Perception of Nonverbal Immediacy and Effective Teaching among Student Teachers: A Study across Cultural Extremes

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Year-Number: 2011-Volume 3, Issue 3

Abstract

This study investigates the perception of nonverbal immediacy behavior with regard to effective teaching among student-teachers of English language teaching (ELT) programs from a cultural aspect. Nonverbal immediacy behavior fosters various educational objectives such as affective learning, cognitive learning and motivation. Like many aspects of communication, nonverbal immediacy behavior constitutes cultural components that display differences among cultures. The present research was conducted on 450 student-teachers studying in ELT undergraduate programs in Japan, Turkey and the USA. Nonverbal Immediacy Scale and a questionnaire item were utilized in a survey model. The findings indicated that each of the cultures considers nonverbal immediacy as an indispensable part of effective teaching, which revealed nonverbal immediacy positively correlates with effective teaching. Also American student-teachers believe 'touching' is a critical variable in defining effective teaching. This study indicated while the perceptions of the nonverbal immediacy behavior vary across cultures, its use and impact in effective teaching are considered indispensable by the student-teachers.

Keywords

Abstract

This study investigates the perception of nonverbal immediacy behavior with regard to effective teaching among student-teachers of English language teaching (ELT) programs from a cultural aspect. Nonverbal immediacy behavior fosters various educational objectives such as affective learning, cognitive learning and motivation. Like many aspects of communication, nonverbal immediacy behavior constitutes cultural components that display differences among cultures. The present research was conducted on 450 student-teachers studying in ELT undergraduate programs in Japan, Turkey and the USA. Nonverbal Immediacy Scale and a questionnaire item were utilized in a survey model. The findings indicated that each of the cultures considers nonverbal immediacy as an indispensable part of effective teaching, which revealed nonverbal immediacy positively correlates with effective teaching. Also American student-teachers believe 'touching' is a critical variable in defining effective teaching. This study indicated while the perceptions of the nonverbal immediacy behavior vary across cultures, its use and impact in effective teaching are considered indispensable by the student-teachers.

Keywords