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This article focuses on types of challenge to intercultural communicators arising during communication between those with a good level of intercultural competence and those with a lower level and which relate to communicative style. Those with weaker intercultural competence tend to have limited awareness of variation in communicative style and its link to language and culture. As a result, they often continue using aspects of the communicative style of their first language when using a for-eign language. They may even criticise ethnocentrically aspects of the communicative style associated with that foreign language. This can create specific challenges for a more interculturally competent communicator who may well understand the behaviour in question but find it hard to deal with. The key aim of this article is to analyse these challenges prior to hypothesising what underlying skills and prac-tical strategies might help communicators to deal with them. Relevant skills are sought in existing lit-erature and the further processes used in generating hypotheses are described. Skills are identified which include the capacities to deal with negative comments on your own communicative style, to per-suade your fellow communicator of its validity, to negotiate compromises and to steer the communica-tion towards a mutually satisfactory dynamic. Besides outlining the forms further research needs to take, the article concludes by stressing the importance of better understanding these challenges and of incorporating the development of skills for dealing with them into a variety of teaching programmes containing an intercultural component.

About the authors

Robin Cranmer

University of Westminster (Retired 2016)

Robin Cranmer, Dr, Senior Lecturer in Intercultural Communication and Language Education, Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Westminster, London (retired in 2016). Research interests: Intercultural Communication, Language Teaching, Translation Studies, Cultural Identity, Philosophy of Language. 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW, UK


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