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The necessity for multicultural counselling to consider the importance of the role of language in the encounter with a new culture

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  1. Language and culture
    1. The language, a real part of culture
    2. The reflection of one's social identity
  2. The difficulties of teaching or learning a foreign language in an intercultural context
    1. To think in the same way that the native speaker does
    2. A new language
  3. How multicultural councelling can help people to adapt to a new culture
  4. The specific case of international students
    1. Some empirical data
    2. In what extent can counsellors help internationals students

According to Schmidt, multicultural counselling has four main goals towards someone who is encountering a new culture. These four goals are: to facilitate changes in one's behavior, to improve social and personal relationships, to increase social effectiveness and one's ability to cope and to enhance human potential and enrich self-development. One of the elements that is really important for achieving all these aims is language. Indeed, how could we help someone feel comfortable in a certain culture without taking the linguistic issue into consideration? But before going into the importance of language in multicultural counselling, we have to briefly clarify the relationship between communication, that includes language and culture. In sociology, culture is often seen as something linked to meaningful or symbolic action. In anthropology, Levy Strauss came to consider culture in linguistic terms. Afterwards, culture was understood to be a system of signs. Then, in 1964 the anthropologists Hymes and Gumperz concluded that culture was to be found in "parole", the spoken language. That is why it is important to study the importance of the role of language to encounter a new culture.

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