A cross cultural study of making introductions in english and vietnamese = nghiên cứu giao thoa văn hóa về giới thiệu trong tiếng anh và tiếng việt

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HANOI PEDAGOGICAL UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES LÊ THỊ THƯƠNG A CROSS-CULTURAL STUDY OF MAKING INTRODUCTIONS IN ENGLISH AND VIETNAMESE (NGHIÊN CỨU GIAO THOA VĂN HÓA VỀ GIỚI THIỆU TRONG TIẾNG ANH VÀ TIẾNG VIỆT) Field: Linguistics Hanoi, 2019 HANOI PEDAGOGICAL UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES LÊ THỊ THƯƠNG A CROSS-CULTURAL STUDY OF MAKING INTRODUCTIONS IN ENGLISH AND VIETNAMESE (NGHIÊN CỨU GIAO THOA VĂN HÓA VỀ GIỚI THIỆU TRONG TIẾNG ANH VÀ TIẾNG VIỆT) Field: Linguistics SUPERVISOR: ĐỖ TIẾN ĐỨC, MA Hanoi, 2019 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT This thesis could not have been completed without the help and support from a number of people First and foremost, I would like to express to my gratitude to Mr Đỗ Tiến Đức, my supervisor who has supported me through the stages of the study and instructed me carefully to solve some obstacles The study would not have been completed without his help Secondly, my sincere thank is sent to the lecturers in the Faculty of Foreign Language at Ha Noi Pedagogical University for their precious assistance and expert advice during the time I did the study In addition, I would like to thank the participants, the Vietnamese learners of English who spent their precious time helping me complete the study Last but not least, my gratitude is sent to my family and my friends for the sacrifice they have devoted to the fulfillment of this academic work Hanoi, May 2019 Le Thi Thuong i ABSTRACT The study focuses on ways of making introductions in English and Vietnamese First, it deals with some cultural terms, then goes on to examine cultural differences in making introductions in the two languages Last but not least, it points at some problems facing Vietnamese learners of English in making introductions to English native speakers by showing the results of a survey conducted with English major students at Hanoi Pedagogical University Along with the problems found, the researcher would like to suggest some solutions to help Vietnamese learners of English become aware of how to make introduction appropriately in particular and communicate to English native speakers successfully in general ii DECLARATION I hereby certify that the thesis entitled: “A CROSS-CULTURAL STUDY OF MAKING INTRODUCTIONS IN ENGLISH AND VIETNAMESE” is my own study in the fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Art at Hanoi Pedagogical University No part of the study has been copied or reproduced from any other person’s work without acknowledgments Student Le Thi Thuong S u p e r v i s o r LIST O C h a rt F C H A D o R T T i e n S , D u c D I A G R A M S , G R A P H Chart 1: Ways of addressing a superior in age and position Chart 2: Ways of addressing an English friend Chart 3: Ways of addressing a inferior in age and position Chart 4: Different ways of greeting routines Diagrams Diagram 1: Circular relationship Diagram 2: Horizontal relationship – Type I Diagram 3: Horizontal relationship – Type II Diagram 4: The dynamic relationship – Type I in addressing superiors in position to express informality but respect Diagram 5: Variant of dynamic relationship – Type I in addressing inferiors in position to express informality Diagram 6: Dynamic relationship – Type II in addressing with inferior in position to denote respect and informality Graph Graph 1: Ways of shaking hands Tables Table 1: Addressing in a new class Table 2: Addressing at a party Table 3: Addressing in a formal meeting Table 4: Ways of addressing a friend Table 5: Ways of addressing a superior in age and position Table 6: Ways of addressing an inferior in age and position Table 7: Choosing topics of small talk Table 8: Coversational distance between members of family Table 9: Conversational distance between friends Table 10: Conversational distance in a public area TABLE OF CONTENTS PART I INTRODUCTION 1 Rationale of the study History of the study Aims of the study Research questions Scope of the study Methods of the study Organisation of the study PART II DEVELOPMENT CHAPTER THEORETICAL BACKGROUND 1.1 Culture 1.1.1 What is culture? 1.1.2 Characteristics of culture 1.1.3 Culture shock 1.2 Communication 1.2.1 Communication and models of communication 1.2.2 Functions of communication model 1.3 Making introductions 10 1.4 A small talk 12 CHAPTER CULTURAL DIFFERENCES IN MAKING INTRODUCTIONS 13 2.1 Verbal differences 13 2.1.1 Differences in addressing 13 2.1.1.1 Address forms in English 13 2.1.1.2 Address forms in Vietnamese 15 2.1.1.3 Cultural differences 22 2.1.2 Greetings and greeting routines 22 2.1.2.1 Vietnamese greetings and greeting routines 23 2.1.2.3 Cultural differences 26 2.2 Non-verbal differences 27 2.2.1 Gestures 28 2.2.2 Eye contact 29 2.2.3 Facial expressions 30 2.2.4 Communicative Distance 30 CHAPTER SOME PROBLEMS FACING VIETNAMESE LEARNERS OF ENGLISH IN MAKING INTRODUCTIONS TO ENGLISH NATIVE SPEAKERS AND SOME SUGGESTIONS 32 3.1 Introduction 32 3.2 Methodology 32 3.2.1 The participants 32 3.2.2 Data collection 33 3.2.3 Data analysis method 33 3.3 The problems in address forms 33 3.3.1 Addressing in different situations 33 3.3.2 Addressing in terms of difference in age and position 36 3.4 Problems in greetings and greeting routines 38 3.4.1 Greetings in different situations 38 3.4.2 Greetings routines 41 3.5 The problems in choosing topics of small talk 41 3.6 The problems in non-verbal communication 43 3.6.1 Handshake 43 3.6.2 Conversational distance 44 3.7 Conclusion 45 3.8 Suggestions for avoiding problems in making introductions 46 3.8.1 Suggestions for communication 46 90% of Vietnamese participants greet an English superior in this way In addition, 10% of them use “How you do?” which is a simple greeting and has a similar meaning to “Nice to meet you” This is used when meeting someone for the first time and is very formal It may be used in a formal business situation or a formal dinner party event None of them use “Hi” or “How ya doing” which are unacceptable in this situation In conclusion, Vietnamese learners know how to greet a superior in age and position in an appropriate way This means that they are fully aware of using address forms in this situation Situation 3: Greeting an inferior in age and position W Percentages a How are Table Ways of addressing an inferior in age and position It is clear that some common ways greeting informally were used by the participants when they met an inferior in age and position like “How are you” “Hi”, and “Hey” (with 20%, 20%, and 24% respectively) However, the most popular way of greeting in this situation is by saying “Hello” (36%) Vietnamese learners greet an inferior in age and position by different ways To English people, they usually want to create informality during communication Therefore, Vietnamese learners can greet an English person who is inferior to them by saying “Hello”, “Hi”, and “Hey” to express the informality However, English people seldomly use “How are you?” as a way of greeting in this situation 3.4.2 Greetings routnes Chart Different ways of greeting routines As can be seen from the chart, most of the participants chose some questions related to health In addition, only some of them asked some direct questions and meal questions There were only a few of them asking about display questions English greeting routines are mostly involved with health questions or work questions They not ask any specific information about meal questions, direct questions or display questions However, there are still a few of the participants choose to use these questions Surprisingly, none of them choose work questions which are completely acceptable in this situation They maybe misunderstand that English people not have the habit of asking work questions like Vietnamese people 3.5 The problems in choosing topics of small talk Perce ntage W TV progr a Table Choosing topics of small talk As shown in the table, after making introductions, more than 50% of participants talked about work and the weather In addition, the percentages of people discussing habit and sport were 50% and 30% respectively There were 16% of them talking about age and TV programs There was only a small percentage of them often asking about salary(6%) or weight (6%) To English people, it is rude to ask others about their personal information such as, salary, age, weight, in a conversation The above result shows that there are some paticipants still ask an English people these questions This is considered impolite The majority of Vietnamese learners discuss work, weather, habit, or sport These topics are acceptable in English society and depends on the time two interlocutors know each other They can also share about their TV programs after they meet each other the first time They also talk about their habits when they have known each other for a long time In conclusion, Vietnamese learners still have some problems in making introductions to English people The cause of this may be that Vietnamese people seem to be more concerned about each other when they use personal questions However, such questions are unacceptable in Westerner culture 3.6 The problems in non-verbal communication 3.6.1 Handshake Loosely and a few seconds Loosely and more than a few seconds Firmly and a few seconds Firmly and more than a few seconds Graph 1: Ways of shaking hands There were three different ways of shaking hands used by the participants There were 50% of them who shook hands firmly and in a few seconds 40% of them shook hands loosely and in a few seconds The rest shook hands loosely and more than a few seconds No one shook hands firmly and more than a few seconds In English, people only use one hand and hold the other person’s hand for a few seconds They shake hands firmly rather than loosely The result shows that there is 40% of Vietnamese people shaking hands loosely and in a few seconds and 10% of them shaking hands loosely and more than a few seconds These ways considered inappropriate because English people consider a weak handshake a sign of weak character 3.6.2 Conversational distance Situation 1: Conversational distance between members of family Distanc Percentages Over cm Near 50 I t d Table Conversational distance between members of family It is clear that the majority of the participants stood about 50 cm far from their family members ( 60%) There were a few of them standing over 50 cm and 1m The rest reported that the distance depended on circumstances Situation 2: Distance from friends Percentages Table Conversational distance between friends None of the participants reported that they stood meters far from their friends The minority of them stood and meters far from their friends Most of the participants often stood within the distance of 50 cm when having a conversation with their friends Situation 3: In public area Distan Percentages It d e Table 10 Conversational distance in a public area As the table shows, it is obvious that no Vietnamese participants stood meters far from strangers The majority of them reported that they stood from strangers depends on circumstances There were 28% of them standing 50 cm far from others in the public areas while 12% stood meter far from unknown people on the bus It is clear that the distance between conversationalists given by Vietnamese learners stand is quite the same with English people They stand near their friends or family members and stand 1m far and more from strangers However, 16% of Vietnamese learners chose to stand 2m from their friends It is quite strange to an English person Their friends can talk to them within the distance of 50cm to 120 cm Therefore, if Vietnamese learners stand too far from English people when talking to them, they may think that these people are too intimate or not eager to communicate with them, or even unfriendly and alert 3.7 Conclusion In conclusion, after doing the survey and analysing the data collected, some problems facing Vietnamese learners of English in making introductions seem to appear because of lacking cultural knowledge Firstly, Vietnamese learners sometimes not know how to address other people in formal situations In addition, they also address inferiors in age and position and friends in inappropriate ways They not deeply understand the English people address forms and they tend to use Vietnamese address forms instead of English address forms Secondly, Vietnamese learners not know how to use English greeting routines Obviously, they not pay due attention to the questions of greeting routines Moreover, because of lacking cultural knowledge, they usually ask personal information which are not appropriate and which is considered taboos on the culture of English speaking countries Thirdly, the learners often feel difficult in deciding which introductions are formal or informal Especially, they usually make mistakes when making introductions at the level of informality Finally, it will be very difficult for the learners when getting in touch with foreign interlocutors because they may not be used to non-verbal communication in making introductions, especially handshake and conversational distance 3.8 Suggestions for avoiding problems in making introductions 3.8.1 Suggestions for communication For students, cultural differences make them feel uncomfortable, frightened or even insecure To avoid these feelings, both of interlocutors should cooperate to understand each other or share the opinions to obtain the common targets It is the success of communication As the hearer, they should avoid making quick judgement, try to make sense of what people say from their point of view Using the sense of cultural analysis, they should try to appreciate their culture, values and show acceptance of our respect to things that are important to them In order to be able to implement this, they should be aware of cultural differences and accept the fact that each country has different cultural identities and nothing is “right” or “wrong” when he actually does not understand the cultural influences As the speaker, they should try to avoid the acts that might be “face threatening” If he is not sure whether or not it is suitable in the other's culture, the speaker should anticipate the hearer's problems in making sense of what he says so that he is willing to cooperate in communication In order to understand someone's culture, it is important to study it as one begins with learning the language Some suggestions for learning to help students be aware of cultural differences are given in the next section 3.8.2 Suggestions for learning  Paying attention to the differences in culture When their teachers recommend and point out the cultural differences, students should take notes They must also recognise something that is in English only or in Vietnamese only  Trying to understand the language With the knowledge of language only, students can produce something grammatically correct but culturally incorrect The students should know what to say or how to say in a specific context and a habit of saying something For example, the speakers should know that “How are you” is a common greeting in all cases or use “Hello” instead of Vietnamese greeting “Where are you going?”  Practising making introductions in English in class Students should divide the class into some small groups and practise making introductions They need to try to use the knowledge of verbal and non-verbal communication in making introductions as they have been taught Students might point out different situations from formality to informality and play different roles in doing the practice The practice should be implemented with the presence of their teachers because the teachers will guide and correct the students' errors while making introductions  Reading more about cultures There are many kinds of books and magazines discussing cross-culture between Vietnamese and English Students should find and read them in order to widen their knowledge and avoid problems while communicating with foreigners In addition, students should deeply understand Vietnamese people’s cultural identity It will be easy for them to see the differences in comparison with other cultures These are some suggestions that hopefully will help students overcome the problems in making introductions in particular and communicate successfully in general PART III: CONCLUSION Review of the study Making introductions plays an important part in communication because it helps to establish a new relationship and maintain conservations Thefore, it is essential to take great interest in what and how we should make introductions However, making introductions is not separable from the culture of each nation This paper focuses on cultural differences in culture between Vietnamese and English through making introductions and aims at finding out the problems that Vietnamese learners often face and giving suggested solutions By receiving the related terms, the paper has made approaches to the different aspects of culture shock, communication, method of making introductions, and a small talk Each approach might have limitation, but it helps students form the concepts and lays foundation on distinguishing the differences between Vietnamese culture and the English one Besides, it concentrates on describing the cultural differences in making introductions between Vietnamese and English It is the fact that making introductions consist of addressing, greeting, introducing and establishing a small talk The big differences are major in address forms and greetings Therefore, this chapter drew attention to the differences in addressing and greetings It began with the knowledge of Vietnamese address forms and an English one, and Vietnamese greetings and English one The purpose is to create a foundation for readers and then point out the differences in each part It will be insufficient if this chapter does not mention of nonverbal communication However, it is not expected to introduce all kinds of non-verbal communication Only some aspects of non-verbal communication related to making introductions is dealt with Subsequently, the consideration of problem related to making introductions has been made The problems are given on the basis of a survey of learners of English at Hanoi Pedagogical University After analysing the data of the survey and pointing out the problems, some suggested solutions for communication and learning are made in order to help the learners overcome their problems For communication, a cooperation for cultural understanding is ebcouraged to be formulated between interlocutors For learning, it is a suggestion for paying attention to the target language culture with an emphasis on the cross-cultural distinctive features, and trying to practise making introductions in class and to find out documents with an aim to widen their knowledge This paper is expected to be a useful material for Vietnamese learners of English Their knowledge of cultures in making introductions will help them feel confident in communication and know how to communicate successfully Suggestions for further study Intercultural communication is a fascinating and useful subject for learners of foreign languages It helps them avoid mistakes and misunderstandings and feel confident and comfortable in communication However, this paper only focues on making introductions which is a small part in order to make a successful conversation Due to the limited scope of the study, all different aspects of cultural communication can not be included here, and they can be examined in other indepth studies Thus, further studies can be done about the following topics: - Cross-cultural study on making invitations - Cross-cultural study on expressing gratitude - Cross-cultural study on making acquaintance - Cross-cultural study on making requests REFERENCES B.Tylor, E (n.d.) Primitive Culture 1871 Banks, J A & Banks, M.c (1989) Multicultural Education: Issues and Perspectives Đào Duy Anh (1938) Việt nam văn hóa sử cương Hue: Hue University Press Ellis, C (1996) Culture shock! Viet Nam Graphic Arts Center Hall, S (1973) Encoding and decoding in the television discourse Birmingham: University of Birmingham Hoebel, E A (1972) Anthropology: Study of man New York: Mc Graw-Hill Hoàng Thị Kim Dung (2010) A cross-cultural study of addressing form in Greetings in English and Vietnamese Nguyễn, Quang (1996) Intercultural communication Ha Noi: Vietnam National University Nguyễn, Tài Cẩn (1975) Từ loại danh từ tiếng Việt đại Social Sciences Publishing House Nguyễn, Thị Phương Thanh (2016) A study on English and Vietnamese Greetings from a Cross – Cultural Communication Perspective Ha Noi Open University Nguyễn, Thị Thêm (1998) Cơ sở văn hóa Việt Nam Ha Noi: Social Sciences Publishing House Mehrabian, A (1971) Silent messages California: Wadsworth Publishing Company Paget, S R (2006) Language as Sensuous Action Tillit, B (2005) Speaking Naturally Cambridge University Press Trần, Ngọc Thêm (1998) Cơ sở văn hóa Việt Nam Ha Noi: Social Sciences Publishing House UNESCO (1982) Declaration on Cultural Policies World Conference on Cultural Policies Mexico Wright, A (1987) How to communicate successfully Cambridge University Press APPENDIX QUESTIONNAIRE This survey is conducted to see how you make introduction to an ENGLISH NATIVE SPEAKER when you meet him/her in different situations This questionnaire is for the purpose of the study only Your assistance in completing the questionnaire is highly appreciated I How you call an English native speaker when you meet him/her in the following situations? (you can choose more than one answer) In a new class a Full name c family name b Title and family name d First name At a party a Full name c family name b It depends on circumstances d First name At a formal meeting a Title and full name c family name b Title and family name d First name II How you address? (choose the best answer) A superior in age and position a Full name c Title and family name b Title only d First name A friend a Full name c Title and family name b Nick name d First name An inferior in age and social position a Full name c Title and family name b Nick name d First name IV How you greet when you meet following English native speakers? (Choose the best answer) A friend a How you c Good morning/ afternoon/ evening b Hello d How are you? A superior in age and position a Hi c Good morning/ afternoon/ evening b How you doing? d How you do? An inferior in age and position a Hello c How are you? b Hi d Hey V What kinds of greeting routines you usually use when you meet an English person? (Tick on the boxes) Meal questions (e.g: Have you had lunch?) Heath questions (e.g: How are you?) Job questions (e.g: What you do?) Direct questions (e.g: Where are you going? Display questions (e.g: Are you reading newspaper?) VI What kinds of subjects you use after making introduction? W Sa W H VII How you shake hand? Loosely and a few second Loosely and more than a few second Firmly and a few second Firmly and more than a few second IX When you talk, how far you often stand from the other(s) in the following situations? Members of family a over 50cm c m b Near 50 cm d It depends on circumstances Friend a m c m b Near 50 cm d m In public area a It depends on circumstances c 1m b m d 50 cm THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION! ...HANOI PEDAGOGICAL UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES LÊ THỊ THƯƠNG A CROSS- CULTURAL STUDY OF MAKING INTRODUCTIONS IN ENGLISH AND VIETNAMESE (NGHIÊN CỨU GIAO THOA VĂN H A VỀ GIỚI THIỆU TRONG. .. Addressing at a party Table 3: Addressing in a formal meeting Table 4: Ways of addressing a friend Table 5: Ways of addressing a superior in age and position Table 6: Ways of addressing an inferior... and Vietnamese native speakers making invitations Nguyễn Văn Trọng (2012) also investigated the similarities and differences in the way of English and Vietnamese native speakers making invitations
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