Willingness to Communicate between Chinese and Americans in cross-cultural communication and Relating Factors

Business PartnersWith the process of globalization, people have more opportunities and reasons to travel around the world and thus more opportunity to communicate with people from other countries. In this case, cross-cultural communication is becoming more and more important. Among the popular purposes of going abroad, study is the one gaining the most concern. Statistics indicates that, U.S is the country that accepts most of the international students, and China outputs most of the international students.

By the year 2006, international students consists 3.7% of American population, and among all the international students in U.S, Chinese consists 10.5% of the population. People go to China for study as well. In 2005, in China, there were 140,000 international students from all over the world, and 9.73% of them were from America. Thus, it is even more significant to study cross-cultural communication among Chinese and Americans.

While crosscultural communication is widely spread, problems and hardship in communication situation is becoming obvious and significant. For international students in a foreign country, cultural differences, language competence, and other psychological factors all play a role affecting their willingness to communication, and thus, their personal relationships with local people, even their comfort in daily life.

Objectives This study aimed to discover the differences of the levels of willingness to communicate between Americans and Chinese, and the relating factors. By looking into the dynamic among Chinese and Americans, we can expect to establish a more effective way of conversation between Chinese and Americans to improve the communication condition, and to achieve a better understanding in their cross-cultural communication.

Method The study is consisted of two investigations. The first qualitative investigation interviewed 20 Chinese and 20 American students in University of Wyoming to determine their level of willingness to communicate. The reported variables affecting the subjects’ willingness to communicate were also recorded. The second quantitative investigation sent out questionnaires concerning different variables to both Chinese and Americans in China and US to collect the data.

Result All participants expressed their willingness to communicate in cross-cultural communication. Motivation, communication apprehension, cultural differences, negative evaluation, cultural expectation, language competence were reported to be the most important factors affecting the willingness to communicate between Chinese and Americans. The second investigation is under data collection process, and it will be done by the end of 2006.

According to returned 70 questionnaires, generally, Americans rate their language competence higher, and are more willing to communicate than Chinese are. However, the communication apprehension level is not different between Chinese and Americans.

Created by LU Yu

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