Paralinguistics in Spoken English: Investigating the Use of Proxemics and Kinesics in an EFL Context

Pelin Irgin


This research presents how important the body language in oral communication for the foreign language users is in cross cultural communication. Yet, very little attention has been given in the international setting for incorporating paralinguistics into the classroom environment. This paper aims to explain the essential elements of paralinguistics, and to have a special consideration on the use of paralinguistic elements by foreign language learners in a Turkish context. The participants of the study included 68 EFL tertiary level students at a state university in Turkey. The data were collected using a questionnaire “Paralinguistics in Spoken English” developed by the researcher. Descriptive statistics, frequencies and independent samples t-test procedures have been calculated to analyze the collected data. It has been found that item 34, 49, 43, 31, 46 (see Table 2) are the most frequent used proxemics and kinesics by the participants. There is a significant difference in terms of the use of the kinesics and proxemics regarding both gender and regional differences. The results reveal that cultural values should be taught as paralinguistics to prevent both intra cultural and inter cultural communication among EFL students.

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