Body language is a vital form of communication. In fact, it is believed that the various forms of body language contribute about 70 percent to our comprehension. It is important to note, however, that body language varies in different cultures. Take for example, eye movement. In the USA a child is expected to look directly at a parent or teacher who is scolding him/her. In other cultures the opposite is true. Looking directly at a teacher or parent in such a situation is considered a sign of disrespect.
Another form of body language that is used differently, depending on the culture, is distance. In North America people don’t generally stand as close to each other as in South America. Two NorthAmericans who don’t know each other well will keep a distance of four feet between them, whereas South Americans in the same situation will stand two to three feet apart. North Americans will stand closer than two feet apart only if they are having a confidential conversation or if there is intimacybetween them.
Gestures are often used to communicate. We point a finger, raise an eyebrow, wave an arm – or move any other part of the body – to show what we want to say. However, this does not mean that people all over the world use the same gestures to express the same meanings. Very often we find that the same gestures can communicate different meanings, depending on the country. An example of a gesture that could be misinterpreted is sticking out the tongue. In many cultures it is a sign of making a mistake, but in some places it communicates ridicule.
The dangers of misunderstanding one another are great. Obviously, it is not enough to learn the language of another culture. You must also learn its non-verbal signals if you want to communicate successfully.
Question 39: What is the passage mainly about?
A. The significance of non-verbal signals in America
B. Non-verbal communication across cultures
C. Misunderstandings in communication
D. Interpretations of gestures in different cultures
Question 40: The word “misinterpreted” in paragraph 3 is closest in meaning to _________.
A. mispronounced B. misbehaved C. misspelled D. misunderstood
Question 41: The word “it” in paragraph 3 refers to _________.
A. the country B. an example
C. sticking out the tongue D. making a mistake
Question 42: As stated in the passage, in order to communicate successfully with people from another
culture, it is advisable for a person __________.
A. to learn only non-verbal signals of that culture
B. to travel to as many countries as possible
C. to use the body language of the people from that culture
D. to learn both the language and non-verbal signals of that culture
Question 43: Which form of body language is NOT mentioned in the passage?
A. distance B. posture C. gesture D. eye movement