Developing the Malay Children’s Literary Resources

Chew Fong Peng, Ph.D Associate Prof. Mahzan Arshad, Ph.D Teh Ying Wah, Ph.D University of Malaya MALAYSIA

Keywords: children’s literature, Malaysia, survey

The materials or resources for Malay literature for early childhood in Malaysia still in the infant stage and has not expanded to be the main references or developed into the big book form. The children’s literature in our market is not published based on the education philosophy and research, but it is produced more on profit-based without taking into account the psychological development of the children. According to Mahzan Arshad (2006), children’s literature published in Malaysia is categorized into the minimum level of consideration of the psychological development of the children. Children’s literature may cultivate the interest of the children to start reading at the early stage. When we evaluate the quality of the children’s literature, we need to take into account the interest of the children, their visual ability, messages of the story, and the effect of the story on the children. Hence a survey was carried out among 941 respondents including university students, preschool teachers and parents who were selected randomly in Malaysia. Learning outcomes identified the main features which attract the children to read. Malaysian children were found to be interested in the stories with the themes of love, friendship and family, imaginative animals and funny characters, simple plots, colourful illustrations, with big size story books, a lot of dialog and published in the video type (DVD/VCD). The main factor that is considered by parents when buying children’s literature materials are the moral values, quality and activities in the stories. They also require CALL in the building activities such as ICT games and exercises to make teaching and learning more effective.

Arab Chironomia in a Global Context

Daniel R. Fredrick, Ph.D. The American University of Sharjah, UAE

Keywords: Rhetoric studies, Intercultural Communication, Arab, Chironomia

In 1806, by writing Chironomia: a Treatise on Rhetorical Delivery, the Reverend Gilbert Austin corrected what he called the ‘strange prejudice’ in rhetoric studies to favor four out of the five canons of classical rhetoric while dismissing delivery, the canon which Demosthenes emphasized as critically important if a speaker hoped to reach and persuade audiences. Austin’s great treatise, rich in theory, but tedious in praxis because of the minutiae in notating even the movement of digits, has still been largely neglected, but the systematic theories of Austin, based on the practice of classical orators, can be used today as a guide for understanding non-verbal communication across cultures. Assuming that delivery, actio or hypokrisis, is still a powerful component in communication—so powerful that the wrong gestures can alter messages for the worse—I assert that in the age of globalization, where diverse cultures must interact—not only with mere language but also with tone, the visage, the body—the study of multi-cultural and global chironomia ought to be at the forefront of all courses in communication. In this paper, I will specifically focus on what is the Arab Chironomia in the gulf and how students adjudicate the chironomia of their specific culture in a global context.

How cultural are cross-cultural differences?

Qu Weiguo, Fudan University China Chen Liufang, East China Normal University China

Key words: cultural and developmental differences, politeness, societal change

While not denying the importance of respecting the differences among cultures, this project will argue that not all the differences that have been discussed in the cross-cultural communication studies are inherently cultural. We will argue that many of the differences are more developmental than cultural by looking diachronically into the differences between the Chinese and the English politeness norms, claiming that the differences resulted not from the inherent cultural factors but were rather related to the different stages in the process of societal structural transformation. Mostly, it is industrialization and the resultant urbanization rather than the inherent cultural norms that gave rise to the notion of negative politeness in the English culture, a distinctive notion many scholars have argued absent in the traditional Chinese politeness culture. But the recent development in China and the relevant changes in the interaction norm seem to suggest that when the societal structural transformation has reached to a certain stage, similar changes will inevitably take place. The cases used for discussion are forms of greeting, and addressing.