To The Teacher: Teaching Encounters with Westerners
LANGUAGE TOOLS Suggesting Possibilities
ENCOUNTER: The Taxi
INTERCUTURAL COOMMUNICATION READING: Intercultural Communication and
LETTER TO FRAN Not Eating
FRAN'S RESPNSE Not Eating
GULTURE DIFFFERENCE READING: Individualist and Collectivist Cultures
LANGUAGE TOOLS: Different Degrees of Probability
ENCOUNTER: The Gift
INTERGULTURAL COMMUNICATION READING: Interpreting What Foreigners Mean
LETTER TO FRAN: A Helping Hand
FRAN'S RESPONSE: A Helping Hand
CULTURE DIFFERENCE READING: Public and Private Behavior
LANGUAGE TOOLS: Making and Qualifying Generalizations
INTERGULTURAL COMMUNICATION READING: Generalizations and Stereotypes
LETTER TO FRAN: Who Pays?
FRAN'S RESPONSE: Who Pays? .
GULTURE DIFFERENCE READING:Difference in Rank and Power
LANUAGB TOOLS Feelings and Parts of Speech
ENCOUNTER: The Invitation
INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION READING: Stress in intercultural Encouniers
LETTER TO FRAN: The Shopper
FRAN'S RESPONSE: The Shopper
CULTURE DIFFERENCE READING: Western Communication Styles
LANGUAGE TOOL'S Asking Personal Questions
ENCOUNTER: Living Together
INTERGULTURAL COMMUNICATION READiNG: Projected Cultural Similarity
LETTER TO FRAN: The Goodnight Kiss,
FRAN'S RESPONSE: TheGoodnight Kiss.
CULTURE DIFFERENCE READING: Conformity in Western Cultures
LANGUAGE.TOOLS: Challenging .Assumtmptions
INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION READING:Ethnocentrism
LETER TO FRAN: Cars
FRAN'S RESPONSE: Cars
GUITURE DIFFERENCE RFADING: Family Relationships in the US
LANGUAGE TOOLS: Acknowledging Other People's Point of View
ENCOUNTER: The English Club
there are many more right-handed people than left-handed ones, so the left-handed peo-ple are "different." In loose cultures, children who favor their left hand are generallynot encouraged to use their right-hand, and about 14% of the population grows up left-handed. In contrast, in tight cultures children who favor their left hand are encouragedor even forced to use their right hand instead, and the percentage of left-handed peoplein the adult population is much smaller.
On the whole, Western individualist cultures tend to be "looser" than collectivistcultures. This tendency toward looseness can be seen in a variety of ways. One reflectionof looseness in Western culture is a widespread reluctance to pass laws that prohibit unu-sual behavior. Even if most members of the society do not like a particular kind of be-havior, they often still feel that others should be allowed to make their own choices rath-er than being forced by law to conform. This is especially true with regard to behaviorthat is considered private, such as religious life. Many Westerners feel that peopleshould be allowed to believe and teach whatever they want to, no matter how bizarre orextreme, as long as they don't actually physically harm other people. Another example issexual behavior, which many people have strong views about, but also tend to view asprivate behavior.Another reflection of looseness can be seen in Western advertising, especially in theUnited States. American ads frequently try to sell products by encouraging customers totry to be different from everyone else, using slogans like "Be yourself！" and "Do yourown thing！
" This reflects the fact that Americans, and other Westerners, tend to feel itis a good thing to be different from other people, and perhaps even bad to be a "con-formist" —— someone who conforms to the norms of society:One interesting difference between loose and tight cultures lies in people's ideasabout what constitutes good language use. Tighter cultures tend to value mastery of theirlanguage tradition, whereas loose cultures seem to value creativity and surprise. Thispoint is illustrated by the Chinese view toward use of "set phrases" （cheng yu ）. Chinesetend to respect people who have memorized a broad range of "set phrases" and can usethem appropriately （in traditionally acceptable ways） in speaking and writing. In con-trast, Westerners often consider the use of old sayings to be trite~ they have more re-spect for people who can combine words in new and clever ways, or use old expressionsin new ways.