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  1. #1
    anupumh's Avatar
    anupumh is offline Senior Member
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    Arrow Breakdown in Communication

    Hi all,

    From all you experts, I would like to know your views on what are the various factors which lead to a breakdown in communication between a native speaker and a non native speaker and why do you think so?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Re: Breakdown in Communication

    There are a number of possible reasons for communication problems. Perhaps one of the individuals is not listening very well. Perhaps A is not making himself clear to B. I would need more information to form a definite opinion of what the problem is.



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    Re: Breakdown in Communication

    Quote Originally Posted by anupumh View Post
    Hi all,

    From all you experts, I would like to know your views on what are the various factors which lead to a breakdown in communication between a native speaker and a non native speaker and why do you think so?

    Thanks
    Pronunciation - This would have more to do with the non-native English speaker.

    Now, for the native speakers of English.

    Sometimes native speakers of English might presume, without giving it a thought, that they have communicated effectively with someone whose first language is not English. This turns out not to be the case sometimes, and the non-native speaker of English might not be direct enough to say, "I didn't understand. Can you tell me again, please?"

    So in other words, native English speakers might speak with an intermediate level ESL speaker and not understand that this speaker might not understand everything. Those not involved in ESL sometimes hear someone speak and assume that this person "knows English".

    I once heard a classroom volunteer-tutor say to a high beginner student something like, "You sound like you speak English. Why are you here? You speak well."

    That's well, but not quite so well enough - yet.

    Sometimes non-native speakers understand "would", but not for practical purposes in real life. So the native English speaker could say or ask something that is hypothetical, and get a reply with "will". And that's just not the same meaning as "would". This can, possibly, cause misunderstanding, and, I would say, maybe even no understanding. It depends on what one is communicating and the situation.

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    Re: Breakdown in Communication

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee View Post
    There are a number of possible reasons for communication problems. Perhaps one of the individuals is not listening very well. Perhaps A is not making himself clear to B. I would need more information to form a definite opinion of what the problem is.


    Speaking of listening, sometimes ESL speakers don't understand "relaxed" pronunciation or typical reductions, such as "how'əve yə been?" That's just one example, but it's the sort of thing that could make listening more challenging. More examples such as that one combined with speaking at normal native speaker speed can make listening and understanding difficult.

    Here's another one:

    I asked someone to repeat what I said once. I said "Look at the stars", and she said "Look the stars". And I said I didn't say that. I said "Look at the stars". Well, I almost said that. I really said, "Look_ət_the stars".

    We use the weak form of "at" and combine both t sounds to make one. So if ESL speakers are not aware of schwa 'ə' and linking sounds together, their picture of English sounds is distorted. They won't always hear precisely what a native English speaker is saying.

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    Re: Breakdown in Communication

    Someone once told me that being less direct and focusing on politeness is more important in English than it is in his language. This was his perception, and maybe it's accurate to some extent. Not saying something in the "right way" could contribute to a breakdown in communication.


    http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/fu...tml#post508313
    Last edited by PROESL; 29-Aug-2009 at 00:42.

  6. #6
    anupumh's Avatar
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    Re: Breakdown in Communication

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee View Post
    There are a number of possible reasons for communication problems. Perhaps one of the individuals is not listening very well. Perhaps A is not making himself clear to B. I would need more information to form a definite opinion of what the problem is.


    What I wish to know is that from the various aspects of english communication ( pronunciation i.e. consonant and vowel sounds, syllable stress, word stress, sentence stress, intonation, rhythm, prosody, grammar, syntax, sematics, vocabulary, etc) which ones affect the intelligibility of the non native speaker and in which order. Thus what are the things which may lead to a break down in communication.

    Here one can omit the behavioral factors.

  7. #7
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Breakdown in Communication

    Cutural- people can misunderstand or misread things from cultures they are not familiar with.

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