The two topics I found most interesting were “Multilingualism” and “High and Low Context Communication Styles.” In the first topic, I discovered that there are numerous ways to learn a new language. For some people, proficiency in more than one language is necessary because of where they live. For instance, a person from Nigeria or Luxembourg, where residents speak multiple languages, will automatically converse in the different languages at an early age. As an adult, learning a new language may be more challenging because of differences in syntax (Jones & Gigs, 2020). Nevertheless, there are numerous advantages to being multilingual, especially in the age of globalization. I have always been interested in learning how to communicate in Italian. However, I have found that apps such as Busuu and Duolingo are not engaging enough. I now know that engaging with a native speaker can quicken my learning progress. I have a friend who speaks fluent Italian, having spent two years in Italy. I am certain that she will help me improve my mastery of Italian.
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The second topic I found interesting explained that some cultures rely heavily on nonverbal means of communication, while in others, the speaker is tasked with making their message as clear as possible. High-context cultures tend to incorporate body language in communication, while low-context cultures use explicit communication (Godwin-Jones & Gigs, 2020). In addition to culture, the context of communication depends on the relationship between individuals. I have noticed that I tend to utilize a low-context communication style. I prefer it when a speaker expresses exactly what they mean in words and I have always dismissed high-context styles as being ambiguous. It is unfair to fail to listen attentively to people who do not communicate in a similar manner as me. I aim to be more open-minded in my communication in the future. By listening to others and watching their body language, perhaps I will understand even what remains unspoken by words.
Godwin-Jones, R., & Gigs, B. (2020). Language and culture in context- A primer on intercultural communication. Virginia Commonwealth University.