Cross-Cultural Conversational Strategies Used by Chinese Students in Pakistan


  • Umaima Kamran Quaid I Azam University Islamabad
  • Saadia Abid Department of Anthropology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan



Cross-cultural conversational strategies; high/low context cultural; verbal and nonverbal indications.


Cross-cultural communication is the study of ways people from multi-cultural backgrounds interact, in similar and different manners among themselves, and how they strive to converse cross culturally. This becomes particularly significant given potential frequency of interaction and/or the nature of relationship. The claim of Pakistan-China friendship with new economic agreements in the form of CPEC is opening up new avenues requiring effective cross-cultural communication. One of which is in the academic domain with an increased students exchange. The aim of the present research is to explore the cross-cultural conversational strategies used by female Chinese Students studying at International Islamic University Islamabad, Pakistan while conversing in English. The current study focuses to depict their cultural context i.e. high context culture or low context culture by exploring their method of developing the topic; ways of responding difficult questions and participation in term of interaction; and their promptness of disagreement through verbal and nonverbal indications. A Popular cultural framework of Hall (1976, 2000) is used as a theoretical framework for this research. For the elicitation of linguistics data, questionnaires (adapted from Xu Lin (2007) and interviews are used as a data collection tool. The study concludes that the Chinese female students are low context people, who rely on words, as they avoid silence and actively participate in the conversation for clear understanding of the topic. It is clear from their responses of interviews as well as questionnaires that they interact during conversation and immediately disagree through verbal and nonverbal indications. They don’t only give short answers but try to develop the topic raised in the questions and even try to respond difficult questions.

Author Biography

Saadia Abid, Department of Anthropology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan

Dr. Saadia Abid is working as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Anthropology, Quaid-i-Azam University. Her research primarily centers on issues related to gender, class, identity construction and alterity aspects. Apart from this, Abid has a keen interest in contextualizing and deconstructing various forms of disparities and marginalization resulting from patriarchy, capitalism, colonization and globalization. She has obtained her PhD from University of Vienna, Austria, and is a trained anthropologist having an expertise in ethnographic research methods. 

Abid has worked as research fellow for several international projects including, “Peaceful Change Violent Conflict: the transformation of the Middle East and Western-Muslim relations” and “South Asian Network to Address Masculinities” sponsored by DAAD (Germany) and Save the Children (Sweden) respectively. 



How to Cite

Kamran, U., & Abid, S. . (2023). Cross-Cultural Conversational Strategies Used by Chinese Students in Pakistan. International Journal of Linguistics and Culture, 4(1), 137-150.