were evaluated in terms of rank c o r r e l a t i o n . The presentation of the r e s u l t s of these analyses i s the t o p i c of the next chapter.  CHAPTER FOUR  RESULTS  To refresh the reader's memory, the o r i g i n a l  research  questions are restated below. 1. Are there s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of gestures between non-English speakers and native speakers of English? 2. Is there a consistent pattern of a c q u i s i t i o n of gestures  for  e i t h e r group of c h i l d r e n ? 3. Which of these gestures are i n t e r p r e t e d s i m i l a r l y or d i f f e r e n t l y by the two groups of c h i l d r e n ?  The f o r t y subjects d i v i d e i n t o two equal groups, native speakers (NS) of E n g l i s h and non-English speakers  (ESL).  Subjects were a l s o d i v i d e d i n t o age groups. The f o r t y subjects ranged i n age from 43-61 months and d i v i d e d conveniently i n t o equal groups at 53 months. Thus the younger group included a range from 41-53 months while the older group contained those aged 54-61 months. Since by far the majority of the c h i l d r e n ' s ages f e l l i n t o the middle of t h e i r respective age ranges i t was considered l e s s cumbersome to l a b e l t h e i r age groups as age 4 and age 5 r e s p e c t i v e l y . With a view to s t a t i s t i c a l a n a l y s i s , the f i r s t two research  58  questions were reformulated as n u l l hypotheses. For the purpose of presenting the f i n d i n g s , each such hypothesis w i l l be stated below i n conjunction with the r e s u l t s that p e r t a i n to i t . S i g n i f i c a n c e l e v e l for the hypotheses i s set at p=.05.  Hypothesis 1 The f i r s t question as a n u l l hypothesis reads as f o l l o w s : No s i g n i f i c a n t "differences i n score w i l l be found with respect to age, sex or e t h n i c i t y . E t h n i c i t y i n t h i s case refers to the c u l t u r a l / l i n g u i s t i c membership to which the two groups of t h i s study l o o s e l y belong, i.e.  native speaker (NS) or non-English speaker  (ESL).  Using the raw scores of a l l forty subjects a simple l i n e graph was constructed as shown i n Figure 1.  Figure 1. 10  Graph of Total Scores  9 8 F r e q u e n c y  7 6  5 4  3 2 1  8-10  11-13  14 -  Score  60  Scores ranged from ten c o r r e c t out of t h i r t y - . s i x to a high score of twenty-seven. As.the graph c l e a r l y shows the ESL group received the bulk of the lower scores while the native speakers scored considerably h i g h e r . To explore the differences further an a n a l y s i s of variance was performed. To allow for a f a c t o r i a l design with a l l factors crossed, the f o r t y subjects were d i v i d e d i n t o equal groups based on sex, age and e t h n i c i t y (ESL vs NS). The r e s u l t s of the a n a l y s i s of variance are l i s t e d i n Table I I I . Table I I I A n a l y s i s of variance for Emblem/Illustrator Task Performance  SOURCE  SS  df  MS  F  P  A (age)  58.2015  1  58.2015  4. 25  .0474*  B (sex)  3.3811  1  3.3811  0. 25  .6226  439.1920  1  439.1920  32. 08  .0000*  AB  46.5185  1  46.5185  3. 40  .0.746  AC  11.0587  1  11.0587  0. 81  .3755  BC  16.2383  1  16.2383  1 .19  .2843  ABC  5.0900  1  5.0900  0. 37  .5463  Error  438.1167  32  13.6911  Total  1017.7968  C (ethnicity)  KEY  a == age  B = sex  C = ethnic i t y  = s i g n i f i c a n c e at P=- 05 or better  61  Table I I I shows that age i s a s i g n i f i c a n t factor but sex i s not. As the graph above demonstrated, e t h n i c i t y i n t h i s a n a l y s i s was a s i g n i f i c a n t factor ( i n f a c t , at far above p=.0l). Therefore the f i r s t hypothesis, that there i s no s i g n i f i c a n t difference i n score based on age, sex or e t h n i c i t y i s upheld with respect to sex, but should be rejected with respect to age and e t h n i c i t y .  r Hypothesis 2 The second question w r i t t e n as a hypothesis  postulates:  There w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t c o r r e l a t i o n between the rank orders of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n scores for the native speaker and non-English speaker groups. F i r s t , a l l t o t a l scores were converted to rank scores with respect to age and e t h n i c i t y as Table IV shows. The sex f a c t o r , having proven i n s i g n i f i c a n t i n the a n a l y s i s of v a r i a n c e , was not considered here.  62 Table IV Rank scores of groups based on age and e t h n i c i t y Emblem or  Illustrator  NS  ESL  I JS  E<IL  4 yr. 5 yr. Yes I don't know No I'm c o l d I'm a f r a i d Quiet I'm t i r e d Don't do that I'm sad Me Come here I'm happy Goodbye I t ' s too loud Stop Tastes good (yummy) S i t down I'm hot Go away You T h a t ' s good(well done) Get up Over there I t smells bad I'm angry What time i s i t ? O.K. Big and round Louder(can't hear you) Hello Listen Everybody I don't b e l i e v e i t (surprise) L e t ' s think about i t Well—sort of Past tense  4 yr.  5 yr.  2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 6.0 6.0 6.0 10.5 10.5 10.5 10.5 10.5 10.5 14.5 14.5 16.0 17.0 18.0 19.0 21 .0 21.0 21 .0 23.0 24.0 25.0 26.0 27.5 27.5 30.0 30.0 30.0 32.0  5.5 8.5 2.5 1 .0 5.5 5.5 2.5 11.0 8.5 12.5 5.5 15.0 16.0 12.5 17.5 22.0 19.5 10.0 24.5 31 .0 19.5 22.0 24.5 14.0 31.0 17.5 31.0 27.5 27.5 27.5 22.0 27.5  4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 9.5 4.0 4.0 9.5 13.5 13.5 13.5 9.5 9.5 16.5 13.5 16.5 18.5 18.5 20.5 22.5 20.5 22.5 25.5 25.5 25.5 29.0 25.5 33.5 33.5 29.0 29.0  4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 10.5 4.5 10.5 14.5 10.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 10.5 14.5 4.5 14.5 14.5 18.0 21 .5 21.5 18.0 21 .5 21 .5 18.0 24.0 26.5 26.5 29.5 26.5 26.5 29.5 32.5  5.5 12.0 5.5 1 .0 8.5 5.5 2.5 8.5 12.0 12.0 5.5 12.0 .15.5 12.0 19.0 19.0 19.0 2.5 26.5 26.5 23.0 19.0 32.5 15.5 32.5 23.0 32.5 23.0 26.5 26.5 19.0 32.5  7.0 2.5 2.5 7.0 2.5 7.0 7.0 11.0 2.5 11.0 7.0 18.5 18.5 11.0 16.0 27.0 22.0 13.0 22.0 33.5 18.5 27.0 18.5 14.5 27.0 14.5 27.0 33.5 27.0 27.0 27.0 22.0  34.0 34.0 34.0 36.0  34.5 34.5 34.0 34.5  33.5 33.5 33.5 33.5  32.5 32.5 32.5 36.0  32.5 32.5 32.5 32.5  33.5 33.5 33.5 33.5  63  Second, a Spearman's rho rank c o r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t was computed for p a i r combinations with the following  results.  Table V Spearman's rho rank c o r r e l a t i o n of rank scores for selected groups  GROUPS  rho  P  o.843  .01  NS (5yr)  0.928  .01  ESL(4yr) + ESL (5yr)  0.872  .01  NS (4yr) + ESL (4yr)  0.834  .01  NS (5yr) + ESL (5yr)  0.767  .01  NS + ESL NS (4yr) +  KEY:  NS = native speaker ESL = non-English speaker  What the table i n d i c a t e s i s a high rank c o r r e l a t i o n for a l l groupings both within-groups and between-groups,  regardless of  which of the two c r i t e r a for group membership used(age or ethnicity). For i n t e r e s t ' s  sake the ESL group was further d i v i d e d i n t o  i t s two ethnic groups, Chinese and East I n d i a n . Though these groups are s m a l l , t h i r t e e n and seven r e s p e c t i v e l y , and the findings must therefore be treated with appropriate c a u t i o n , i t i s noteworthy that a l l p a i r combinations here y i e l d e d the same  64  high c o r r e l a t i o n i n rank order as was found with the l a r g e r groups. F i n a l l y , i t was decided to further test these f i n d i n g s by comparing the native speaker group of t h i s study with another native speaker study group, the Kumin & Lazar (1974) study. This could thus serve as a model of the decoding a b i l i t y of North American, Caucasian, middle c l a s s E n g l i s h speakers. Nineteen of the t h i r t y - s i x gestures used i n t h i s study matched those used by Kumin & Lazar. These nineteen  gestures(all  emblems) and t h e i r rank scores are l i s t e d i n Table VI below. For further comparison, the ESL group of t h i s study was a l s o ranked with the native speaker groups of both s t u d i e s .  65  Table VI Rank scores for emblems common to both studies  Emblem  K & L  Quiet No Hello Yes Come here Naughty(don't do that) Goodbye I'm t i r e d Stop Get up I'm c o l d Tastes good(yummy) Too loud It smells bad Louder(can't hear you) I don't know I'm hot O.K. What time i s i t ?  1 .0 2.0 3.0 4.5 6.0 9.5 4.5 7.0 8.0 9.5 12.0 13.0 11.0 14.0 15.0 17.5 17.5 16.0 19.0  KEY:  NS 5.5 2.5 18.5 2.5 8.0 8.0 8.0 5.5 10.5 14.0 2.5 12.0 10.5 15.0 18.5 2.5 13.0 17.0 16.0  ESL 5.0 2.5 17.5 5.0 5.0 9.0 12.0 2.5 13.5 15.5 1.0 15.5 10.0 11.0 17.5 7.0 8.0 19.0 13.5  K & L = Kumin & Lazar group NS = native speakers ( t h i s study) ESL = non-English speakers(this study)  A Spearman's rho rank c o r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t computed for the two native speaker groups proved s i g n i f i c a n t at p=.05 with a rho of 0.405. The c o r r e l a t i o n between the Kumin & Lazar study group and the ESL speakers of the present study was a l s o s i g n i f i c a n t at p=.05 with a rho of 0.683. The continued high c o r r e l a t i o n even across studies i n d i c a t e s c l e a r l y that the hypothesis that there i s no s i g n i f i c a n t c o r r e l a t i o n between the rank orders of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n scores for native speaker and ESL groups should be r e j e c t e d .  66  Further Findings Noting that the age groups of the Kumin & Lazar study overlapped and extended the age groups of the present study, i t was considered of relevant i n t e r e s t to compare the age r e l a t e d r e s u l t s of the decoding a b i l i t y of the Kumin & Lazar study group with the native speaker group i n the present study. For t h i s purpose the percent scores are tabulated i n Table V I I .  67  Table VII Percent scores for emblems common to both studies  Emblem  No Quiet Hello Yes Come here Naughty(don't do that) Goodbye I'm t i red Stop I'm c o l d Get up Tastes good(yummy) Too l o u d u won't l i s t e n ) I t smells bad Louder(can't hear you) I don't know I*m hot O.K. What time i s i t ? Mean Score (%)  Kumin & Lazar  Helmer• (NS)  age 3  age 4  93 100 93 79 79 79 79 71 64 50 57 43 43 36 29 14 14 7 0  100 100 93 100 93 71 100 93 93 86 93 64 100 57 57 43 43 57 0  100 90 0 100 80 100 90 100 70 100 50 80 90 20 0 1 00 60 10 20  100 100 30 100 1 00 80 90 90 100 100 60 80 80 70 30 1 00 70 30 30  55  76  66  76  age 4  age 5  KEY: NS = native speaker  As expected the percent scores again demonstrate  the  s i m i l a r i t y i n scores for both studies as w e l l as the trend for the older c h i l d r e n to score higher than the younger ones. The t h i r d research q u e s t i o n , concerning s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of gestures between the two l a r g e r groups of the present study, can best be discussed by simply s c r u t i n i z i n g the scores obtained. Table VIII summarizes the i n i t i a l t e s t i n g r e s u l t s converted to percent  scores.  68  Table VIII Percent scores for a l l t h i r t y - s i x Emblems and I l l u s t r a t o r s  Emblem or I l l u s t r a t o r  Native £Speaker age 4  Yes Quiet It smells bad c No . L e t ' s think about i t Louder(can't hear you) O.K. Listen Hello You Get up I don't b e l i e v e i t (surprise) Goodbye Me S i t down What time i s i t ? Everybody Big and round Over there Past tense That's good(well done) Stop Go away I'm sad I'm a f r a i d Come here I ' in angry Don't do that I'm happy I don't know I'm c o l d Well—sort of I'm hot I t ' s too loud I'm t i r e d Tastes good(yummy)  age 5  ESL Sp«jaker age 4  age 5  1 00 90 20 100 0 0 10 10 0 50 50 0  100 100 70 100 10 30 30 20 30 60 60 10  80 80 50 80 0 10 0 30 10 10 30 0  90 90 50 100 0 10 10 10 10 0 10 0  90 80 70 20 10 20 40 0 40 70 60 90 100 80 20 100 80 100 100 0 60 90 100 80  90 100 80 30 10 20 60 0 70 100 60 90 . 90 100 50 80 100 100 100 10 70 80 90 80  50 60 30 20 0 20 0 0 20 30 10 60 70 80 0 70 60 60 100 0 90 60 90 30  30 70 20 50 20 0 30 0 30 40 20 100 100 90 10 70 30 100 90 0 60 70 90 10  69  These data i n d i c a t e a number of trends as o u t l i n e d below: 1. There are several gestures that are interpreted equally w e l l by both groups, that i s , 75% accuracy or greater. These are: QUIET  I ' M TIRED  COME HERE  I ' M SAD  I DON'T KNOW  I ' M AFRAID  I ' M COLD  2. There are a l s o a number of gestures that neither group interpreted w e l l ,  that i s , 25% accuracy or l e s s . These are:  LET'S THINK ABOUT IT  HELLO  LOUDER(CAN'T HEAR YOU)  EVERYBODY  O.K.  BIG AND ROUND  LISTEN  PAST TENSE  I DON'T BELIEVE IT (SURPRISE)  3. The gestures that seemed to d i s c r i m i n a t e w e l l between the two groups are: YOU  GO AWAY  GET UP  I ' M ANGRY  GOODBYE  I ' M HAPPY  SIT DOWN  I ' M HOT  OVER THERE  TASTES GOOD (YUMMY)  STOP  Therefore i n terms of the t h i r d research question we can d e f i n i t e l y s t a t e that there are d i s t i n c t differences between the two groups (ESL vs NS) in terms of t h e i r a b i l i t y to decode the  70  gestures of t h i s study.  In c o n c l u s i o n , the general parameters of the findings of t h i s study can be summarized as f o l l o w s : 1. There are s i g n i f i c a n t differences of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of gestures  (emblems and i l l u s t r a t o r s ) between ESL speakers and  native speakers of E n g l i s h . Age a l s o i s a s i g n i f i c a n t f a c t o r . 2. There seems to be a d e f i n i t e o r d e r i n g , a rank c o r r e l a t i o n of the gestures known with respect to age and e t h n i c i t y . 3. While there are some gestures that both groups decoded i n a s i m i l a r way, there are a l s o a number of gestures which d e f i n i t e l y d i s c r i m i n a t e between the two groups with respect to ethnicity. Further comment and d i s c u s s i o n of these data follow i n the next and l a s t chapter of t h i s p r e s e n t a t i o n .  71  CHAPTER FIVE DISCUSSION, CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS  I Comparison with the Kumin & Lazar study In part due to the s c a r c i t y of relevant s t u d i e s , i t was decided to model the present study as far as p o s s i b l e on the Kumin & Lazar study. Since the r e s u l t s have proven to be s i m i l a r i t increases confidence i n the further  findings of t h i s study.  The a n a l y s i s of variance shown in Table I I I  (see Chapter Four )  i n d i c a t e s s i m i l a r r e s u l t s to that of the Kumin & Lazar study: age i s a s i g n i f i c a n t factor i n a b i l i t y to decode, while sex i s not. For convenience in the rest of t h i s d i s c u s s i o n , the Kumin & Lazar study w i l l be referred to as the o l d study while the present study w i l l be c a l l e d the new study. From t h i s g e n e r a l i z a t i o n the new study departs from the o l d . Instead of channel (encode and decode), the new study d i v i d e d the subjects as native speakers of E n g l i s h and ESL speakers. A very strong main effect was found to r e l a t e to t h i s ethnic d i v i s i o n  (p=.0l)  leading to the p o s s i b l e conclusion that  native speakers are acquainted with more gestures common to t h e i r c u l t u r e than are t h e i r non-English-speaking counterparts. Such a c o n c l u s i o n i s c e r t a i n l y borne out by the l i t e r a t u r e c i t e d e a r l i e r which assures us that nonverbal communication i s c u l t u r e specific. Considering that the age groups i n both studies e x h i b i t e d s i g n i f i c a n t differences i n decoding a b i l i t y , i t was decided to proceed one step further by doing a Spearman's rho rank  72  c o r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t . For t h i s purpose only the 19 emblems both studies had in common were used. These emblems and t h e i r corresponding p e r c e n t i l e scores were o u t l i n e d i n Table V I I . The s i m i l a r i t y in scores as w e l l as the almost u n i v e r s a l trend for the "older" group to do better than the "younger" i s p l a i n even at t h i s l e v e l of computation. This brings up the i n t e r e s t i n g p o s s i b i l i t y that what we are looking at i s part of a developmental a c q u i s i t i o n pattern s i m i l a r to that found i n the verbal domain. The mean scores (%) of the four groups of Table V I I , however do not present evidence towards t h i s "developmental a c q u i s i t i o n theory". Both studies show that the older c h i l d r e n do s i g n i f i c a n t l y better than the younger ones. One could surmise from t h i s t h a t , since the younger group of the new study i s older than the younger group of the o l d study, t h e i r mean score should be higher, which indeed i t i s (compare 55% to 66%). Thus the difference could be a t t r i b u t e d to development. However, based on t h i s l o g i c the older group of the new study should score higher than the older group of the Kumin & Lazar study;they are on average one year older than the Kumin & Lazar group. This i s not the case. Why the older group of the new study has a mean score i d e n t i c a l to that of the older Kumin & Lazar group remains a matter for further e x p l o r a t i o n . I t i s , however, not too farfetched to suppose there i s l e s s of a difference i n a c q u i s i t i o n between age 4 and 5 than there i s between age 3 and 4. Weeks (1979) h i n t s at t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y and p r a c t i c a l experience with c h i l d r e n in t h i s age group points out the verbal  73  p a r a l l e l . There i s a tremendous difference i n v e r b a l a b i l i t y between a three year o l d and a five year o l d , while the difference i s not nearly so dramatic between ages 4 and 5. Also of note are the three g l a r i n g d i s c r e p a n c i e s i n score between the o l d study and the new. The emblems HELLO, LOUDER and I DON'T KNOW were decoded with r a d i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t success by these two study groups. The enactment of HELLO i n the new study might be i n question because the adults who v a l i d a t e d the gestures a l s o had a great deal of d i f f i c u l t y with t h i s emblem. There i s no easy explanation for the other two, however. The rank scores (Table VI) bear out these discrepancies but nontheless show a s i g n i f i c a n t o v e r a l l c o r r e l a t i o n .  II The Present Study Before d i s c u s s i n g the i m p l i c a t i o n s , both t h e o r e t i c a l and p r a c t i c a l , of the findings of t h i s study, the r e s u l t s and p o s s i b l e conclusions implied are b r i e f l y reviewed here. F i r s t , the r e s u l t s of the a n a l y s i s of variance (Table I I I ) i n d i c a t e d a moderate effect for age (p=.05) and a very strong effect with respect to e t h n i c i t y ( p = . 0 l ) . As the reader  will  r e c a l l , t h i s l a t t e r refers to the c u l t u r a l / l i n g u i s t i c difference between the two major study groups (ESL and NS). The stage i s thus set for concluding that both e t h n i c i t y and age are  factors  in the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of gestures of a given c u l t u r a l group. Second, the Spearman's rho rank c o r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t , u n i v e r s a l l y high for a l l groupings ( p = . 0 l ) , seems to i n d i c a t e  74  that a developmental a c q u i s i t i o n pattern in the decoding of gestures i s a d e f i n i t e p o s s i b i l i t y . T h i r d , there are some d e f i n i t e s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences in i n t e r p r e t a t i o n between the two groups based on e t h n i c i t y . As may be r e c a l l e d there were nine gestures,  a l l emblems, which  both groups i n t e r p r e t e d w e l l : YES, QUIET, NO, COME HERE, I DON'T KNOW, I ' M SAD, I ' M AFRAID, I ' M COLD and I ' M TIRED. According to Ekman (1983) these f i t i n t o the categories of emblems found to e x i s t in a l l c u l t u r e s s t u d i e d , though not n e c e s s a r i l y performed in the same way. I t can be supposed then, that the performance of these nine items must be s i m i l a r enough for the subjects of t h i s study to guess at t h e i r intended meanings. Furthermore, research bears out the c r o s s - c u l t u r a l s i m i l a r i t i e s of expression of emotion, i n t o which category the l a s t four emblems l i s t e d f it. The other side of the coin i s items on which neither group did w e l l . I t i s consistent with the research that a l l three i l l u s t r a t o r s included in the study (EVERYBODY, BIG AND ROUND, PAST TENSE) f a l l  i n t o t h i s category. I l l u s t r a t o r s , the  reader  w i l l r e c a l l , g e n e r a l l y accompany speech, are not p a r t i c u l a r i l y conventionalized and therefore are free to vary from one performance to the next. I f performance i s so v a r i a b l e , i t stands to reason that no given performance can be guaranteed to trigger a specific interpretation. The biggest discrepancies i n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n between the two groups occurred with eleven gestures. Of these GOODBYE and STOP are of p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t  i n t h i s context because the former i s  known to be very c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c while the l a t t e r ,  considered  75  an almost u n i v e r s a l t r a f f i c s i g n a l i n large c i t i e s , i s not common in other settings—except  i n schools. One could surmise  that the school s o c i a l i z a t i o n of preschoolers may w e l l not have extended to t h i s emblem y e t . The t a n g e n t i a l question that a r i s e s here concerns which study subjects were l i k e l y to guess c o r r e c t l y the more d i f f i c u l t questions. A perusal of the raw scores for i n d i v i d u a l gestures points out that the high s c o r e r s , almost e x c l u s i v e l y the native speaker group, were the ones who c o r r e c t l y decoded the more difficult  items, while the low scorers c o r r e c t l y decoded almost  none of them. The f i n a l s e c t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s seeks to c o l l a t e the findings of t h i s study with previous research and theory i n an e f f o r t to r e l a t e i t to both further t h e o r e t i c a l work and p r a c t i c a l , r e a l i s t i c use, e s p e c i a l l y i n the classroom.  I l l Drawing Conclusions and What They Imply H e s l i n and Patterson (1982) state that c u l t u r e i s one of the three key subject v a r i a b l e s (along with sex and p e r s o n a l i t y ) that i s d i f f i c u l t  to manipulate i n research, so much so that  "even though we might f i n d differences in terms of one of these dimensions, we cannot a t t r i b u t e the cause for those  differences  to that dimension." (p. 116) The reason simply i s that i n d i v i d u a l s s e l e c t e d for that p a r t i c u l a r v a r i a b l e are very l i k e l y to be d i f f e r e n t i n terms of a host of other v a r i a b l e s as w e l l , any of which could c o n t r i b u t e to the true reason for the  76  demonstrated d i f f e r e n c e . So for instance, with the c u l t u r e (ethnic) v a r i a b l e of t h i s study, the difference that a n a l y s i s (or even raw scores) c l e a r l y shows could be due to differences in educational o p p o r t u n i t i e s , exposure to t e l e v i s i o n , s o c i o economic s t a t u s , i n t e r a c t i o n experience, c r o s s - c u l t u r a l experience or innumerable other f a c t o r s . In fact the same could be s a i d of the other factors considered here, age and sex. Nontheless t h i s study has proceeded because i t can provide valuable o p p o r t u n i t i e s and information, in s h o r t , progress i n the understanding of i n d i v i d u a l and group d i f f e r e n c e s . Therefore, with the above cautions i n mind, the p o s s i b l e conclusions and i m p l i c a t i o n s generated from t h i s undertaking are set out here i n terms of t h e i r p o t e n t i a l i n guiding teacher/student i n t e r a c t i o n , teacher t r a i n i n g and future research i n t h i s area.  A. T h e o r e t i c a l I m p l i c a t i o n s This study i s c l a s s i f i e d as ex post facto research and as such, by d e f i n i t i o n has not introduced the "treatment" that makes one group d i f f e r e n t from another  (Borg & G a l l , 1 9 7 9 ) . That  i s , t h i s design, a l s o known as the causal-comparative method, does not allow i t s user to declare that c o n d i t i o n X , i n t h i s case the differences i n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n between native speakers and ESL speakers,  i s due to factor Y, in t h i s instance, c u l t u r e .  Since c u l t u r e was e a r l i e r defined as everything man has learned to do, t h i s v a r i a b l e was c o n t r o l l e d as far as was  77  f e a s i b l e i n terms of what the subjects had not learned to do, namely speak and i n t e r a c t i n E n g l i s h . The l i t e r a t u r e review amply c l a r i f i e d the intimacy of the l i n k between the verbal and nonverbal components of communication, leading to the l o g i c a l leap on which t h i s study i s based: Non-English speaking c h i l d r e n w i l l not know the " E n g l i s h " nonverbal behaviours i f they do not know the v e r b a l . On the other hand, the studies c i t e d e a r l i e r that deal with young c h i l d r e n , c l e a r l y demonstrate that such youngsters do have a r e p e r t o i r e of nonverbal behaviours, can decode and encode them, and r e l y on them more h e a v i l y than do a d u l t s , to i n t e r p r e t messages. I t takes only another small i n t u i t i v e leap to see that these young c h i l d r e n who do not speak E n g l i s h v e r b a l l y or nonverbally, must have a functioning nonverbal r e p e r t o i r e to go with the language they do speak. There was c e r t a i n l y no h e s i t a t i o n on the part of the ESL subjects i n t h i s study to volunteer  interpretations.  Despite some shyness because of the a l i e n s i t u a t i o n , they seemed to take the t e s t i n g s i t u a t i o n as a l e a r n i n g task,  often  spontaneously copying the a c t i o n j u s t witnessed even i f they d i d n ' t appear to know i t s North American i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . In f a c t , at times t h e i r mimicry of subtle nuances was so accurate that i t l e d the researcher to wonder i f perhaps they d i d know the c o r r e c t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n but for some reason could not or would not transmit i t v e r b a l l y v i a the t r a n s l a t o r . The fact that a t r a n s l a t o r had to be used, of course, could a l s o have served to skew the f i n d i n g s somewhat. Therefore, i n  78  theory, l i t t l e can be assumed but much food for thought with the prospect of further  i n v e s t i g a t i o n has been generated with these  f indings. The r e s u l t of the a n a l y s i s , a h i g h l y s i g n i f i c a n t difference of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n by the two groups, must be treated with appropriate caution though both research and p r a c t i c a l experience give every reason to b e l i e v e that c u l t u r e does indeed make a great deal of difference in nonverbal communication behaviour. Further, the fact that both groups were f a m i l i a r with gestures per se and that the c h i l d r e n were quite aware that these gestures "mean " t h i n g s , f i t s with the research done by Kumin & Lazar as w e l l as many others,  for example Michael &  W i l l i s (1968), A i e l l o & Jones (1971) and Evans & Rubin (1979). Such s i m i l a r f i n d i n g s a l s o allow for the very cautious g e n e r a l i z a t i o n that the same may be true of a l l young c h i l d r e n . F i n a l l y , the further manipulation of the data to obtain rank c o r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t s y i e l d e d very promising r e s u l t s .  It  has been e s t a b l i s h e d that a l l c h i l d r e n go through d e f i n i t i v e stages i n a c q u i r i n g language, from b a b b l i n g , through h o l o p h r a s t i c and two-word sentences to telegraphic and f i n a l l y a d u l t - l i k e speech (Fromkin & Rodman,1978). Considering that c h i l d r e n acquire nonverbal communication s t r a t e g i e s even before the v e r b a l , i t i s reasonable to conjecture that there may be a s i m i l a r a c q u i s i t i o n p a t t e r n ,  as  yet undocumented, in the nonverbal domain. L i t t l e research has been done i n p u r s u i t of such a c q u i s i t i o n patterns but the high c o r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t s of t h i s study point out the i n t r i g u i n g  79  p o s s i b i l i t i e s i n t h i s area.  B. P r a c t i c a l I m p l i c a t i o n s Argyle (1975) considers one reason that there are r a c i a l problems i n countries where there are minority c u l t u r e s ,  i s the  fact that the m i n o r i t i e s are d i s l i k e d "because members of the majority c u l t u r e s cannot understand the m i n o r i t y group's nonverbal behaviour."  (p.96)  Why pick on t h i s p a r t i c u l a r aspect of c u l t u r a l difference? The reason i s that so much of nonverbal communication occurs below the l e v e l of conscious awareness. This r e s u l t s i n f e e l i n g i l l at ease or d i s l i k i n g someone without r e a l l y knowing why because not only do people speak i n d i f f e r e n t languages but they "converse" with d i f f e r e n t  bodies.  The present study has sought to point t h i s out,  the  i m p l i c a t i o n being that teachers of m i n o r i t y c h i l d r e n and e s p e c i a l l y ESL c h i l d r e n need to know t h i s difference  exists  before they can endeavour to act upon that information. And how can they act? They can proceed i n three ways. F i r s t , knowing there are d i f f e r e n c e s ,  teachers can make a  conscious e f f o r t to not jump to conclusions about  their  students' behaviour. 'He just ignored me when I motioned him to s i t down. He's rude and uncooperative.' Further, they can save themselves and t h e i r students a l o t of pain by not t r y i n g to force the learners i n t o a "normal" behaviour mode, l i k e a coat that doesn't  f i t , which i s i n  80  r e a l i t y only one c u l t u r e ' s (the t e a c h e r ' s )  v e r s i o n of what i s  "normal". This i s not to deny the fact that the teacher as part of teaching communicative competence should s p e c i f i c a l l y  teach  appropriate nonverbal behaviours, but rather to point out that these behaviours are appropriate with t h i s language in t h i s context. No c u l t u r a l behaviour i s i n h e r e n t l y wrong but i t may be c o n t r a i n d i c a t e d i n a given s e t t i n g i n a given language. Second, teachers can u t i l i z e the b i t s of p r a c t i c a l information gleaned from studies such as t h i s to modify t h e i r classroom behaviour. Knowing that c e r t a i n gestures t y p i c a l l y used in the classroom are e a s i l y understood even by ESL speakers, teachers can set out to use them more d e l i b e r a t e l y than before. By the same token, knowledge of gestures that are not understood c r o s s - c u l t u r a l l y should serve to curb t h e i r classroom use to avoid confusion, mistrust and other forms of misunderstanding. Unfortunately, what sounds good i n theory i s not always r e l a t e d to p r a c t i c e . Take, for example, the back over the shoulders hand gesture that i s used by many ESL teachers to exemplify the past tense. Granted, i t i s d i f f i c u l t  to convey  t h i s concept with only words, e s p e c i a l l y when those words are not yet understood too w e l l , but the prevalent use of t h i s gesture i n ESL classrooms i s not an accurate i n d i c a t o r of i t s universal understandability. On the c o n t r a r y , i t i s w e l l known that many c u l t u r e s do not consider the past as being behind them, rather i t i s the  future  that i s located there because, as they see i t , we know our past and therefore can metaphorically see i t before us, but we cannot  81  see our future. Yet t h i s gesture  (an i l l u s t r a t o r ) was included  in t h i s study p r e c i s e l y because the ESL teachers surveyed i n s i s t e d on i t s frequent use. Not a s i n g l e subject i n the study, ESL and native speaker a l i k e , had any idea of i t s intended meaning. T h i r d , knowing that even young c h i l d r e n have acquired q u i t e a large r e p e r t o i r e of gestures and are adept at decoding them, teachers can use t h i s f a c i l i t y of the c h i l d r e n to have them act r-  as peer t u t o r s , e s p e c i a l l y for the newcomers from the minority groups. Studies c i t e d e a r l i e r show that not only w i l l t h i s help make the new students feel more at ease with t h e i r s i t u a t i o n but a l s o that c h i l d r e n are better  i n t e r p r e t e r s of nonverbal  behaviour than are a d u l t s . This a b i l i t y implies that a peer tutor w i l l be more l i k e l y to "see" incomprehension and confusion on the part of the newcomer than w i l l the  teacher.  In terms of teacher t r a i n i n g , studies such as t h i s should r e i n f o r c e the ever growing need for teachers to have more awareness and t r a i n i n g i n c r o s s - c u l t u r a l communication. Pennycock (1985) puts i t w e l l , being c e r t a i n that teachers so t r a i n e d w i l l be better teachers because "they w i l l  increase  t h e i r s k i l l s as d i r e c t o r s of classroom behaviour; they w i l l be better equipped to i n t e r p r e t student messages, which i s e s p e c i a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t when those students come from d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r a l backgrounds; they w i l l help t h e i r students become more c u l t u r a l l y aware; and they w i l l be more able to f a c i l i t a t e the a c q u i s i t i o n of C2 (second c u l t u r e ) i n t h e i r students."  (p. 277)  In short, the common denominator with respect to the teaching of students of other c u l t u r e s i s that the teacher can  82  misread the nonverbal communication of the students with r e s u l t i n g i n c o r r e c t inferences being drawn about the students in terms of t h e i r a t t i t u d e s and a b i l i t i e s . This can be a c o s t l y mistake, c o s t l y for the student because, as the research makes c l e a r , students w i l l l i v e up to o r , i n t h i s case, down to t h e i r teachers'  expectations. To avoid such a v i c i o u s c y c l e the onus  i s on the teacher to be more aware and seek t r a i n i n g i n c r o s s c u l t u r a l differences where necessary. The reward i s that both the teaching and l e a r n i n g processes w i l l be enhanced.  C. Suggestions for further  research  This study has, as mentioned e a r l i e r , generated as many questions as answers. In such a new and l i t t l e explored f i e l d a l l avenues lead to new f i n d i n g s . I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to observe t h a t , based on the r e s u l t s of t h i s study, some gestures of North American c u l t u r e are s i m i l a r l y decoded by other c u l t u r e s . This would need r e p l i c a t i n g to assure i t s r e l i a b i l i t y . On the other hand, past studies seem to c l e a r l y i n d i c a t e that the primary emotions of happiness, sadness,  fear, s u r p r i s e , anger and disgust are p a n c u l t u r a l  u n i v e r s a l s . Y e t , two of these (anger, happiness) were not w e l l decoded by a l l the subjects. Of course the f a u l t may simply l i e with the encoder. Those two gestures were, i n f a c t , part of the group of gestures that d i s c r i m i n a t e d best between the two groups, native speaker and ESL speaker. Therefore i t seems i n order that they a l l be i n v e s t i g a t e d further to determine which  83 t r u l y are d i s c r i m i n a t o r s between the groups or i f one or several of the l i m i t a t i o n s of t h i s study has confouded the r e s u l t s . Methodological considerations complicate t h i s issue f u r t h e r . I t may be, for instance, that simply g i v i n g more contextual information would f a c i l i t a t e decoding. Furthermore, whether these gestures in p a r t i c u l a r , or any others of t h i s study, are associated with s p e c i f i c s e t t i n g s playground, t e l e v i s i o n , e t c . )  (school, home,  i s not c l e a r . One avenue for  research i n t h i s regard would be to attempt to create a l i s t of gestures which seeks to l i n k the a c q u i s i t i o n of gestures with specific  contexts.  What must a l s o be remembered i s that t h i s study i s based s o l e l y on the North American i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the  gestures  employed. No attempt has been made to assess the how and what of alternate  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s . Here again several p o t e n t i a l studies  come to mind: 1. Are ESL students as p r o f i c i e n t at encoding these gestures as native speakers? 2. Would the r e s u l t s of t h i s study be d i f f e r e n t i f an ESL learner had been the encoder on the videotape? 3. Would c u l t u r a l l y d i f f e r e n t groups of c h i l d r e n be better  able  to decode these t h i r t y - s i x gestures i f the encoder were a c h i l d , whether native speaker or ESL? In reviewing t h i s study i n terms of r e p l i c a t i n g or improving, the following areas deserve c o n s i d e r a t i o n : 1. Some attempt should be made to c o n t r o l the s o c i a l i z a t i o n of the c h i l d r e n . The more r e t i c e n t ones may know as much but be l e s s able to deal with the a l i e n i n t e r a c t i o n s i t u a t i o n .  84  2. A t t e n t i o n span may influence the r e s u l t s . Despite keeping the t e s t i n g time down to a minimum, some youngsters stopped attending at i n t e r v a l s . Furthermore, the constant reminding to attend may influence the r e s u l t s . Therefore an attempt to c o n t r o l these factors could r e s u l t i n a d i f f e r e n t outcome. 3. The socio-economic backgrounds of the c h i l d r e n may affect r e s u l t s . The native speakers of t h i s study were a l l from middle c l a s s or above backgrounds while the ESL speakers h a i l e d for the most part from working c l a s s neighbourhoods. An attempt to c o n t r o l t h i s type of c u l t u r a l background i n study  subjects  should be made. 4. There i s no explanation as to why the f i v e year olds of t h i s study d i d not do better than the four year olds of the Kumin & Lazar study. A study with m u l t i p l e age groups could attempt to e l u c i d a t e t h i s matter. Extending t h i s study e i t h e r l o n g i t u d i n a l l y or c r o s s - s e c t i o n a l l y could a l s o prove of benefit in determining i f developmental a c q u i s i t i o n patterns do e x i s t . 5. The s p e c i f i c v a r i a b l e s of the t e s t i n g s i t u a t i o n i n t h i s study a l s o deserve further s c r u t i n y . As queried i n the recommendations above, how would the r e s u l t s d i f f e r  i f a l i v e performance were  used instead of a videotape, a c h i l d was the encoder instead of an a d u l t , an encoder of a m i n o r i t y group were used instead of one of a North American background, the t o t a l context of the s i t u a t i o n were a v a i l a b l e instead of the l i m i t e d v e r s i o n used here? In reference to point four above, i t must be remembered that very l i t t l e i s known about nonverbal a c q u i s i t i o n outside of North America. The few s t u d i e s . c i t e d here demonstrate an e a r l y  85  a c q u i s i t i o n of nonverbal behaviours for North American c h i l d r e n . This study has suggested the p o s s i b i l i t y of an a c q u i s i t i o n pattern for both native speakers of E n g l i s h and non-English speakers, but we cannot assume that young c h i l d r e n i n other c u l t u r e s acquire s i m i l a r nonverbal knowledge or acquire i t i n similar patterns.  I t would require much further  i n v e s t i g a t i o n to  e s t a b l i s h the p o s s i b i l i t y of a d e f i n i t i v e r e p e r t o i r e of behaviours l i n k e d to development i n t h i s c u l t u r e , l e t alone in other c u l t u r e groups. And what of other c u l t u r e groups? It i s necessary f i r s t to i n i t i a t e studies that look s p e c i f i c a l l y at the a c q u i s i t i o n of gestures of other c u l t u r a l groups: how, when and i n what context they are acquired and how they are decoded and encoded. Only then can research go forward to compare and contrast  the  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of gestures across c u l t u r e s . F i n a l l y , the underlying theme of t h i s study has been the promotion of communication as a whole w i t h i n the classroom s e t t i n g . Studies should be conducted t o determine whether the use of gestures does in fact enhace comprehension and communication. Despite the methodological d i f f i c u l t i e s o u t l i n e d , much of value to both student and teacher s t i l l waits to be disclosed.  D. C l o s i n g Remarks Both teacher and student b r i n g t h e i r s o c i a l v a l u e s , norms and expectations to the t e a c h i n g / l e a r n i n g s i t u a t i o n . These are  86  to a s i g n i f i c a n t extent conveyed v i a nonverbal communication. I t i s unfortunate,  but t r u e , that by far the majority of teachers  in the p u b l i c school system s t i l l h a i l from the dominant middle c l a s s , Caucasian, English-speaking c u l t u r e of Canada, while more and more of t h e i r students come from a m u l t i p l i c i t y of c u l t u r a l and ethnic backgrounds. The days of t y p i f y i n g "the problem k i d s " as those from the p r o v e r b i a l wrong side of the t r a c k s , while not e n t i r e l y gone, are g i v i n g way to a more enlightened approach to the "disadvantaged" backgrounds of these students. term disadvantaged i t s e l f  Still,  the  implies that what the learners of the  dominant s o c i a l group have i s somehow better or "normal". This s i m p l i s t i c summation of a highly complex problem i s one that a l l teachers should q u e s t i o n . The nonverbal i s not only a systematic part of the t o t a l act of communication but a l s o a learned, culture-based set of behaviours. Therefore we are r e a l l y d e a l i n g with that somewhat nebulous and a l l encompassing concept " c u l t u r a l d i f f e r e n c e s . " This study has sought to shed some small i l l u m i n a t i o n on one aspect of " c u l t u r a l d i f f e r e n c e s " , the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of emblems and i l l u s t r a t o r s . I t has long been assumed that nonverbal communication i s " n a t u r a l " and that one does not have to learn how to communicate f e e l i n g s , use gestures to i l l u s t r a t e conversation and the l i k e . Yet i t i s now abundantly c l e a r that we know these things and have learned them i n a s p e c i f i c c u l t u r a l framework. Furthermore, c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c behaviour can lead to serious misunderstanding when members of two d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r e s , even though they speak the same language, t r y to  interact.  87  Since the f i r s t glimmer of i n t e r e s t i n the value of nonverbal communication i n education some twenty years ago, a great deal of useful information has been generated. However, the ethnic composition of classrooms has changed d r a m a t i c a l l y in that time and the research has not accurately r e f l e c t e d difference,  that  rather i t has been l a r g e l y ignored. With a  m u l t i c u l t u r a l p o l i c y in p l a c e , the presently burgeoning  interest  in the c r o s s - c u l t u r a l aspect of communication i s hardly surprising. It i s known that s o c i a l c l a s s , sex, race and/or difference  serve as d i s c r i m i n a t i n g factors  the differences  ethnic  in schools because of  in c u l t u r a l expectations w i t h i n a school system  that has been set up by the dominant c u l t u r a l group (Galloway,1984). Not nearly enough i s known to enable teachers and students to avoid misleading each other to t h e i r own detriment as i n d i v i d u a l s and as t e a c h e r s / l e a r n e r s . This study has made a small c o n t r i b u t i o n i n terms of knowledge, the sort of knowledge that w i l l hopefully help f a c i l i t a t e i n t e r a c t i o n and communication among c u l t u r a l groups in the classroom, e s p e c i a l l y the teacher-student.dyad. For i f there i s not good communication, there i s , at best,  haphazard  l e a r n i n g . 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E . & Brooks,D.M., "Nonverbal Communication in Teaching", Review of Research i n Education , V o l . 1 0 , E.W. Gordon ( E d . ) , Washington,D.C.:American Education Research A s s o c i a t i o n , 1983. Woodall,W.G. & B u r g o o n , J . K . , "The E f f e c t s of Nonverbal Synchrony on Message Comprehension and Persuasiveness", Journal of Nonverbal Behaviour ,1981:5:4:207-221. Wyckoff,W.L., "The Effect of Stimulus V a r i a t i o n on Learning from Lecture", Journal of Experimental Education , 1973:41:3:8590.  APPENDIX A - MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONNAIRE FOR  nc no m 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7)  a)  9) 10)  II)  12) 13) 14) 15) 16) 17) 10) 19) 20) 21) 22 ) 23) 24) 25) 26) 27) 2fl) 29) 30) 31) 32) 33 ) 34 ) 35) 36)  EMBLEM/ILLUSTRATOR TEST  l a a B e s s a B a S B a B B B B t i B i i D a i i H K i i B B a a a i  c ) . I agree d) H e l l o e) a)y es b) no c) Quletl d) no e) a) mouth b) I'm t h i n k i n g b) s m e l l s bad c ) H o l d your b r e a t h I d) H o l d your nose e) a) a sneeze b) s m e l l s bad c ) Nol d) Yosl e). a) That's a no-nol a) L e t ' s t h i n k about I t . b) I have'a headache, c ) C l o s e your eyes. d) I wonder? e) a) That h u r t s my e a r s , b) l o u d e r ( c a n ' t hear you) c ) coma on d) a l l say It e) a) O.K. b) the l e t t e r "0" c ) You're wonderful I d) I l i k e I t . e) a) Can you hear ma? b) I'm t a l k i n g , c ) L i s t e n ) d) Louder 1 e)_ a) How a r e you? b) H a l l o , c ) Goodbye, d) Sea you around, o) • • a) a l l of you b) they c ) you d) wo e) a) S i t down. b) Gat up. c ) a l l t o g e t h e r d) t h i s way up e) a) If you say so b) I don't b e l i e v e It I (.surprise) c ) I don t b e l leva I t l ( y o u ' r e l y i n g ) d) III I e)_ a) Goodbye. b) H e l l o , c ) Can you come here? d) T i l l s Is my hand, e) b) you c ) we d) us e) • . a) me/I a) Get up I b) S i t down I c ) Come here I d) Q u i e t e n down I b) my arm c ) r i g h t here d) What time Is I t ? a) my w r i s t b) you c ) b r i n g t o g e t h e r d) Come here. e), a) everybody b) b i g and round c) a c i r c l e d) a sc|uare e) a) t a l l d) I t ' s gone. e)_ c ) I t ' s over t h e r e a) I t ' s r i g h t here, b) I t ' s c l o s e by. b) p a s t tense c ) I'm h o t . d) f u t u r e t e n s e e) a) b e h i n d me a) That's not good, b) That's good, ( w e l l done) c) so-so d) poor work o)_ a) Get g o i n g . b) Stop, c ) Q u i e t , d) I'm In charge. e) c ) Go away. d) Come here e) a) What Is I t ? b) Shake your w r i s t . c) I'm angry, d) I was wrong a) I'm s a d . b) I'm s o r r y to hear t h a t ! e)_ b) I'm s o r r y , c ) I'm sad. d) I ' l l come, t o o . e) a) I'm a f r a i d , b) Coma h e r e . c ) a l l together d) we e) a) Go t h e r e . b) I'm happy, c ) I'm angry. d) I'm h u r t , e) . a) I'm sad. a) Don't do that I b) The c l o c k t i c k s l i k e t h i s . c) T h i s Is my f i n g e r . d) H o l d up your f i n g e r . e)_ c ) I'm t i r e d . d) I'm happy, a) I'm s a d . b) I'm a f r a i d . e) a) I ' l l t e l l you. b) maybe c ) That's O.K. d) I don't know . e) b) I'm t i r e d . c) I'm c o l d . d) I'm hot. e) a) I'm s l e e p y , s o r t of b) No. c ) I don't know. d) Yes, It I s . ~BT a) w e l l b) I'm h o t . c ) T h i s i s how you do I t . d) O.K. e) a) What a d a y l c ) My head h u r t s . a) I t ' s too l o u d I b) My e a r s a r e c o l d , d) L i s t e n . e) b) S t r e t c h your arms, c ) I'm t i r e d . a) I'm c o l d . d) I'm h o t . e) a) t a s t e s good b) t a s t e s awful c ) Rub your tummy (stomach), d) L i c k your l i p s . e)_  

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