A Good Set Of Vocabulary English Language Essay

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A good set of vocabulary is needless and futile unless the communicator acquires the knowledge of how to use it in a sentence. If s/he is not able to choose the correct verb from that agrees with a given noun or pronoun, if s/he is not able to select the exact adjective or adverb, or join the words properly, s/he will not be able to communicate his ideas, thoughts, and feelings fully and correctly. Despite years of language training and a level of comfort with academic language, person continues to make consistent grammar errors when speaking. People make grammatical mistakes because of their weak language fluency, or they are not accustomed to communicating in oral language. When a speaker has developed fluency more thoroughly than grammar usage, his grammar knowledge is hardened in his speech and referred as "fossilized grammar" [1] .

And when it comes to intercultural interaction the gap is often wider because participants may not realize that they are using a language in different ways. It is due to the fact that mastering the language, the second language users have not mastered the relation between grammatical form and language function [2] . The mistakes they make can be classified into two groups: low-level errors and High level errors [3] . Low-level error are visible but they do not hinder the meaning much. For instance, wrong work endings for verbs (he go instead of he goes) or nouns (He buys a books) are good examples of low-level errors. In contrast, high-level errors are those which cannot be noticed at once. Any person realizes that he has made a mistake during the interaction only after understanding that he has been wrongly perceived by the other side or has not received that expected feedback from the opponent. An example of high-level errors could be the following exchange between a British student and a Chinese student - the former wants to visit the latter [4] :

British student: do you mind if I come to see you now?

Chinese student: yes.

British student: oh… well, when shall I come then?

Chinese student: you can come now.

British student: but I thought you said you were busy. I will come later.

Chinese student: No, no. I meant you can come now. Do come in.

Misunderstanding is because of the expression "do you mind…" that serves as a polite form of a request which anticipates a negative response such as "no, I don't mind". As the Chinese has not responded with the expected negative grammatical form, the British student understood that the Chinese was busy at the moment.

If a communicator has a poor or insufficient level of grammar, he employs the elements of his native language grammar. For instance he might use wrong pronouns to refer to certain objects which can be misleading as one object can have different genders as well as qualities in various languages. For instance, a bridge in English is of neutral gender, in German, of feminine, and in Spanish, of masculine. Moreover, when asked to describe that noun in particular with adjectives, the German said: beautiful, elegant, fragile, peaceful, pretty, and slender, whereas the Spanish described the bridge as big, dangerous, long, strong, and sturdy [5] .

Failure to pay attention to one's own grammar mistakes, misuse of grammar structures, receiving no feedback on error, and insufficient communication practice might make those mistakes deeply imbedded. In order to eliminate those errors, one needs to become aware of them, learn and practice effective strategies for dealing with them, and receive feedback from language specialists [6] .

3.9 Language accommodation

Another factor that needs to be taken into consideration is language accommodation. When in a need to communicate, one needs to agree on which language to speak. It is no problem if one of participants of the conversation knows only one language and the other not only knows the same language but also doesn't mind to use it during intercultural oral interaction. However, this problem prevails if both or more users know more than one language and cannot nonverbally decide which language to employ in communication. A vivid example of such situation is in Ukraine when one person wants to speak Ukrainian and the other Russian. At times one can observe situations where one person says something in Russian, and the other listens and then replies in Ukrainian. This issue, fortunately, doesn't cause much problem since those two languages are similar.

On the other hand, problems might arise when one tries to speak the language that the other party does not support or antagonizes [7] such as German in Israel or Russian in Estonia. One would have difficulty ordering a cup of coffee in such countries with those languages, since a conflict occurred back in the history between the mentioned countries.

Another example of language accommodation is when people do not know a common language in order to communicate, which gives certain languages a status of "language with higher prestige" [8] . This type of language is usually a foreign one that is known by majority of people and easy, to some extent, to learn. But language proficiency will not suffice in such situation; it should be accompanied by communicative competence.

3.10 Language fluency

Language fluency is "a difficult concept to define" [9] and has a key role in a verbal communication and can cause problems for both speakers and listeners. The person who speaks with insufficient language fluency indicates that he or she cannot speak well in the given language and "might be perceived as boring, tired, or less intelligent than he or she really is" [10] . The person who listens might have problem understanding such person.

Higher degrees of language fluency can lead to the second-language user being perceived as having a higher competency in other areas, such as knowledge of cultural norms [11] . Hence cultural blunders by a foreigner who is not competent in the foreign language might be forgiven as consistent with his or her lack of language skills and cultural knowledge. Identical behavior by a fluent speaker of the language might be perceived negatively, because the person should know better based on his or her level of language fluency [12] .

Another reason why to consider language fluency important is the research made by Nation college foreign language direction council in 2001 which revealed that the employers from the western countries are not satisfied with the level of foreign language knowledge of undergraduates from China because of their lack of fluency [13] . This simply leads to a conclusion that language fluency should be in harmony with communicative and linguistic competence. Any failure to comply with it might result in miscommunication, distortion of perception or loss of relationships in due course.


Communication, whether it is intercultural or intra-cultural one, can have different styles. And these styles are culturally based rules that form a style of communication. There are different styles of them that can cause misunderstanding among people from different cultures as they misperceive each other's style of communication through the frame of their culture where they employ their own communication strategies that function within their own culture. Here will be discussed the styles or strategies of communication as explicit and implicit, direct and indirect, use of silence, Mubalaqha, Use of praise. They can cause many barriers to communication and an example bellow will demonstrate it.

Delegates from all over the world attended the meeting of a professional association in Budapest, Hungary where a delicate issue was discussed regarding a conflict between a delegation from Israel and their supporters and another delegation sympathetic to Palestine and their supporters. Soon after the meeting a Brazilian colleague who is a now resident in England, when was asked about the meeting said, "Oh it was very good. There was a bit of discussion and everything was resolved amicably." This conversation occurred in the main hotel reception hall. then he was called away to deal with something at the reception desk and another colleague, a South African, sitting near said, "It was terrible. They were shouting at each other and very threatening. If something like that happened in our country, they'd be arrested!" Two of people had attended the same business meeting. However, one of them felt it was an outrage to sensible business meeting practices, that things had very nearly gotten out of control, and that, on the whole, the behavior of the delegates was very improper, and the other felt that it was quite a good discussion and that a sensible conclusion had been achieved. Two people from very different cultural backgrounds attended the same meeting far from their own homes and together with many others from equally different cultural backgrounds. All of them were representatives of the same profession and yet their idea of how a meeting should be conducted was so different that they came away with very different impressions of the meeting and of their professional colleagues.

(Analyzing Communication in the International Workplace) [14] 

Obviously, the example above demonstrates how one style of communication is perceived differently by people from diverse cultures. For that reason one needs to understand its importance when getting involved in international conversation. But let us look at some of them bellow.

4.1Explicit versus implicit styles of communication

In certain cultures people express their thoughts directly. However, what is said doesn't mean what is meant. "Communication patterns differ in various countries with respect to the degree which they are explicit or implicit" [15] . Or, another way in which cultures vary in their language use in terms of the degree to which people attend to the explicit meaning of what is said [16] .

Differences between cultures of high-context and low-context communication depend on the extent to which the speaker relies on other factor than explicit speech to interpret meanings. Edward T Hall, an anthropologist and cultural researcher who developed this concept stated that misunderstandings can occur when people are not aware of the difference between high and low-context communication. High-context communicators [for instance, Chinese, Indians, Arabs…] are usually indirect and formal, while low-context communicators [for instance, Americans, the Brittan, Scandinavians…] tend to be direct and informal [17] .

Distinction between implicit and explicit communication can be explained as fallowing; implicit is the one that is linguistically encoded and explicitly communicated, and explicit is the one which pragmatically inferred and implicitly communicated [18] .

H. P. Grice, a British-educated philosopher of language, who spent the final two decades of his career in the United States [19] , made a distinction between those types of communication based on what is said and what is implied [20] . Likewise, the difference may be explained as such: "explicit communication is that in which the propositional form of an utterance communicates the speaker's intention, implicit communication [, on the other hand,] is that in which the utterance does not represent the speaker's intention" [21] .

[One of the] "Way in which cultures vary in their language use is in terms of the degree to which people attend to the explicit meaning of what is said" [22] . One test of the hypothesized cultural difference in explicit communication provided Japanese and Americans with a task in which the literal meaning and the vocal tone of words were in conflict. For instance, they would hear word "Failure" spoken in a happy upbeat tone, participants were either asked to concentrate on the literal meaning of the words or on the tone they were spoken in. the result indicated that Americans had a more difficult time ignoring the literal meaning of the words whereas Japanese had more difficulty ignoring the tone in which the words were expressed [23] . "People in low-context cultures [such as the USA and the UK…] are more explicit in speech and action. Discussions are more overt, detailed, specific and clear, leaving little room for misinterpretation" [24] .

"In the United States effective verbal communication is expected to be explicit, direct, and unambiguous" [25] . People are expected to say exactly what they mean. "In contrast, communication styles in some other cultures, such as India" [26] , "are much more vague, ambiguous, and implicit."

In low-context cultures, which include the USA, the message is conveyed largely by words spoken. In high-context cultures such as Japan, a good deal of meaning is implicit, and the words convey only small part of the message. And when intercultural dialog occurs, misunderstanding is more likely to take place during the process of decoding, even though; people may use a common language in communication.

In certain cultures, for instance, of Latin America, expression of emotions is totally acceptable, whereas in other ones of Asia, emotional expression is considered as a sign of weakness or loss of self-control, which result in loss of respect. Hence, no matter how well one knows a language, it is more likely for misunderstanding to occur while decoding a message.