Intercultural willingness to communicate for Saudi students in the U. SIntroductionIntercultural willingness to communicate refers to the ability and the desire for individuals to initiate conversations or any form of interactions to people who belong to a culture different from their own when the chance arises. As individual get introduced to new environments, new cultures and the way of life, they are bound to experience culture shock and may hinder their willingness to communicate (Donovan & Maclntyre, 2004). Moreover, they may be hindered by the lack of eloquence and fluency in second language, or may perceive themselves as incompetent in communication and may be feeling inferior based on the results that arises from prior occasions when they were more willing to communicate (Zakahi & Duran, 1985). This report is a literature review based on the intercultural willingness for people to communicate in a second language and willingness to communicate in intercultural interactions.
It seeks to evaluate the willingness to communicate for Saudi students in the United States. Saudi Arabia is among Middle Eastern countries, Riyadh being its capital city. Although people from this region has been weary of western education systems, there has been a tremendous number of students going abroad like in Europe and the United States for further studies as exchange students, working abroad or those seeking further studies, in the recent past (Yu & Hsu, 2008).
This is coupled with the need to promote international relations, learning new inventions and innovations, which are present in western countries to overcome political, economical, technological, social and global challenges in the modern world (Eadie & Paulson, 1984). Literature ReviewThe subject of intercultural willingness to communicate has been a fertile ground for research by theorists.
They seek to understand intercultural relationships and what factors does influence the intercultural willingness for people in two contradicting cultures to communicate. There are numerous studies dedicated to this section, which is meant to influence unity and promote international relations. According to (Zoltán, 2001), more often than not, people will be willing to or refuse to communicate to other different cultures from their on based on the tension caused by the levels of ethnocentrism which the different cultures interacting, have. Ethnocentrism is the concept of a group of people regarding their culture, values, traditions, language and norms being superior to others, and using what their norms are and cultures as a measuring rod to judge, accept and reject others with different or unfamiliar cultures (Donovan & Maclntyre, 2004). Ethnocentrism causes development of negative attitudes, misplaced and uninformed perceptions, prejudice and in worst times, discrimination.
Ethnocentrism occurs in form of indifference directed to those who are perceived inferior, restricting interaction and being hostile to them (Zoltán, 2001). Although studies previously done were on the cultural conflicts and interaction between different cultures from varied nationalities, united States have predominantly been the denominator of the studies (Macintyre, 2007).
Based on Yu and Chia-Fang’s journal, they describe the willingness to communicate as a process where individuals have the urge to initiate conversations, and relations when occasion arises (Yu & Chia-Fang, 2008). More often than not, individuals with more willingness to communicate are more self-motivated, have high self-esteem, self-confidence, are open-minded and are more so receptive enough to different cultures, people and ideas, which are new, different and unfamiliar to them.
It should be understood that having high levels of ethnocentrism does not convert to high levels of intercultural willingness to communicate and vice versa (Burroughs, et al. , 2003).