Immigrant communication apprehension

Authored by: Chia-Fang (Sandy) Hsu

The Routledge Companion to Migration, Communication, and Politics

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138058149
eBook ISBN: 9781315164472
Adobe ISBN:


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Despite the negative impact of communication anxiety, little literature has examined its causes and remedies among immigrants during cross-cultural adaptation. Applying the component theory of communication apprehension, this chapter argues that an immigrant’s communication apprehension is a product of the interaction between his or her self-perceived motivation, negative evaluation, and communication competence when communicating with host country nationals. The desire to succeed in a new culture, expectation of negative reactions, and lack of language confidence and cultural sensitivity could all interact to increase communication apprehension among immigrants. This chapter also argues that current intervention techniques (e.g., imagined contact and visualization) developed in intergroup anxiety and speech anxiety can be adapted to help immigrants reduce self-perceived negative evaluation and increase communication competence. Further interventions should be developed to help immigrants set reasonable goals for integrating with host nationals.

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