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Running head: The Silent Language in a Multicultural Classroom 1

Article Review on The Silent Language in a Multicultural Classroom

Lun Sian Cing

International Teachers College


Abstract: In this article, the author is trying to communicate to his readers how important is the

nonverbal communication in a multicultural classroom. One of the main message the author gave

his readers is on kinesics behavior which means body language that includes all the expressions

the body can express. The author assets his readers to not to stereotype any kind of gesture. To

prove this, the author mentioned that Birdwhistell (1970) maintains that boy language is

culturally determined and that although he has been searching for 15 years he has found no

gesture or body motion has the same social meaning in all cultures. In another word, the author

attempts to make the readers aware of the cross-cultural implications of nonverbal behaviour

and how it might lead to misunderstanding and misjudgement of the intention of the

communicator and can lead to stereotyping of students and teachers. (Wolfgang, 1977) In

conclusion, the author reminded the teachers who are working at schools that are bilingual or

multicultural to study the cultures of the students to be culturally flexible. The article was

concluded by a reminder to respect the differences and accept their individuality even if it could

be a culture shock to the readers.


Evaluation and Reflection: Even though this article was based on an American context, I believe

that this is applicable for even Asian context. Body language is what makes the teacher

successful and effective in the classroom. It is the only communication that can connect the

teacher and the students in another level. Students tend to trust teachers who can express their

confidence in their body language. However, this also is the hardest and most complicated

problem teachers are facing all around the world. It is the hardest obstacle to overcome for

teachers in the classroom. No matter how well prepared the lessons are, one little mistake or

miscommunication of a body language either from the teacher or the student can cause culture

shocks and worse, lack of trust. During my teaching practicum, I have learnt how my

cooperating teacher communicated with her students through body languages without

contradicting students cultures. She built an understanding of the gestures that manages her

students to reach goal of the day, to communicate without strict disciplining, to be able to pay

attention to her without having to give warnings. As a novice teacher myself, I have seen the

effectiveness of a successful non-verbal communication in the classroom. Surely, teachers have

to pay extra attention to the cultures of the students, learn them and accept without questioning,

and to come up with adaptable and acceptable gestures that everyone can easily understood. To

connect with the Bible, 1 Corinthians 10:31 reminds us to glorify God in every action. As

redemptive teachers, we are to glorify God in everything we do. Our body languages should not

be contradicting our students but to accept them just as they are. We are the ones to come up with

ideas and gestures that will redeem them in their own boundaries. Therefore, in conclusion, I

believe that future teachers should read this article to be aware of the importance of body

language especially in a multicultural classroom and to come up with redemptive ways for our

future students.