VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
A CROSS CULTURAL STUDY ON AMERICAN AND VIETNAMESE STUDENTS’ BODY LANGUAGE IN ORAL PRESENTATION
SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF ARTS (TEFL)
SUPERVISOR: NGUY N BÁCH TH O, MA.
Hanoi, May – 2010 1
I hereby state that I: Thanh Uyên, from group 06.1.E13, English Department, HULIS, being a candidate for the degree of Bachelor of Arts (TEFL) accept the requirements of the College relating to the retention and use of Bachelor’s Graduation Paper deposited in the library. In terms of these conditions, I agree that the origin of my paper deposited in the library should be accessible for the purposes of study and research, in accordance with the normal conditions established by the librarian for the care, loan or reproduction of the paper. Signature Thanh Uyên
This paper would not have been completed without the support of many people, to all of whom I am profoundly indebted. First and foremost, my deepest gratitude goes to Ms. Nguyen Bach Thao, my supervisor, for her willingness to help me with the early phases and revisions of this thesis. Without her expertise, selflessness and encouragement, I would not have been able to finish this paper. My particular thank goes to Heather Lewis, who studies at Coe College and visited our HULIS last year, for her enthusiasm in delivering my survey questionnaires to her American friends at Coe College and helping me with the observation of presentation to collect data for my research. Special thanks also go to my friends who have nonstop helped me distribute and collect the research surveys. Last but not least, I am truly grateful to my family and friends for their continual encouragement during the time I conducted the research.
This research is aimed at investigating the preferable types of body language used by American and Vietnamese students when they deliver oral presentations at school – an academic environment. By identifying the cultural similarities and differences, the study makes suggestions on how to employ body language to have a successful oral presentation when the audiences are American. This research involved the participation of 32 American students at COE and 95 Vietnamese students at HULIS. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were employed by using two kinds of data collection instrument: survey questionnaire and observation. It was found that the frequency of using body language in oral presentation of American students is different from that of Vietnamese students, though they do share some similarities. Both Vietnamese and American students were aware of using body language in oral presentation, however, American employed types of body language more naturally and effectively than Vietnamese students.
TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION ......................................................... 8
Rationale.................................................................................................... 8 Aims and objectives of the study .............................................................. 9 Scopes of the study.................................................................................... 9 Research methodology ............................................................................ 10 Research design .................................................................................... 10 Data collection instruments .................................................................. 10 Data analysis methods .......................................................................... 10 Significance of the study ......................................................................... 10 An overview of the rest of the paper ....................................................... 11 CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW ............................................. 12 Key concepts ........................................................................................... 12 Communication ..................................................................................... 12 Definition ........................................................................................ 12 Classification ................................................................................... 14 Verbal communication ................................................................ 15 Nonverbal communication .......................................................... 15 Definition of nonverbal communication ................................. 15 Difference between verbal and nonverbal communication .... 16 The importance of nonverbal communication ........................ 18 Functions of nonverbal communication.................................. 20 Types of nonverbal communication........................................ 21 Body language – an element of nonverbal communication.... 23 Cultural differences in body language .................................... 24 Oral presentation as a form of communication .................................... 25 Definition of oral presentation ........................................................ 25 Modes of oral presentation .............................................................. 25 Oral presentation in school setting .................................................. 27 Characteristics of an effective presentation .................................... 27 Body language used in oral presentation at school ......................... 28 An overview of previous studies ............................................................. 35 How the present study fits into the research area .................................... 37 CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY Participants .............................................................................................. 38 Data collection instruments ..................................................................... 39 Procedures of data collection .................................................................. 41 Procedures of data analysis ..................................................................... 42 CHAPTER 4: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION .................................... 43 Research’s findings ................................................................................. 43 From the survey questionnaires ............................................................ 43 From observations................................................................................. 50 5
Discussion ............................................................................................... 52 Implications: How to use body to communicate effectively in oral presentations at schools ........................................................................... 57 CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION ........................................................... 62 Major findings of the research ................................................................ 62 Limitations of the research ...................................................................... 63 Suggestions for further research ............................................................. 63 REFERENCES ................................................................................ 65 APPENDICES ................................................................................. 68
LIST OF TABLES AND CHARTS
TABLES: Table 3.1: A classification of the surveyed American and Vietnamese students Table 4.1: Assessment of the importance of body language in the success of an oral presentation Table 4.2: Types of emphasizing gestures used in oral presentation Table 4.3: The most commonly used posture in oral presentation CHARTS: Chart 4.1: Frequency of using body language in oral presentation Chart 4.2: The most paid attention type of body language Chart 4.3: Frequency of direct eye contact maintenance Chart 4.4: Ways to get the audience's attention DIAGRAM: Diagram of Nonverbal Communication FIGURES: Figure 2.1: Three components of communication Figure 2.2: Types of communication Figure 2.3: Three elements of Communication Figure 2.4: Eye contact Figure 2.5: Basic facial expressions Figure 2.6: Types of common gestures Figure 2.7: Common standing posture
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
This initial chapter states the problem and the rationale of the study, together with the aims, objectives, the scope of the study, and the overview of the rest of the paper. Above all, it is in this chapter that the research questions are identified to work as clear guidelines for the whole research. 1.1. Rationale There are two types of communication: verbal communication and nonverbal communication. Language studies had traditionally focused on verbal communication, however, since 1960s researchers has begun to pay more attention to nonverbal communication and explored that more nonverbal than verbal communication occurs. One study done in the US showed that 93 percent of message was transmitted by the speaker’s body language and only 7 percent of the person’s attitude was conveyed by words (cited in Nguyen Quang, 1998:62). Some psychologists also believe that we communicate 65 percent of our ideas and feelings without words (Nguyen Quang, 1998:68). These factual numbers can show that nonverbal communication is more important than verbal one. So in order to have successful communication it is necessary to understand the meanings of nonverbal acts which include body language. So far, some studies have been carried out on using body language in presentation in business setting or in interview. However, there is little information about body language in oral presentation in school. Nowadays, there are many student exchange programs between colleges and universities in Vietnam and America. These programs have given Vietnamese students more opportunities to study and work in international situations, however, differences in terms of culture also present them challenges in communication. When students study at universities, one of the most popular activities they have to take part in is oral presentation, thus the way to apply body language in this kind of activity is very 8
important. Understanding the meanings of each type of body language in each culture will help both Vietnamese and American students not only avoid cultural shock but have successful communication when they study or work with each other. 1.2. Aims and objectives of the study This research was aimed to investigate the preferable types of body language used by Vietnamese and American students when they deliver oral presentations at school. Thanks to that, the similarities and differences in body language used by Vietnamese and American students in oral presentation could be found out and analyzed. Then the study was expected to raise several implications for American and Vietnamese students in order to enhance their awareness of using body language to have a successful oral presentation. In brief, these objectives could be summarized into two research questions as follows: 1. What are similarities and differences between American and Vietnamese students in using body language when they deliver oral presentation? 2. What are the implications for Vietnamese and American students in using body language to have successful oral presentation? 1.3. Scopes of the study The study only highlights American and Vietnamese students’ body language in oral presentation at school. It is carried on with the participants who are the third and the forth year students at HULIS in Vietnam and the American students in COE College in Iowa in the US. It is convenient for the researcher to choose them as participants because there has been a student exchange program between HULIS and COE and thanks to this, the researcher could collect data with these exchange students’ cooperation. 9
1.4. Research methodology 1.4.1. Research design In order to assure the reliability and validity of the research, both quantitative and qualitative methods are utilized. This research will use survey questionnaire and observation to collect data and information. Due to the great geographic distance, using survey – questionnaires is more convenient and more feasible. The analysis of the collected data from the observation and the survey-questionnaire will answer the two research questions. 1.4.2. Data collection instruments To address the research questions, both questionnaires and observation were employed in order to get the most reliable and valid data. The survey questionnaires were delivered in person or via emails. Specifically, questionnaires were distributed to 95 junior and senior students in ED, HULIS in Vietnam and 32 students at COE College in the US. The three observations could be done directly at HULIS, Vietnam; the other three presentations which were done by American students at COE College were observed by Heather Lewis, a student at COE, based on the observation checklist. 1.4.3. Data analysis methods All the answers for close-ended questions were statistically analyzed, synthesized and presented in forms of charts and tables using Microsoft Word. The results of observations were presented based on the observation checklists. 1.5. Significance of the study Once having been completed, the research would provide an analysis of the similarities and differences in body language used by Vietnamese and American students so that this paper might be useful for them to 10
understand the meanings of these types of body language and avoid cultural shocks. Specially, as mentioned above, one of these aims of this paper is proposing some suggestions to American and Vietnamese students in order to have a successful oral presentation. Therefore, the students would benefit from the analysis of the effective ways perceived by the experienced students in giving presentation. 1.6. An overview of the rest of the paper The rest of the paper includes five chapters as follows: Chapter 2 (Literature Review) provides the background of the study, including definitions of key concepts. Chapter 3 (Methodology) describes the participants and instruments of the study, as well as the procedure employed to carry out the research. Chapter 4 (Data analysis: results and discussion) presents, analyzes and discusses the findings that the researcher found out from the data collected according to the two research questions. Chapter 5 (Conclusion) summarizes the main issues discussed in the paper, the limitation of the research and offers some suggestions for further study. Following this chapter are the References and Appendices. Summary In this chapter, the researcher has presented the following points: 1. Statement of the problem and the rationale for the study 2. Aims and objectives of the study 3 Significance of the study 4. Scope of the study 5. Methods of the study 6. An overview of the rest of the paper Generally speaking, this summary has not only justified the main contents and the structures of this study but also works as the guideline for the rest of the paper. 11
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
In this chapter, an examination of the literature in the area is given by presenting the general background for the research. To begin with, a sketchy picture of the research background will be provided with an overview of the three key concepts, namely “communication”, “nonverbal communication” and “oral presentation”. Secondly, the way of using body language in oral presentation at school is given based on the researcher’s knowledge and observation. Next, a brief review of the related studies will disclose the research gap and hence, justify how the present study fits into the research area. 2.1. Key concepts 2.1.1. Communication 126.96.36.199. Definition Everyone communicates everyday, in diverse ways and in various settings and it’s undeniable that many people can communicate successfully by observing and learning from others. However, most of them find it difficult to definite and analyze communication specifically. Though there exist a number of definitions of communication, they are necessary for any research to go into the right direction. Communication is generally perceived as the process of sharing or exchanging ideas, information, etc. between two or more persons. Schramm defines communication as "a tool that makes societies possible and distinguishes human from other societies”. This definition maybe tends to focus on the social meaning of communication which can be seen as the signal of human society. Meanwhile, Albert Scheflen (cited in B. Haslett, 1987:4) the noted psychiatrist and nonverbal communication scholar, views communication as an organized, standardized, culturally patterned system of behavior that sustains, regulates, and makes possible human relationship. When giving 12
this definition, Albert also mentions the social meaning of communication, moreover, he discusses the cultural characteristics of this concept. Berelson and Steiner (1964) define communication as the transmission of information, ideas, emotions and skills through the use of symbols, words, pictures, figures, and graph. These researchers have concentrated on the functions of communication and means of pursuing these functions to give their definition. Nguyen Quang (1998) gives the definition of communication briefly and concisely “Communication is the process of sharing meaning through verbal and nonverbal behavior.” Obviously, he claims that communication is performed and perceived by both senders and receivers through their verbal and nonverbal codes. In other words, it is possible to say that communication consists of transmitting information verbally and nonverbally. This definition is clearer than these above ones because it presents not only the functions of communication but also the important channels through which communication can be transmitted: verbal and nonverbal communication. One very useful definition of communication is that proposed by Rogers “Communication is the process of transmitting ideas, information, and attitudes from the source to a receiver for the purpose of influencing with intent”. This definition sees communication as a process through which senders and receivers of messages interact. Besides, by this way of defining, Rogers also mentions the purpose of communication. The most important underlying assumption presupposed by this definition of communication refers to the components of communication which are sender, receiver and message as illustrated in the following figure:
Figure 2.1: Three components of communication All of these above definitions have their own meaning and are useful for different research fields; however, within the scope of this research paper, the researcher suggests adopting the definition of Rogers which helps people achieve the basic knowledge of communication. 188.8.131.52. Classification There are various forms of communication. By reviewing the definition of communication proposed by Albert Scheflen (1963), it is clear to realize an important assumption that communication occurs verbally and nonverbally. Kreckel (1981) also views communicative acts as socially meaningful units of verbal/ nonverbal behavior that transmit a particular message (cited in B. Haslett, 1987: 4). In terms of classification of communication, Nguyen Quang gives the most specific one. According to him, communication can be divided into two main types: verbal and nonverbal communication. Specifically, verbal communication and nonverbal communication are also divided into subtypes. According to Nguyen Quang, body language – the research problem of this research paper is only a small but crucial part of nonverbal communication.
184.108.40.206.1. Verbal communication Generally speaking, verbal communication is communication using language and speech to share or exchange information. Verbal communication, as defined by Alder (1998:158) is “spoken communication including the use of words and intonation to convey meaning.” This definition gives the point that verbal communication, in the initial place, is the spoken language, and people can convey their ideas, messages by using words, sentences. According to another research paper about communication, along with the development in linguistics and advancement in technological verbal communication includes four subtypes which are shown in the figure: oral communication, visual communication, written communication and electronic communication.
Figure 2.2: Types of communication 220.127.116.11.2. Nonverbal communication 18.104.22.168.2.1. Definition of nonverbal communication Although the verbal message plays a crucial part in face – to – face communication, we must recognize that we are constantly sending and receiving many messages that are not expressed in words. In other words, we can exchange information without saying out anything. These messages are nonverbal and the way they are exchanged is known as nonverbal communication. Thus, nonverbal communication can be simply defined as 15
the process of exchanging and sharing information, attitudes, feelings etc nonverbally. Knapp (1972) views nonverbal communication as a term that describes “all communication events which transcend spoken or written words.” This definition gives a general idea about nonverbal communication; however, it can’t tell the readers anything related to its components. Meanwhile, there is a definition proposed by Levine and Aldeman (1993) which seems to solve this problem when seeing “nonverbal communication” as “silent” communication, including the use of gestures, facial expression, eye contact and conversational distance.” To some extent, this definition offers readers a primary and clear concept of nonverbal communication. This definition seems to focus on body language (gestures, facial expression, and eye contact) and a part of environmental language (conversational distances) and maybe it could not give a clear picture of the whole non verbal communication. Moreover, paralanguage, a factor of nonverbal communication is not “silent” language. In the researcher’s opinion, the definition given by Nguyen Quang is the idealist one. Nguyen Quang (Journal of Science – VNU, 2007:77) defines nonverbal communication as all communicative elements that are not of verbal code but belong to both vocal channel and non-vocal channel. Nonverbal communication includes paralanguage (vocal characteristics, types of vocal flow) and extralanguage (body language, object language and environmental language). By this way, Nguyen Quang gives a comprehensive view of nonverbal communication with all of its components. 22.214.171.124.2.2. Difference between verbal and nonverbal communication As being dealt with in the previous part, communication, basically, contains two main types: verbal and nonverbal communication, with approximately 93% of the impact of a message depends on its nonverbal 16
cues. Verbal and nonverbal communication, therefore, often reinforce each other; however, they have clear differences. Judith. N. Martin and Thomas K. Nakayama (2004:136) analyze that although both verbal and nonverbal communication are symbolic, communicative meaning and governed by contextually determined rules, nonverbal behavior normally operates at a subconscious level whereas verbal behavior, in most cases, operates at a conscious level. Saundra Hybels and Richard L. Weaver II (1992:105), in a more specific way have distinguished these two types of communication in seven important aspects: Aspects Environment Verbal communication Nonverbal communication Can not tell much about Things like the closet, the a person Feedback photos, the room... can tell a lot about a person Reacting verbally in a Much restricted way Continuity Channel Control of our emotional responses expressed by our facial expressions, gestures, ... Begins and ends with Continuous words A single channel: words Under our because we can choose the words to use Structure Structured follows rules Acquisition Formally school (Communicating effectively, 1992:105) (Cited in Trang, Vu.T.T, Graduation Paper - HULIS) 17 taught in Much of it learned informally because it No plan sequence because of the grammar unconsciously occurs Multi-channeled control Under control sometimes
This way of distinguishing is not the best one but it is sufficient to highlight the differences between two kinds of communication. There is another way to distinguish verbal and nonverbal communication which the researcher adopts, that differentiates two types of communication basing on six aspects. According to this point of view, nonverbal communication is more ambiguous, continuous, multi-channeled, and more trustful. Nonverbal communication gives more insight into emotional states and many types of nonverbal communication are recognized across cultures. It is the nature of human condition that even we try as we may, we cannot enter into the reality of another individual’s feelings or thoughts, but basing on their nonverbal cues in communication, we can know more about them. 126.96.36.199.2.3. The importance of nonverbal communication As the researcher mentioned above, nonverbal communication is a vital form of communication. Whenever human emotion is concerned, nonverbal communication is involved. When we interact with others, we continuously give and receive countless wordless signals. All of our nonverbal behaviors - the gestures we make, the way we sit, how fast or how loud we talk, how close we stand, how much eye contact we make send strong messages. As cited by Nguyen Quang (1998:62) language studies traditionally emphasized oral and written communication. However, since 1960s, researchers seriously began to consider the power of nonverbal communications and what takes place without words in conversations. It is undeniable that the way people listen, look, move, and react tell whether or not they care and how well they understand. The nonverbal signals we send either produce a sense of interest, trust, and desire for connection—or they generate disinterest, distrust, and confusion.
In the 1960s Professor Albert Mehrabian and colleagues at the University of California, Los Angles (UCLA), conducted studies into human communication patterns. Their result showed that 93% of message was transmitted by the speaker’s tone of voice and body language, and only 7% of the person’s attitude was conveyed by words (cited in Pease, 1984:6). Basically, this result can be understood that we express our emotions and attitudes more nonverbally than verbally. It is clearly shown by the following figure:
Figure 2.3: Three elements of Communication The pie chart above reveals that nonverbal communication makes up more than 90% of the whole communicating process, which means that nonverbal communication is much more important in understanding human behaviors than words alone. In other words, nonverbal communication plays such an important role in the exchanging information, messages, attitudes, emotions, etc among humans in society. In terms of the importance of nonverbal communication, some psychologists also believe that we communicate 65% of our ideas and feelings without words (Nguyen Quang, 1998:68). Apparently, Harrison gave his view that “in face – to – face communication, no more than 35% of the social meaning is carried in the verbal message” (cited in Nguyen Quang, 2007). The shapes of our bodies and faces, the movements and 19
gestures we make, how near we stand to each other, etc all take part in communication and all of them can transmit some messages which we sometimes send without even knowing them. By giving these above statistic examples, it is hoped that the readers can understand thoroughly that non-verbal communication, undeniably, plays really a vital role in communication and it is really essential to have a deep knowledge of non-verbal behaviors. 188.8.131.52.2.4. Functions of nonverbal communication Argyle (1970) put forward the hypothesis that whereas spoken language is normally used for communicating information about events external to the speakers, non-verbal codes are used to establish and maintain interpersonal relationships. It is considered more polite or nicer to communicate attitudes non-verbally rather than verbally, and nonverbally communication is also used in order to avoid embarrassing situations. In 1988, Argyle showed the result of his research which concluded that there are five primary functions of nonverbal communication. They are: expressing emotions, expressing interpersonal attitudes, accompanying speech in managing the cues of interaction between speakers and listeners, presenting one’s personality and greeting. It is undeniable that without using nonverbal bodily behavior, human communication cannot be effective. People can send and exchange messages by words, but they often express their emotions through their facial expression, their gestures, etc because most of these types of body language are naturally done. Moreover, the way a person moves, the way he looks at the listener, the way he expresses his emotions can also tell others his personality, because action speaks louder than words. There is another four function system of nonverbal communication which is described by Saundra Hybels and Richard L. Weaver II (1992:27). It can be inevitably overlapped the above one, but it should be paid 20
attention to because of its own value. First and foremost, nonverbal behavior may supplement words. In other words, nonverbal behavior gives additional support to the meaning of the words. Secondly, nonverbal behavior may emphasize the words. For example, it can be easily realized that when speakers want to consider something important, they often use stress with the gesture of sawing the air. Thirdly, nonverbal behavior may regulate the flow of verbal interaction. Eye-contact, gestures and other nonverbal cues may tell people when they should continue their speech and when to be quiet. Last but not least, nonverbal behavior may take place of words. We agree that we can’t be silent all day, but sometimes, we don’t need to speak out but we can keep communication through our nonverbal cues. It is the most useful way to maintain communicating when people must keep their message in secret. 184.108.40.206.2.5. Types of nonverbal communication There are several types of nonverbal communication however each type inevitably overlaps one or more of the others. Scholars have many ways to conceptualize types of nonverbal communication. Generally, most of them agree that nonverbal communication normally includes facial expression, tone of voice, postures, gestures, eye-contact, patterns of touch etc. Nonverbal communication was broken into seven categories by Brooks & Heath (1989:79). They are paralanguage, action language, object language, tactile communication, space, time and silence communication Based on the area of communication, Dwyer (2000) suggested dividing nonverbal communication into: Kinesics: body motions/ posture Physical characteristics Touch/ Haptics/Tactile 21
Vocal quality Space Artifacts Environment Burgoon, Buller & Woodall (1996) categorize nonverbal communication according to the transmission medium and channel used: Kinesics (body language): body movement, facial activity and gaze Paralanguage (Vocalics): vocal activity such as pitch, loudness, silences, pauses, laughs, sighs, coughs, sneezes, and so on. Haptics: touch Proxemics: space Chronemics: time Physical appearance Artifacts (Objectics) Olfactics: olfactory-related cues Alternatively, Professor Nguyen Quang proposes another way of categorizing nonverbal communication which the researcher is in favor of.
Diagram of Nonverbal Communication
-Vocal characteristics: + Pitch + Volume +Rate -Types of vocal flow -Vocal interferences -Silent -... -Eye contact -Facial expressions -Gestures -Postures -Touch/ Haptics/ Tactile
-Clothing -Jewellery -Make – up -Artificial scents -Gift -Flowers -....
-Setting Conversational distance/ Proxemics -Time -Lighting system -Color -Heat -....
(Nguyen Quang, 2001, p.19) As being described in the above diagram, nonverbal communication can be divided into two subtypes: paralanguage and extralanguage. Extralanguage includes three elements, they are: body language, object language and environment language. In this way of categorizing, body language – the research problem, is an element of nonverbal communication and it includes eye-contact, facial expressions, gestures, postures and touch/haptics/tactile. The categorize of Nguyen Quang seems to be clearer and more useful for the aims of this research paper. Basing on this categorize and the researcher’s background knowledge, body language, within the scope of this study, will be discussed in terms of four components: eye-contact, facial expressions, gestures and postures. 220.127.116.11.2.6. Body language – an element of nonverbal communication
According to experts, a substantial portion of our communication is nonverbal. Everyday, we respond to thousands of nonverbal cues and behaviors including postures, facial expression, gestures, etc. From our handshakes to our hairstyles, nonverbal details reveal who we are and impact how we relate to other people. As mentioned above, gestures, postures, facial expressions and eyecontact are together called body language which is the source of the difference between the words people speak and our understanding of what they are saying. Body language is the most significant when it appears in clusters, at the same time as a significant event and when it is unlikely that the person is trying to control their nonverbal behavior. All in all, body language is the most significant component of nonverbal communication. It is the reason why sometimes body language is used to imply nonverbal communication. 18.104.22.168.2.7. Cultural differences in body language The first principle of nonverbal communication, according to Saundra Hybels and Richard L. Weave II (1992:108), is “nonverbal communication is culturally determined” and as an element of nonverbal communication, the use of body language also varies culturally. Although universal emotions such as happiness, sadness, fear, etc are expressed in the same nonverbal way through out the world, there may be differences among cultures in interpreting body language. It is important to realize that body language subtlety is often culturally specific. For example, in some cultures like Japanese, strong eye-contact is read as rude, but in others like American or European it is important to use direct eye contact if you are to be trusted. So, the generally accepted meanings of many nonverbal cues including body language are determined by a culture. Differences between cultures can cause communication problems.
Edward T. Hall (1959) once indicated “Culture hides much more than it reveals, and strangely enough, what it hides, it hides most effectively from its own.” As for the use of body language, it is deeply different from one culture to another. Thus, it is worth noticing these differences when mentioning communication events. 2.1.2. Oral presentation as a form of communication 22.214.171.124. Definition of oral presentation In the 7th edition of Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (2005:1190), a presentation is defined as “an act of showing something or of giving something to somebody” or “a meeting at which something, especially a new product or idea, or piece of work is shown to a group of people.” As defined by Wikipedia, a presentation “is the process of showing and explaining the content of a topic to an audience.” This succinct definition seems to grasp the nature of the term focusing on the two main activities: delivering and clarifying knowledge. Another definition proposed by T. Khadeejah Al-Harbi, in which presentation is seen as a formal talk to one or more people that “presents” ideas or information in a clear, structured way. In other words, oral presentation is done orally and the speaker presents in front of a group of listeners his ideas, his point of view on a specific issue. In fact, although the word “presentation” often denotes a formal setting, it can also be thought of any time someone gives his own ideas in front of a group of people. However, in the scope of this research, “presentation” in school setting will be dealt with formal talk to one person or a group of people, which presents ideas or delivers information in a clear and structured way. 126.96.36.199. Modes of oral presentation
In preparing for a speech which is considered as scholar argue, there are several basic means of channeling a message. According to Mayer (1992), there are four basic modes of presentation with modes “are the methods of delivering a speech”: the impromptu, the manuscript, the memorized and the extemporaneous mode. a. The impromptu: is the speaking in which the speaker uses information acquired from past experiences, speaking with little or no preparation and organize ideas while delivering. Thus, the structure of the presentation may be disordered, lack of unity and coherence. b. The manuscript: in this mode, the material is written out and the presenter delivers by reading word for word. c. The memorized: a speech is written out word for word and then committed to memory. In this case, delivering the speech simply becomes recitation. d. The extemporaneous: the speaker has more time to prepare for the presentation. They are allowed to use a set of aids such as notes or outlines to assist them in presenting their ideas. In this situation, the speaker knows in advance that a speech will be given and they can do research to prepare carefully. Comparing with other modes, the extemporaneous presentation has most advantages. It has logic and unity because of in advance preparation. Besides, it is delivered quite naturally and conversationally. Lastly, the presenter has the knowledge of the topic, so he can confidently respond to the audiences’ feedback. It is easily to recognize that among these above four modes, the impromptu and extemporaneous presentation produce a more relaxed, conversational and interactive delivery style. Above all, extemporaneous 26
speaking is regarded as the most flexible, soundest and safest speech mode. 188.8.131.52. Oral presentation in school setting Oral presentations have long been used as an instructional strategy in American schools, and nowadays it is undoubtedly a popular activity in many universities. Obviously, educational setting is a formal one, so giving oral presentation in school requires highly formal style. In other settings, such as in business setting, the relationship between presenter and audiences is different from the relationship in this situation. Oral presentation at school is the one in which the presenter is student and the audiences are teacher and other students at the same level of the presenter. They are the people who can question the presenter afterwards about the unclear points in their presentation. Moreover, basing on the presentation, teacher can evaluate the work of his/ her students. After a short survey which is done in ED, HULIS, the researcher realized that extemporaneous presentation is the most primary mode which is applied in teaching and studying. It means that most of the students’ presentations are carefully prepared in advance and the presenters give information which is the result of their own research. After delivering presentation, they must answer questions from teacher and their classmates which are related to the topic they gave previously. Therefore, it is undeniable to consider oral presentation in school informational and extemporaneous presentation. 184.108.40.206. Characteristics of an effective presentation Generally speaking, there are three main components of one presentation which will determine its success or not. They are: the speaker, the content of the presentation and the audiences. Logically, if the normal communication process involves the sender, the receiver, and
the message, the oral presentation also has the similar components, so it can be considered as a form of communication. Lucas (1995:107) claims that although there are some similarities between presentation and conversation, there are some differences between them. First and foremost, presentation is more highly structured than conversation. Secondly, presentation requires more formal language. Obviously, it can’t be accepted to use slang or bad grammar in front of public. Last but not least, presentation requires a different method of delivery. It requires speakers to adjust their voice to be heard clearly by the audiences and to assume more effective gestures or posture to have more attention of listeners. To have a well-done presentation, each of the components of a presentation should have some specific requirements as follows: The speaker: - The manner must be active, precise and confident - The used language should be accurate, simple and clear - The body language must not be pompous; however, it must be expressive enough to attract the audience. - Should look at the audience as much as possible - Should project and inflect his/her voice in order to engage the audience and emphasize the important ideas. The content: - Should focus on the topic - Should be clear, concise and precise - Should be logical The audience: have positive attitude to the presentation. 220.127.116.11. Body language used in oral presentation at school Basically, many experts confirm the importance of body language in oral presentation. Brooks and Heath (1989) indicate that “the body is used 28
as a communication transmitter in at least four ways: eye contact, facial expression, gesture and movement.” In fact, it is clear to see that these four elements influence the speaker’s credibility as much as verbal cues the speaker gives. As a matter of fact, if the speaker uses inappropriate body language, misunderstanding may occur and it can lead to the disappointing score of the presentation. 18.104.22.168.1. Eye contact Based on the above classification of Nguyen Quang (page 29), eye contact is a form of nonverbal communication. Normally, eye contact occurs when people look directly at each other’s eyes while talking. As defined in Wikipedia, “Eye contact is a meeting of the eyes between two individuals. In human beings, eye contact is a form of nonverbal communication and is thought to have a large influence on social behavior.” This definition clearly offers a basic understanding of eye contact.
Figure 2.4: Eye contact (http://deangarfield13.wordpress.com/2009/08/19/eye-contact/) Since the visual sense is dominant for most people, eye contact is an especially important type of nonverbal communication. The way we look at someone can communicate many things, including interest, affection, hostility or attraction. It is one of the most important nonverbal channels 29
we have for communication and connecting with other people. The eyes are said to be the window to the soul, so “the cheapest, most effective way to connect with people is to look them into the eye” (Nicholas Boothman). Maintaining eye contact when talking to someone gives an impression that we are confident and honest and we are paying attention to what they are saying or not. However, there are differences among different cultures in the way they evaluate the importance of eye contact in communication. In some countries such as America, Hungary and southern Europe, looking people in the eyes is assumed to indicate honesty and straightforwardness. If we communicate without eye contact, people can understand that you are not interested in them, even you are not truthful. On the other hand, in most Asian countries such as China, Japan and Vietnam, looking at others’ eyes can be considered as impoliteness or disrespect. In these countries, eye contact should be avoided as much as possible when talking to the older. In the same culture, the amount of eye contact used differs from person to person and from situation to situation. Some studies showed that people are likely to look at each other’s eyes from 50% to 60% while communicating. For speakers, the average amount of eye contact is about 40% and for listeners, it is up to 70%. This numerical example shows that eye contact has a crucial role in communication and in any case it shouldn’t be omitted. However, we should be careful when we maintaining eye contact in international communication to avoid misunderstanding. In the scope of this study, the researcher focuses on eye contact in oral presentation at school. As mentioned in the previous part, when people deliver an oral presentation, they also communicate with the audiences. Thus, as in other kinds of communication, eye contact should be maintained during oral presentation. If presenters look at the audiences’ eyes a lot when they talk, the audiences will think that the presenters are 30
open, friendly, confident, and natural and it also means that the presenters can involve them in your presentation easily. If presenters avoid eye contact, their audiences can think that they are not interested in the topic, or they are defensive, even they are not confident and they don’t care about the audiences, so it is too difficult for the presenters to have a successful presentation. 22.214.171.124.2. Facial expression In terms of biology, a facial expression results from one or more motions of the muscles of the face. Till now, it has not been confirmed the exact relation between human emotions and facial expressions, but one thing is sure that they are deeply connected. It can be the reason why facial expressions are a form of nonverbal communication.
Figure 2.5: Basic facial expressions (http://www.tpub.com/content/draftsman/14263/css/14263_203.htm) The human face is extremely expressive, able to express countless emotions without saying a word. It can’t be denied that facial expression is hard to hide. According to Sproule (1997) “the face is an inlet to our
feelings and thought”. This can be understood that the human face can reveal speakers’ emotions and feelings. Unlike some other forms of nonverbal communication, facial expressions are universal. The facial expressions for happiness, sadness, anger and disgust are the same across cultures. However, whereas the same emotion from a specific facial expression may be recognized by a culture, but the same intensity of emotion may not be perceived. It means that different cultures construct their own rules for what are appropriate facial expressions. This idea is as the same as one mentioned by Nguyen Quang (1998, p.64) “the degree of facial expressiveness one exhibits varies among individuals and cultures.” Some studies have shown that Asian cultures tend to rate images of facial emotions as less intense than non-Asian cultures. Another example (cited in Larry A.S, eds) is that in many Mediterranean cultures, people exaggerate signs of grief or sadness. It is not uncommon to see men crying in public in this region. Yet among Chinese or Japanese cultures, it’s hardly to see something like that. According to Harrison (1973), “facial expression is a kind of nonverbal communication, dynamic features which communicate the speaker’s information, attitude, emotions, inattentions and even his/ her personality.” Obviously, in oral presentation, if the presenter feels anxious, his facial expression will be outside shown clearly and it can lead him to appear disinterested. At that time, he can have a smile which will help him to be more confident and friendly. The smile is always a strong tool to warm the atmosphere and bring confidence to its owner. 126.96.36.199.3. Gesture
Figure 2.6: Types of common gestures (http://siblings.adoptionblogs.com/weblogs/top-10-tools-for-easinglanguage-barrier-2) Generally, gesture is a hand movement that is much a part of language as speech. According to Sproule (1997), “gestures are the movements of the hands, the arms, and the trunk of the body, the shoulders or the head, often in combination.” Gesture also plays an important role in communication. When the speakers are presenting at the front of the room with their hands resting limp at your sides, they are diminishing their listeners' ability to appreciate their ideas. There is a study carried on in Chicago claimed that speaking without gesturing could cause an audience to miss large chunks of your presentation. In daily speech, gestures are often used to express or emphasize ideas or emotions. People point, beckon, wave and use their hands when they are arguing or speaking animatedly – expressing themselves with gestures often without thinking. However, the meaning of gestures can be very different across cultures, so it is necessary to be careful to avoid misinterpretation. For example, in most countries, shaking head side to side 33
means disagree, but in India it has opposite meaning. In English-speaking countries, beckoning people to come with palm up is very common, however, the same gesture in Vietnam as well as other Asian countries is considered rude, because it is used to beckon an animal. When delivering presentation, presenters need to be aware that their gestures can support or detract from their message. Gestures also help speakers to emphasize important points during their presentation. Arms and hands are considered as the strongest tools to express speakers’ ideas, so they should be used animatedly and intensively. Animated gestures will make presentation more attractive and the presenters will have more attention of audiences with moving arms than crossed arms or paralleled ones. Correctly used, gestures can help speakers say more in less time, show what they mean without having to resort to visuals, signal their conviction and confidence and add texture and dimension to their material and ideas. 188.8.131.52.4. Posture According to Sproule (1997), posture refers to how we carry our body, whether we are standing in an erect or in slouched manner. It can be understood that posture includes the way we sit, walk or stand up. Posture plays a significant role in exchanging meanings because people tend to remember better what they see than what they hear. The images always make a deep impression on human brains; especially it is the image of the person who is giving information to a group of people. A body posture can be closed or open. Closed posture means the crossed arms, crossed legs and it is used when people feel uncomfortable. In contrary, open posture is described with uncrossed arms and legs. They should be animated and moving and obviously, they are signals of comfort and relax.
Figure 2.7: Common standing postures (http://hannes.emotisys.net/page/2/) The way we carry ourselves communicates a wealth of information to the world, so in oral presentation, it should be remembered that the way speaker sits and walks can leave much impression on the audiences. Especially, in an oral presentation in school, when the audiences are teacher and classmates, the speaker should choose the appropriate posture which shows his/ her respects to the listeners. The way the speaker hold himself also makes a big contribution to his body language and conveys his level of confidence. By orienting his body to the listeners, he shows that he is attentive and ready to reply any of their feedbacks. A relaxed posture will make the speaker feel more relaxed and confident, so it makes his presentation better. 2.2. An overview of previous studies A considerable number of researchers have investigated into how to understand body language and how to use body language in some specific settings such as business oral presentation and cultural differences in interpreting body language. In order to guide businessmen how to use body language correctly, Geoff Ribbons and Richard Thompson (2000) published their book “Understanding Body Language” that showed the real meanings of body 35
language types, the ways to recognize how people often say one thing while their body language is saying something and the influence of body language on business agreement. Afterwards, in 2007, Tonya Reiman conducted a research on the power of body language. Tonya Reiman analyzed all of the components of body language - the languages of the face, the body, space and touch, and sound. Moreover, she showed how to become a master communicator with these types of body language. Kevin Hogan, an expert on body language for many years, has many researches on a great number of body language’s aspects which were analyzed and synthesized on his personal website. In his researches, Hogan considered body language as nonverbal communication. His major findings were about the science behind silent communication and the impact of cultural differences on reading body language. Firstly, according to his researches, one of the most highlypredictable traits can be found in the eyes. He said that wider eyes almost always equal a greater interest on behalf of the listener. In terms of posture, Hogan stated that during a conversation, a change in a listener's body position could be either good or bad. If the change occurs during a change of direction in the conversation, the listener is telling the speaker that they are changing along with them. If the listener's body position changes in the middle of the speaker's point, they are changing against them. This either means that the listener is bored, or they are uncomfortable with whatever the speaker is saying. Secondly, in terms of the impact of cultural differences on interpreting body language, Hogan focused on the two typical cultures: American and Japanese. Research has uncovered that culture is a determining factor when interpreting facial emotions but reveals that in cultures where emotional control is the standard, such as Japan, focus is 36
placed on the eyes to interpret emotions, whereas in cultures where emotion is openly expressed, such as the United States, the focus is placed on the mouth to interpret emotion. Furthermore, J. Douglas Jefferys with the aim at guiding people how to enhance presentation skills also carried out the research of using body language in presentation or public speech. In his research, he mentioned body language as an important factor which plays a crucial role in the success of the presentation. Douglas stated clearly the ways of using each types of body language: eye contact, gesture and posture. 2.3. How the present study fits into the research area Having examined the literature on non-verbal communication in general and body language in particular, as well as on findings of previous related studies, this section discusses how the present study fits into the research area. As mentioned above, there have been many related studies on body language. However, these studies were implemented on a general level without much reference to the cultural features of specific countries. To the present knowledge of the researcher, there have been little cross-cultural studies on using body language in Vietnamese and American culture. Additionally, despite there is literature on body language in presentation, there have been no official studies on differences regarding using body language in oral presentation in school setting between Vietnamese and American students. Thus, it could be said that the conduct of the present study meets the practicality of the issue.
CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY
In the previous chapter, the literature related to the topic has been reviewed as a theoretical basis for the study. In this chapter, the method employed to answer the research questions would be described in details. The participants, the instruments, the procedures of data collection and analysis would be justified. 3.1. Participants As Vietnamese and American student’s body language in oral presentation at school was the subject of the study, HULIS/VNUH in Vietnam and COE College in the US were chosen to be the research sites of this research paper. Specifically, the junior and senior students in English Department at HULIS/VNUH and the students at COE College were chosen to be the participants for the following reasons. Firstly, most of the junior and senior students in ED, HULIS are familiar with delivering presentations and they have more chance to study and work with native speakers than the students from other universities. Moreover, the researcher is a senior student at HULIS, so it’s convenient for the researcher to carry out this study, especially in data collection. Besides, COE College’s students were chosen because over the last two years, HULIS and COE College have an exchange program in which annually some students of COE go on a study tour in Vietnam and spend three weeks attending some classes at HULIS. This allows the researcher to approach them for delivering questionnaire and asking them to pass on the questionnaire to their friends via emails at home. Due to the time limit, the research was just carried out with the participation of 95 students in ED, HULIS. In terms of American participants, in spite of the geographic distance, with the enthusiastic help of five exchange students from COE, 27 copies of survey questionnaires 38
were sent to the US via emails and returned. Thus, the research was also carried out with the participation of 32 American students. Nationality American Total 4 8 Gender
Level 0 0 0 21 0 21 7 16 23 4 79 83
Total 32 95 127
Female Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
28 91 119
Table 3.1: A classification of the surveyed American and Vietnamese students 3.2. Data collection instruments To achieve the research objectives, a combined data collection process using both survey questionnaires and class observations was employed. 3.2.1. Questionnaires Survey questionnaire was used as the main instrument in order to obtain sufficient reliable and valid data. The reason for this choice was that “questionnaires can provide data economically and in a form that lends itself perfectly to the purposes of the study if well-structured” (Mallick, 1999:24). By administrating a questionnaire, a huge amount of information can be collected from a large number of people within a short period of time. Furthermore, the questionnaire can be applied suitably with participants in a different country as the scope of this study. It was more convenient to send survey questionnaire via email than making face – to – face interviews. In this study, the questionnaires were written in both English and Vietnamese (see Appendix 1 and 2) to avoid any misunderstanding or misinterpretation caused by limited linguistic ability. The senior students in 39
ED, HULIS and the American students are highly competent in English and thus they were expected to understand the questionnaires easily. It doesn’t mean that the junior students in ED’s linguistic ability is not good enough to understand all the survey questions, however, they haven’t taken the course “Cross-Cultural Communication” which provides a lot of terms related to this study, so a Vietnamese version of survey questionnaires were actually necessary. The structuring of questions was intentional with the introductory and the main part. The main part of survey questionnaire consisted of seven questions with two aims. Firstly, based on surveyed students’ answers, the researcher will analyzed to find out the similarities and differences between Vietnamese and American students in using body language. From that analysis, the second aim will be also achieved, which is find out the implications to help these students who come from two different cultures apply body language correctly to have a successful oral presentation when they study with each other. 3.2.2. Class observation Together with the survey questionnaires, class observation which is “a tool for collecting information without directly questioning on the part of the researcher” (Vajendra and Mallick, 1999:129) was exploited as a valuable research instrument to examine the targeted population. According to Mackey and Gass (2005:176), observations are useful to collect large amounts of rich data on the participants’ behavior and actions within a particular context. Moreover, observation with carefully designed checklist was a great assistance to ensure the validity of information gathered from the survey questionnaires. Added to this, in this study, observing was a chance for the researcher to observe the way students used their body language during their presentation thoroughly. Thanks to this, the information gathered from survey questionnaires could 40
be checked, thus the collected data was more detailed and reliable. For the above reasons, observations were exploited as the second tool of this study. The observation checklist was designed based on most of the questions in the survey questionnaires. They were used to mark the frequency of using any kinds of body language of students during their 10minute presentations. In the observation checklist (see Appendix 3), each kind of body language was listed and added to this was a ruler of frequency of using body language, from always to never. Structured observations were made on three Vietnamese students in group 06.1.E12 and 06.1.E13, ED, HULIS and three American students at COE College. The three observations in Vietnam were carried out directly by the researcher, however, as the geographic distance; three observations in America were taken by the researcher’s friend. She observed her classmates’ presentations, took notes and coded them based on the observation checklist. 3.3. Procedures of data collection The procedure of data collection consisted of three main phases as follows: Phase 1: During this period, survey questionnaires and observation checklist were designed. In any of these instruments, personal information of participants was kept confidential and anonymous for the ethical reasons. These forms were then sent to the supervisor for feedback. Besides, the survey forms were piloted on three voluntary students. Thanks to this step, some mistakes and the layout of the whole survey questionnaires were considerably improved to avoid possible ambiguity and misunderstandings of respondents. Phase 2: The second phase was to conduct the survey questionnaires. In Vietnam, most of them were directly delivered to the junior and senior students in ED, HULIS. 95 out of 105 delivered questionnaires were 41
returned. In terms of American participants, survey questionnaires were delivered directly and via emails. 5 copies of questionnaires were delivered directly to 5 American students from Coe College when they attended an exchange program in March, 2010. 27 copies of questionnaires were delivered via emails with the enthusiastic help of these exchange students and all of them were returned. Phase 3: In the third stage three observations were carried out in the class of English for Economics. Each of the observations last only 10 minutes. All of them were recorded on video recorder. In this stage, three observations were also taken in American with the help from Heather Lewis, who is a student at COE College and she visited HULIS last year in the exchange program which was held by the cooperation of HULIS and COE. 3.4. Procedures of data analysis After the data collection process, the information obtained from both survey questionnaires and observations was analyzed. The data collected from survey questionnaires were reconstructed and presented in forms of charts/ tables. Moreover, the qualitative data obtained from observations were synthesized and summarized to pursue the aims of the research which were specified through the research questions. Summary In brief, the researcher approached the research questions in light of both qualitative and quantitative methods. Data were obtained from the students in ED, HULIS and American students at COE College with the use of two instruments: survey questionnaires and observations. These data were then analyzed carefully and systematically, which ensures the validity and reliability of the research.
CHAPTER 4: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
In this chapter, all collected data from the survey questionnaires and observations will be analyzed and discussed to yield the answer to the two research question respectively. Furthermore, the findings of this study will be thoroughly discussed and related to the relevant literature so that not only the detected patterns themselves but also the causes behind will be brought to light. The 2 research questions being answered here are: 1. What are similarities and differences in body language used by Vietnamese and American students when they deliver oral presentation? 2. What are the implications for Vietnamese and American students in using body language to have successful oral presentation? 4.1. Research’s findings 4.1.1. From the survey questionnaires 184.108.40.206. The importance of body language in the success of an oral presentation (question 1) Table 4.1: Assessment of the importance of body language in the success of an oral presentation Chosen option Vietnamese Students American Students Note on options A. indispensable B. important C. not important but a little useful D. not important at all As can be seen from table 4.1, the assessment of the importance of body language in oral presentation was considerably different across 43 A 21% 58.5% B 79% 41.5% C 0% 0% D 0% 0%
Vietnamese and American culture. More than half of surveyed American students (58.5%) suggested that body language is indispensible while only 21% of surveyed Vietnamese students chose that option. In great contrast, whereas 41.5% of surveyed American students thought body language is important, the rest of Vietnamese participants (79%) chose that point. No surveyed American and Vietnamese students chose C (not important but a little useful) and D (not important at all). 220.127.116.11. Frequency of using body language to illustrate in oral presentation (question 2)
Chart 4.1: Frequency of using body language in oral presentation
48.4 38 32.6
Always Often Sometimes
30 20 10 0
6.3 0 0 0
It can be seen from chart 4.1 that almost no American and Vietnamese students avoided using body language in oral presentation. 52% of surveyed American students stated that they always used body language to illustrate in their presentation while a much smaller number of surveyed Vietnamese students chose “always” option, only 6.3%. Using body language to illustrate in oral presentation is often practiced by 32.6% and 38% of surveyed Vietnamese and American students respectively. There’s not small difference when 48.4% of surveyed Vietnamese students 44
stated that they sometimes used body language as illustration and the proportion of surveyed American ones is only 10%. For the rarely option, 12.7% of surveyed Vietnamese students belonged to this group while none of American students does. Summary: Given on the above numerical data, both Vietnamese and American students often exploit body language to illustrate for their point during presentation. 18.104.22.168. The most paid attention type of body language when students deliver oral presentation (question 3)
Chart 4.2. The most paid attention type of body language 60 53 50 40
20 12.6 10 0
The data for the above chart is collected by question 3 in presenter survey questionnaire. It can be seen clearly from chart 2 that there are the same number, 35.8% of the surveyed Vietnamese students paid attention to their facial expression and their gestures most when they delivered oral presentation. 15% of them paid attention to their eye contact and the rest, 12.6% paid attention to postures. These numerical data are very different from the results given by the surveyed American students. More than half of them, 53% paid most attention to their gestures. Eye contact was considered as the most important type of body language by 31.5% of the 45
surveyed American students and after that, the number of people who cared facial expression most accounts for 12.5% of them. Only 3% of the surveyed American students paid attention to their postures most. 22.214.171.124. Frequency of direct eye contact maintenance (question 4)
70 60 50 % 40 30 20 10 0
Chart 4.3. Frequency of direct eye contact maintenance
16.8 0 0 0 0
It can be seen clearly from chart 4.3 that almost no Vietnamese and American students never maintained eye contact with their audience when they deliver presentation. While none of the surveyed American students said that they rarely or sometimes maintained eye contact during presentation, 16.8% and 63.2% of surveyed Vietnamese students chose these two options respectively. While more than half of American students (64.5%) often maintained eye contact, the number of Vietnamese students is too small to compare with. It’s only 12.6% of surveyed Vietnamese students who often maintained eye contact with the audience during presentation. As being described in chart 4.3, it’s greatly different between the number of Vietnamese and American students who always maintained eye contact during presentation. 35.5% of surveyed American students 46
stated that they always looked at their audiences while only 7.4% of surveyed Vietnamese students belonged to this group. Summary: While frequent eye contacts are dominant in American side, they are sometimes maintained in Vietnamese one. American students tend to look directly at their audience in presentation more frequently than Vietnamese students. 126.96.36.199. Types of gestures used to emphasize in oral presentation (question 5) Table 4.2: Types of emphasizing gestures used in oral presentation Chosen options Vietnamese students American students Note on options A. Sweeping your arm B. Rubbing your hands C. Clasping your hands D. Drumming on the table E. Pointing your index finger in the air F. Others As can be seen clearly in table 4.2, types of gestures which are used to emphasize in oral presentation are considerably different between American and Vietnamese students. 28% of surveyed American students swept their arm when they wanted to emphasize their ideas, while only 15% of Vietnamese students chose that. There’s a very great difference when more than half of surveyed Vietnamese students (58%) chose rubbing hands as the gesture they used to emphasize when they delivered presentation while none of American students chose this type of gesture. One – fourth of Vietnamese students chose clasping their hands and none 47 A 15% 28% B 58% 0% C 25% 0% D 2% 10% E 0% 62% F 0% 0%
of American students did so. Emphasizing opinion by drumming on the table was chosen by only 2% of Vietnamese students and 10% of American side. Based on the data in table 4.2, it is obvious that the gesture which American students most commonly used to emphasize their idea is pointing their index finger in the air, in contrast, none of Vietnamese students chose this option (E) – pointing finger in the air when they wanted to emphasize during the presentation. 188.8.131.52. Types of postures used in oral presentation (question 6) Table 4.3: The most commonly used posture in oral presentation Chosen options Vietnamese Students American Students Note on options A. Standing with straight back B. Standing with your hands in your pockets C. Standing/ sitting with your chins on your hands D. Leaning your hands against the edge of tables E. Standing with your hands against your hips F. Others With 79% of surveyed Vietnamese students and 70% of American side choosing option (A), it can be seen clearly that standing with straight back is the most common posture which both Vietnamese and American students used during their presentations. In great contrast, while none of the Vietnamese students reported that they stood with their hands in pockets during their presentation, the number of Americans who employed this posture accounted for as much as 10% of the total number. 5% the surveyed Vietnamese students employed the posture stated in option (C), standing/ sitting with your chins on your hands while 6% of total surveyed American students did so. Leaning hands against the edge of table is used 48 A 79% 70% B 0% 10% C 5% 6% D 14% 10% E 0% 0% F 2% 4%
almost equally by the surveyed Vietnamese and American students, 14% and 10% respectively. It can be seen from table 4.3 that almost no American and Vietnamese students chose option (E) – standing with your hands against your hips. 2% of Vietnamese students and 4% of American revealed that they often stood or sat in the way which made them feel comfortable. They stated that they often stood, swayed at the table or podium and hid their body behind those things that made them feel more confident. 184.108.40.206. Ways to get the audience’s attention As demonstrated on chart 4.4, the number of the surveyed Vietnamese and American students who often raised their voice to get the audience’s attention is 18% and 10% respectively. The option “look at the audience and pause” was chosen by only 12% of the Vietnamese students while the number of American students who also chose that way accounted for 64% of the total surveyed American students. Most Vietnamese students (70% of the total number of them) clapped their hands to get the audience’s attention. In contrast, there is a much smaller number of American students chose to do this way, only 26% of them.
70 60 50 40 30
Chart 4.4: Ways to get the audience's attention 70 64 Raise your voice Look at the audience and pause Clap yourhands 10 0 American Sts Others
20 18 12 10 0 0 Vietnamese Sts
Summary: The two most useful ways to get the audience’s attention which were employed by Vietnamese and American students are clapping hands and looking at the audience and pausing with 70% and 64% of the total number of students each side respectively. 4.1.2. From observations 220.127.116.11. Description of the observed students and presentations As mentioned in the previous chapter, totally, there were six observations which aimed to check the reliability of data collected from the survey questionnaires. Three Vietnamese observed students were all seniors. Their presentations were requirement of the subject English for Economics. In terms of three observed American students, two of them were female and they are junior students at COE. All of three presentations of American students were about History. Another important point of all these six observed presentations is that they were extemporaneous presentations. In other words, all six speakers had prepared for the presentation in advance. They were allowed to use a set of aids such as notes or outlines to assist them in presenting their ideas. In terms of the amount of the audience, each Vietnamese and American presentation had from 25 – 30 audiences (including the speaker’s teacher and his/ her classmates). 18.104.22.168. The observation results After taking six observations, the researcher realized that both Vietnamese and American students were aware of using body language during their presentations. However, the types of body language and the way they employed them in their presentations are considerably different. Firstly, in terms of maintaining eye contact, although three observed Vietnamese students maintained eye contact with their audience, they tended to pay attention to only one wing of the audience. Two out of three Vietnamese students only looked at the left or the right wing audience. 50
Moreover, they sometimes looked at the screen and spoke without maintaining eye contact with their audience. In contrast, the three observed American always kept eye contact when speaking. They didn’t look at the screen and the rate of eye contact with all the audiences was equal. The second point in the observation checklist is about the presenter’s facial expression during their presentation, specifically, the researcher observed whether they keep smiling or not. The result in Vietnamese side is that only one out of three students kept smiling during her presentation. The others rarely smiled and their faces looked serious. Based on the notes and the observation checklists which were done in the US, the researcher realized that three observed American students always appeared with smiling faces. They didn’t have broad smile, however they kept smiling all time that helped them have friendly face. The next important point in the observation checklist is the speaker’s gesture to emphasize his/her ideas when delivering presentation. In general, males from Vietnam and America used their hands and their arms more animatedly than the four observed girls. They moved their arms confidently and actively. The American one firstly appeared with his hands clasped together, but when he started his presentation, his arms and hands also moved continually and when he wanted to emphasize, he pointed the index finger in the air (5 times) while the Vietnamese male used his finger three times during his presentation. In terms of the Vietnamese female students, they seemed not to employ gestures as well as the female American ones. Specially, they never moved their hands and their arms strongly. One of them often twisted her hands and she looked confused, another often employed the way called “rubbing the hands”. Whereas, the American female students used their hands animatedly and it seemed that their gestures complemented very well for their opinions. Both of them
often pointed their fingers when they wanted the audience to focus on some important points of their presentations. The last type of students’ body language was observed is posture. The most common type of posture which all of the six observed Vietnamese and American students used during their presentations is standing with straight back. None of them stood with their hands against their hips and their hands put in the pockets. Only one Vietnamese male student stood with his chin on his hand when he was asked and gave answer to the teacher. He also leaned his hands against the edge of the table twice while the American male student leaned his hands against the edge of the podium and sometimes he swayed relaxed. However, the Vietnamese one tended to lean forward too far compared to the American. Another important point which the researcher observed through six observations is the way the speakers employed to get the audience’s attention. At the beginning of their presentations, all six presenters raised their voice to attract their audiences. During their presentations, none of them use verbal message like “pay attention please” for the same aim. All of the three American stopped talking for 3 – 5 seconds and looked at their audiences with smiling faces to give them the “silent signal”. One of them clapped her hands twice. In Vietnamese side, the male student also paused but he didn’t look at his audience. The two Vietnamese girls clapped their hands with the same question “You have any questions?” and their tone was higher than normal. 4.2. Discussion We often slip into the error of thinking that the American use more action or employ more body language when speaking than do the Vietnamese. However, the study’s results are far from what people often predict. Within the scope of school setting, the study showed that in oral presentations at school, the Vietnamese students were as active in using 52
body language both consciously and unconsciously as the American students. As the results of question 2 in the survey questionnaires, none of the Vietnamese and American students never used body language in their presentations. Although only 32.6% of Vietnamese students often employed body language compared with 38% American did so, it succeeded in proving that Vietnamese students were aware of using body language in their presentations. The Vietnamese students were also quite expressive but in different ways from the American students. Based on the data analysis done above, we look at four body language components: facial expression, eye contact, gestures and postures to work out the differences and similarities in the strategies of using body language to communicate of the Vietnamese and American students in oral presentation at school. 4.2.1. Eye contact As mentioned in chapter two, “the cheapest, most effective way to connect with people is to look them into the eye” (Nicholas Boothman). In other words, eye contact is highly evaluated in communication. However, patterns of eye contact are different across cultures. As cited in Nguyen Quang (1998:66), in American culture, there is a belief that “never trust a person who doesn’t look you in the eyes”. It means that eye contact is a crucial factor in communication made by American people. In contrast, in most Asian countries such as China, Japan and Vietnam, looking at others’ eyes can be considered as impoliteness or disrespect. In this study, the researcher examined the frequency of maintaining eye contact of Vietnamese and American students with their audience in their presentations and there was surprised that the result collected from this study seems to differ from the opinion of Nguyen Quang. What the researcher got showed that although the American students tended to look directly at their audiences during the presentation more frequently than the 53
Vietnamese students, the surveyed Vietnamese students didn’t avoid looking at their audience at all. The difference between these two groups of students’ eye contact was the way they looked at the audience throughout their presentations. As the researcher’s observation, three Vietnamese students have tried to maintained eye contact with their audience; however, they didn’t look at all of them equally, but only one wing (the left or the right) of the audience. Additionally, they sometimes looked at the screen and seemed to forget their audiences. In contrast, most of the surveyed American students (64.5%) answered that they often kept direct eye contact with their audiences. The result collected from three observed American students also reflected correctly this numerical data. The reason why the result of this study differed from the opinion of Nguyen Quang, an experienced expert in Cross Cultural Study, is the scope and the participants of this study. This research only highlights the body language of students during their presentation at school; moreover, the Vietnamese participants were the students in ED, HULIS who study Linguistic and Cultures of English Speaking Countries, so they have knowledge about these countries’ languages, conversational styles and their cultures and thus it’s inevitable for them to be partially influenced by the target cultures. 4.2.2. Facial expression It is not unnecessary to repeat the result of the previous study done in American and cited in Nguyen Quang (1998:62) that 93 percent of message was transmitted by the speaker’s voice of tone and facial expressions. This number shows clearly the importance of facial expression. According to Nguyen Quang, Vietnamese people are more subdued with their emotions with the general belief that it is unacceptable to show emotion openly. It can be the reason why facial expression was paid attention to as much as gestures by the surveyed Vietnamese students in this study (chart 4.2). 54
After observing six students in their presentations, the researcher noticed that the three observed Vietnamese students did not show their emotions as freely as did American students. Only one out of three observed Vietnamese students kept smiling during her presentation. The others rarely smiled constrainedly and their faces made the audience have a thought that the speakers were emotionless or they were not confident enough to deliver information about their topic. Conversely, all the three observed American students kept smiling freely all the time of their presentations. Smiling helped they look friendly and more confident. Moreover, it caused the audience a positive feeling that the speakers were actually interested in the topic and ready to answer any questions given to them. 4.2.3. Gestures Sproule (1997:290) remarked that the combined movements of hand and arm probably are the most consciously used gestures for the public speakers. What the researcher has got from the study seems to support his opinion. As the result of question 3, gesture is the most common type of body language which was employed during presentations by 35.8% and 53% of Vietnamese students and American students respectively. After observing six presentations, the researcher also realized that arm-hand gestures were used more frequently and effectively than gestures with the head. In American side, the most common gesture the surveyed students used to emphasize their opinions was pointing the index finger in the air (62%) while in Vietnamese side, it was rubbing hands (58%). One of the reasons for the dominant use of arm-hand gesture by both Vietnamese and American students may be it is easier to use and perfectly serves to emphasize and illustrate virtually whatever speakers tend to express. For example, arm-hand gesture is a good choice when speakers want to illustrate their enthusiasm for being there to begin their presentation. They can accentuate their point of view with a solid, intentional gesture and 55
emphasize main points with deliberate gesture or use their hands to indicate a new topic or transition with a forward or open gesture, too. 4.2.4. Postures As mentioned above, posture refers to how we carry our body, whether we were standing in an erect or in slouched manner. Within the scope of this study, the researcher examined the way Vietnamese and American students carry their body during their presentations. Generally speaking, both Vietnamese and American students achieved poise and freedom of expression during their speech. gesture effectively during their presentation. Based on the data collected from the survey questionnaires and observations, it can be seen clearly that the most common posture of both Vietnamese and American is standing with the straight back. However, it is impossible to maintain a single posture throughout the presentation. People naturally change their posture to adjust to physical conditions and to achieve certain purposes. As observed, the both two groups of students also had their postures changed to have comfort and to serve some goals when speaking. The researcher noticed that the American students seemed to use a wider range of postures than the Vietnamese ones. 79% of the surveyed Vietnamese students often stood with their straight back and the results from the observations also reflected this numerical data. Besides, the Vietnamese students leaned their hands against the edge of the tables and bent over a bit forward to the listeners when they wanted to emphasize or draw attention to something. Whereas, the American could stand at the same position but they tilted the upper part of their body from side to side rhythmically to illustrate their points. Some of them stood at the podium and swayed their body relaxed that made them feel more comfortable and confident. They occasionally bent over to emphasize the points they would 56 Most of them had the comfortable figure of standing posture which allowed them to move and
like to make. Their postured seemed to support for their opinion efficiently. Conversely, the observed Vietnamese students were more stuck to their basic posture without departing from it. Keeping stable and unchanged posture seemed to be more suitable to Vietnamese students and it seemed to help them feel more confident. In conclusion, both Vietnamese and American students were wellpostured speakers, which showed their interest in as well as knowledge about the topic of their presentation. To be well-postured also means that both two groups of students felt quite confident during their talk. However, they differed in changing posture throughout their presentations. The American students used their body for emphasis more frequently than did Vietnamese students. 4.3. Implications: How to use body to communicate effectively in oral presentations at schools It is true that body language is not noticeable in daily speaking, however, in a formal setting as an academic presentation, the speaker’s body language is the first and foremost thing which makes the first impression on the audience. This part will focus on things which Vietnamese students should and should not do during oral presentations at schools with the participants of American in the role of audience. Although bodily communication or body language cannot change the ideas of a presentation, it can help to make the most of those ideas. 4.3.1. Eye contact Patterns of eye contact are different across cultures around the world in general and two cultures specifically. Besides gestures, American students pay much attention to eye contact because looking people in their eyes is the signal of honesty in this culture. Although looking directly at others’ eyes can be considered as impoliteness in Vietnam, when delivering oral presentation, Vietnamese 57
students should pay more attention to eye contact. Maintaining eye contact throughout the presentation is the best way to persuade the American audience. Communicators who maintain eye contact with the audience are likely to be seen as more persuasive, truthful, sincere, skilled, honest and friendly. There is nothing more reassuring to a speaker than to see members of the audience nod in agreement or smile. However, there are always pitfalls even for the best presenters. To be more confident, the speakers tend to focus their eye contact more on individuals who look interested than on those who seem bored, consequently, they direct their attention to those people and neglect the rest of the audience and then they inadvertently lost most of the listeners. It is the reason why Vietnamese students should not maintain eye contact with only one wing of the audience as the observed students in this study. 4.3.2. Facial expression As discussed above, American students did not pay much attention to their facial expressions because they tended to be more facially expressive than people from other cultures. American, generally, can smile and laugh naturally in public places. Once they become aware of the expressions they make, it will be easier for them to eliminate their expressions. Although Vietnamese people do not express their emotions as openly as American, when delivering presentation to American audiences, Vietnamese students should be more expressive. Smiling is the easiest and most effective way to show the audience that the speaker is confident and not emotionless. It is true that it isn't easy to speak and smile at the same time, but it is important to smile during a presentation if congruent with the message. 4.3.3. Gestures Gesture is an effective nonverbal cue and frequently used by speakers to achieve success. The study also found out that gesture is the 58
type of body language which the American students paid attention to most when delivering presentations. It can be understood that when American students are in the presentation in the role of audience, they also pay attention to the speaker’s gesture most. How to gesture appropriately and effectively when delivering an oral presentation is what to be looked at now. Too little or too much gesture is not encouraged in oral presentation. Therefore, the matter is how to gesture at the right time, in the right way to achieve the purpose. Scholars of communication advised that speakers should use gesture but it must be meaningful. As the researcher observed, Vietnamese students used gestures quite frequently, however, sometimes their gestures were meaningless or they weren’t suitable to the points of speakers. Communicating across cultures requires speakers to pay a due attention to every gesture they use as some gestures are universal but some are not. In Vietnamese culture, pointing the index finger in the air means rudeness, but it is very common in American culture with the purpose of emphasizing some points. Thus, when the audiences of the presentation are American people, Vietnamese students can employ this gesture freely. It is true that some speakers like using some kinds of gesture than the others. Observing Vietnamese people as well as Vietnamese students, the researcher noticed that they are unfamiliar with gestures with shoulder. In other words, they do not use shoulder gestures to communicate as often as American students. A gesture is effective when it is used naturally, so if Vietnamese students feel uncomfortable to use shoulder gestures, they shouldn’t employ them. Using a gesture that a speaker is not familiar with may make himself feel uneasy, or even produces negative impact on the audience. Of course, it is most effective if the speaker can employ gesture appropriately to highlight and illustrate their points during their 59
presentations. However, it’s not necessary to use gesture at any cost. A gesture should be done purposefully, appropriately and naturally to assure a successful presentation. 4.3.4. Postures The speaker’s posture at the beginning and during the talk affects the audience’s judgment on him/her, which may determine whether he/she is perceived as a confident speaker. Based on the result of the survey questionnaires and the observations of the researcher, it can be drawn out that most Vietnamese students have good posture during their presentation by standing with the straight back. However, if they keep single posture throughout their presentation, it can make the audience bored and the students would fail to exploit the benefit of many kinds of posture. Posture changing is not only for achieving confidence and comfort purpose but also for other purposes such as illustration or emphasis. Moreover, when the speakers use a single posture, the goals of emphasizing their points and illustrating through body activities can hardly be achieved. Vietnamese students can learn American students by practicing to tilt their upper body side to side rhythmically when they want to emphasize their points. Vietnamese students could lean their hands against the edge of tables, however, they shouldn’t lean forward too far with their hands resting on the tables. This posture can make the American audience think that the speakers are too tired or they don’t want to talk any more. 4.3.5. Ways to get the audience’s attention/ interest The result finding from question 7 in the survey questionnaire showed that most American students preferred looking at the audience and pausing when they wanted to have the audience’s attention. To the researcher within the scope of this study, with a small number of audiences, these techniques seem to be the most effective. If there is a very large 60
audience however, the technique must change. If people are not paying attention at the beginning of a talk, the speaker must raise his/her voice. However, in the middle of a talk, varying the volume frequently is very helpful in keeping people interested.
CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION
In this chapter, the researcher attempts to make a conclusion of the main findings presented beforehand as well as review and explain the shortcomings of the current research, based on which, suggestions for future studies will be given. 5.1. Major findings of the research On the whole, this research paper performs as a fairly comprehensive study on nonverbal communication in general and body language with emphasis on eye contact, facial expression, gesture and posture used by American and Vietnamese students in oral presentation at school in particular. The researcher has applied both qualitative and quantitative methods into the practice of investigating the research problem. Through exhaustive analysis and discussion of data collected from questionnaires and observations, significant findings concerning the research questions have been revealed as follows: Firstly, the study has confirmed that body language is widely used in oral presentation at school by both Vietnamese and American students, and this study focused on four types of body language: eye contact, facial expression, gesture and posture. Secondly, from the cross-cultural angle the study identifies the cultural similarities and differences between American and Vietnamese students’ body language in oral presentation at school. Generally speaking, although both Vietnamese and American students were aware of using body language during their presentations, American students were more skillful at employing all kinds of body language. They used body language more naturally, so it supported their opinions more effectively.
Thirdly, the study made some suggestions about how should Vietnamese students employ body language effectively to achieve a successful oral presentation when their audiences are American. 5.2. Limitations of the research Hard as the researcher has tried, her research possesses some inevitable limitations due to time constraint and other unexpected factors. These shortcomings should always be taken into consideration when further related studies are conducted in the future. First, due to the difficulty of accessing participants, especially American ones, the number and the representativeness of American students participating in the study remained relatively low. In terms of Vietnamese side, in order to study thoroughly Vietnamese students’ body language in oral presentation, more institutions at which students’ presenting activity is compulsory should have been involved as larger range of subjects will assure the validity of the research. Secondly, most of the survey questionnaires done by American students were sent via emails without the researcher’s presence and supervision, so it was really a big obstacle to retaining the validity and reliability of the results. Some questions were still left unanswered, which affected the total added up results and analysis. Moreover, three observed American presentations were not directly made by the researcher, so the reliability and the validity cannot be checked. 5.3. Suggestions for further research Other researchers who develop interest in the same topic may find the following recommendations useful for their future works. Firstly, further research should spread its range of participants. In this study, the participants are students at only two institutions, HULIS and COE. As previously mentioned, due to the difficulty of accessing American students, only a relative sample was taken. Larger samples would help to 63
shed more lights on the perception of the American and Vietnamese students towards body language types and favored body language types used in oral presentation, from that place, a broader outlook on the similarities as well as differences between two cultures concerning the uses of body language in oral presentation would be explored. Secondly, to improve the reliability of the research, the triangulation method of observation, interview and questionnaire should be employed in collecting data. Moreover, within the scope of this study, only some aspects of using body language in oral presentation of two groups of students: American and Vietnamese could be explored, that was frequency of eye contact maintenance, the emphasizing gesture, the common used posture, ways to have the audience’s attention. Therefore, there exist a large number of interesting topics related to using body language in oral presentation in two cultures as followings: The relation between students’ gender and using body language in oral presentation. The relation between the topic of presentation and students’ body language to illustrate their points.
1. Adelman, M.B & Levine, D.R. (1993). Beyond Language CrossCultural Communication. Regents, Prentice Hall Inc,. 2. Alder, R.B (1998). Intercultural verbal communication. Holt R. Winston Inc 3. Alison, M. and Susan, M. Gass (2005). Second Language Research: Methodology and Design. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Publishers. 4. Argyle (1970). The Psychology of Interpersonal Behavior. Dredger Publishers. 5. Berelson and Steiner. (1964). Human Behavior: An Inventory of Scientific Findings, New York: Harcourt, Brace and World 6. B. Haslett (1987) Communication, strategic action in context 7. Brooks, W.D & Heath, R.W. (1989). Speech Communication. Iowa. Win. C. Brow Publishers. 8. Burgoon, J., Buller, D. and Woodall, G. (1996). Nonverbal communication – the unspoken dialogue. McGraw-Hill. 9. Culture at Work: Communicating Across Cultures communication. Retrieved from work.com/noverbal.html 10.Douglas, J. Enhance your Presentation Skills [PPT document]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whTwjG4ZIJg 11.Dwyer, J. The business Communication Handbook, Fifth Edition, Prentice Hall. 12.Edward T. Hall (1959). Silent language. Doubleday and Co, New York. 13.Gajendra K. Verma and Kanka Mallick (1999). Researching Education: Perspectives and Techniques. Falmer Press. 65 Nonverbal http://www.culture-at-
14.Harrison, R.P. (1973). Nonverbal communication, Handbook of Communication. Chicago: Rand Mc Nally. 15.Harrison, R.P. (1965). Toward an Understanding of Nonverbal Communication Systems, Journal of Consulting Communication, 339. 16.Hornby, A.S. (2005). Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary, the 7th edition. Oxford University Press. 17.http://www.publicspeakingskills.com/pages/Doug-Jefferys.htm 18.http://deangarfield13.wordpress.com/2009/08/19/eye-contact/ 19.http://www.tpub.com/content/draftsman/14263/css/14263_203.htm 20.http://siblings.adoptionblogs.com/weblogs/top-10-tools-for-easinglanguage-barrier-2 21.http://hannes.emotisys.net/page/2/ 22.http://www.kevinhogan.com/ 23.Judith. N. Martin and Thomas K. Nakayama (2004). Intercultural Communication in context. Cambridge University Press 24.Knapp, M. (1972). Nonverbal Communication in Human Interaction. Holt, Reinhart and Winston Inc., New York. 25.Larry, A.S, Richard, E.P, Edwin, R.M. (2009). Communication between Cultures, the 7th edition. Wadsword. 26.Lucas, S.E. (1995). The Art of Public Speaking. McGraw-Hill. Inc 27.Mayer, K.P. (1992). Well Spoken. McGraw-Hill. Inc 28.Mehrabian, A. (1972). Nonverbal Communication, Wadsworth, Belmont, California, Chicago: Aidine, Atherton. 29.Nicholas Boothman cited in Vadim Kotelnikov, Eye Contact. Retrieved fromhttp://www.1000ventures.com/business_guide/crosscuttings/co mmunication_f2f_eye_contact.html
30.N. Quang. (1998). Intercultural Communication. Vietnam National University Publishing House. 31.N. Quang. (2001).Nonverbal Communication across Cultures. Vietnam National University Publishing House. 32.N.Quang. (2007). Nonverbal Communication. Journal of Science – VNU - HULIS, (23) 33.Presentation retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presentation 34.Ribbons, G. and Thompson, R. (2000). Understanding Body Language. Barron’s Educational Series, Inc. 35.Rogers cited in Communication Skills. Retrieved from http://www.pathways.cu.edu.eg/subpages/training_courses/Communi cations7/Chapter1.htm 36.Saundra H. and Richard L. Weave II (1992). Communicating effectively. America: Von Hoffman Press 37.Schramm cited in Communication Skills. Retrieved from http://www.pathways.cu.edu.eg/subpages/training_courses/Communi cations7/Chapter1.htm 38.Sproule, M. (1997), Speech making. Brown & Benchmark Publishers. 39.The Eyes Have It, And They're All On You and Your Gestures. 2003. The Total Communicator, 1. Retrieved from http://totalcommunicator.com/eyes_article.html 40.T. Khadeejah Al-Harbi. English Speaking Practice through Presentation. Retrieved from http://www.moe.edu.kw/schools2/mobarak_alkabeer/secondaryschoo ls/girls/Adan%20Web%20Site/English.htm 41.Tonya Reiman, (2007). The power of body language. 42.Trang, V.T.T (2008). Graduation paper. HULIS
APPENDICES Appendix 1: Questionnaire – English version
SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE FOR PRESENTERS
I am Do Thanh Uyen, a senior student of the English Department – HULIS – VNUH. I am conducting my graduation thesis on American and Vietnamese students’ body language in oral presentation at school. This survey is designed to investigate your opinions on the subject. Your personal information will be kept strictly confidential. Please give your answer truthfully for a guaranteed success of the investigation. Thank you very much for your help!
Background information Your age: Your nationality: American You are: Male You are student at: ………………………………………………. You are: freshman sophomore junior senior
Survey questions 1. How do you rank the importance of body language in the success of oral presentation? A. indispensable B. important C. not important but a little useful D. not important at all 2. How often do you use action to illustrate during your presentations at school?
3. Which type of body language you pay attention most when you deliver your presentation at school? A. Your facial expression B. Your postures (sitting/ standing position…) C. Your gestures D. Your eye contact 4. When delivering your presentation at school, how often do you maintain directly eye contact with the audience? 1 Always 2 Often 3 Sometimes 4 Rarely 5 Never
5. Which gesture you use most when you want to emphasize your opinion in your presentation at school? A. Sweeping your arm B. Rubbing your hands C. Clasping your hands D. Drumming on the table E. Pointing your index finger in the air F. Others: ………………………………………………………………………….. 6. During your presentation at school, which posture is the most commonly used? A. Standing with straight back B. Standing with your hands in your pockets C. Standing/ sitting with your chins on your hands D. Leaning your hands against the edge of tables E. Standing with your hands against your hips F. Others: .................................................................................................................. 7. What do you often do when you want to have the audiences’ attention during your presentation at school? A. Raise your voice B. Look at the audiences and pause C. Clap your hands D. Others: ................................................................................................................
Appendix 2: Questionnaire – Vietnamese version
PHI U KH O SÁT DÀNH CHO NGƯ I THUY T TRÌNH
Xin chào các b n. Tôi là sinh viên năm th tư khoa Anh trư ng Ng i H c Ngo i i H c Qu c Gia Hà N i. Tôi th c hi n kh o sát này nh m thu th p d tài “Nghiên c u giao văn hóa v vi c s
li u cho lu n văn t t nghi p c a tôi,
d ng ngôn ng cơ th c a sinh viên M và sinh viên Vi t Nam trong khi thuy t trình”. Mong các b n vui lòng h p tác v i tôi hoàn thành phi u tr l i dư i ây. Tôi xin cam oan các k t qu thu th p ư c ch ph c v duy nh t cho m c ích nghiên c u v văn hóa và thông tin cá nhân c a các b n s không b nêu ra dư i b t kì hình th c nào. S giúp thành công c a nghiên c u này. Xin vui lòng cho bi t: Gi i tính: Tu i: Sinh viên trư ng: Sinh viên: năm th ba năm th tư Ph n câu h i 1. B n ánh giá như th nào v m c quan tr ng c a ngôn ng cơ th i v i thành công c a m t bài thuy t trình? A. Không th thi u B. Quan tr ng C. Không quan tr ng nhưng có ích D. Hoàn toàn không c n thi t 2. B n có thư ng xuyên s d ng ngôn ng cơ th minh h a khi thuy t trình t i trư ng không? 1
c a các b n có ý nghĩa quy t
Thư ng xuyên
Th nh tho ng
Hi m khi
Không bao gi
3. Ki u ngôn ng cơ th nào b n chú ý nh t khi thuy t trình? A. Bi u hi n nét m t B. Tư th ( ng/ ng i...)
C. C ch D. Nhãn giao 4. Khi thuy t trình, b n có thư ng xuyên duy trì nhãn giao v i khán gi không? 1
Thư ng xuyên
Th nh tho ng
Hi m khi
Không bao gi
5. C ch nào ư c b n s d ng nhi u nh t khi b n mu n nh n m nh ý ki n c a mình trong khi thuy t trình? A. Khoát tay B. Xoa hai tay vào nhau C. an hai tay vào nhau D. Gõ tay lên bàn E. Ch ngón tay tr vào không khí F. Cách khác: ............................................................................... 6. Tư th nào ư c b n s d ng nhi u nh t trong su t bài thuy t trình? A. ng th ng lưng B. ng và cho tay vào túi qu n C. Ng i/ ng ch ng tay lên c m D. D a tay vào thành bàn E. ng ch ng hai tay vào hông F. Cách khác: ............................................................................................. 7. B n thư ng làm gì khi mu n thu hút s chú ý c a khán gi vào bài thuy t trình? A. Nói cao gi ng B. Nhìn vào khán gi và d ng l i C. V tay D. Cách khác: ................................................................................................
Appendix 3: OBSERVATION CHECKLIST
1 2 Often 3 Sometimes 4 Rarely 5 Never
Student’s nationality: Topic of presentation: Time:
The speaker’s eye contact with the entire audience The speaker smiles at the audiences when he/she asks or answers them The speaker’s gestures to illustrate his/her ideas
Sweeping their arm Rubbing their hands Clasping their hands Drumming on the table Pointing their index finger in the air Others:
The speaker’s posture
Standing with straight back Standing with their hands in their pockets Standing/ sitting with their chins on their hands Leaning their hands against the edge of tables Standing with their hands against their hips Others: