Talking Past Each Other: Problems of Cross-cultural Communication
A classic text for early childhood centres who are looking at issues relating to cross cultural communication. This book was first published in 1978 but still addresses issues that are relevant today and the phrase 'talking past each other' has now become part of the language of educationalists. The phenomenon of 'listening through our ears but hearing through our culture' is still evident in many early childhood centres throughout New Zealand today because these services are 'predominantly Pakeha and vary widely in their knowledge of other cultures'. In their book Metge and Kinloch examine: verbal and non-verbal communication, the use of eye contact, interpreting and reacting to silence, decision making, and time management, in cross cultural contexts. The authors note that 'Paradoxically in cross cultural conversations between providers of early childhood services and parents ... the closer the speakers are, the more familiar they become, the more blind they may be to the occurrence of miscommunication between them'.
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