A flow that comes when we’re talking: Water metaphors for exploring intercultural communication during early childhood assessment interactions in a Yolŋu (First Nations Australian) community

Emily Armstrong, Ḻäwurrpa Maypilama, Yuŋgirrŋa Bukulatjpi, Dorothy Gapany, Lyn Fasoli, Sarah Ireland, Rachel Dikul Baker, Sally Hewat, Anne Lowell

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Abstract

Culture mediates how all people think and communicate and intercultural communication skills are required for effective collaboration. This study (2017–2021) explored intercultural communication with 40 participants in one very remote First Nations Australian community in Northern Australia. We explored the perspectives of both Yolŋu (First Nations Australian people from North-East Arnhem Land) and Balanda (non-Indigenous people, in this case Australian) on interactions during early childhood assessments of Yolŋu children (0–6 years). Our intercultural research team used a culturally responsive form of video-reflexive ethnography, a Yolŋu approach to in-depth discussion and collaborative analysis. In this article, we explore nine intercultural communication processes that were recognized and enacted by study participants. Each process is represented by a metaphor drawn from water traveling in North-East Arnhem Land. We share these processes so that others may consider exploring their relevance in other intercultural communication contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Applied Communication Research
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2023

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