Body Talk! By Kelly Garbo
To communicate well with people of other countries, you must learn to speak well, right? Yes, but speaking isn’t everything. Some experts say only thirty percent of communication comes from talking. Your gestures and other non-verbal actions matter, too.
But in different cultures, the same action can have different meanings. When you have to meet someone from adifferent culture, be prepared. Do you know what kind of gestures and customs are appropriate?
Let’s look at shaking hands. North Americans like a firm handshake. But the French prefer a light, short handshake. If you shake a French person’s hand the North American way, he or she may not like it. People in Eastern European countries and some Latino cultures prefer shorter handshakes, too. Hugging aftershaking hands is also a common introduction there. Don’t be surprised if a Brazilian gives you a hug. If you misinterpret gestures of introduction, your friendship may get off on the wrong foot!
Everyone around the world knows the “OK” hand gesture, don’t they? But in Spain, parts of South America, and Eastern Europe, the OK sign is considered rude. And if you go shopping in Japan, it means you’dlike your change in coins instead of bills. In France, making the OK sign means “zero” or that something is worthless. So check before you use the OK sign to be sure it’s OK!
Understanding even a few key gestures from different cultures can make you a better communicator. So next time you travel, try being culturally sensitive. Find out the local gesture and let your body talk.
Are thefollowing statements true according to Kelly Garbo. Explain why.
1. Seventy percent of communication comes from non-verbal actions.
Because with these gestures and actions the people can understand more than the different languages that we learn to speak.
2. If you don’t speak someone’s language, it’s always safe to use gestures.
Not always, because depend of place where you are. Countries havedifferent meanings for some gestures.
3. French people generally don’t like firm handshakes.
Because they prefer a short and light handshake
4. Brazilians never shake hands.
Brazilians normally give you hugs, after shaking hands.
5. Japanese people think the OK sign is rude.
This people commonly give a bad meaning at typical OK, they think that OK means that you’d like your changein coins instead of bills.
The rainforest children
John Allen is 43 years old and he has four children: two daughters and two sons. John is a plant scientist and he lives with three of his children in the South American rainforest. Their ”house” is a group of tents near the River Orinoco in Venezuela. John’s wife and one of his daughters prefer to live in London.
John’s children don’t go toschool because john is their teacher. He teaches them everything he knows, including how to survive in South America.
The children don’t know how to use a PlayStation, but hey can all drive, even his 9-year-old son, Simon. At night they drive their car 50 meters from the kitchen tent to the bedroom tent because there are a lot of wild animals in the area. They spend their free time playing andreading books and in the evening they listen to the news on the radio. They don’t have a TV or CD player. In the summer the children’s friends come from London to visit. When they go home they tell their parents incredible stories of their holidays in the Venezuelan rainforest.
Write T (true) of F (False).
1. John is a biology teacher. F
2. John’s four children live in Venezuela. F
3.They live in a house. F
4. John teaches the children in a school. F
5. The children don’t play computer games. T
6. Simon doesn’t drive. F
7. They don’t watch TV. T
8. The children’s friends visit their parents. T
What do you think the highlighted words mean? Check with your dictionary.
2. Casas de campaña
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