Cross-Cultural Activities: Voices from EFL Classrooms



Muhammad Handi Gunawan

Ferry Antoni



This paper will look at the practice of cross-cultural communication in the classroom. The activities are used to minimize intercultural misunderstandings or communication breakdowns between Indonesian learners and native speakers of English. Indonesian learners are proud to be called “fluent speakers of English” for their excellent command of English grammar and pronunciation. The problem is that when they interact with native speakers, they are not always aware of how to interact appropriately. The result is that they might experience misunderstandings and apply stereotypes not to mention having negative attitudes towards another culture.


Therefore, it is a teacher’s job to equip the learners with information about target language and the culture underlying it so that they will be ready in interacting with native speakers of English. Teacher should be aware of the cross-cultural understanding which is important for cross-cultural communication. In other words, the teacher can not only teach English in linguistic aspects such as morphology, syntax, etc, without at the same time teaching the culture in which it operates.


The paper will be a shared experience as it will highlight the importance of intercultural misunderstanding concepts and emphasize on the activities that raise the cultural awareness in EFL classroom. The activities will reveal: identifying appropriate questions, anecdotes reflecting cross-cultural differences, the problem with English idioms, cartoons, body language, etc.


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Gunawan, M. H., & Antoni, F. (2004, December). Cross-cultural activities: Voices from EFL Classroom. Paper presented at the 52nd TEFLIN International conference, Palembang, Indonesia.






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