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"Of all the types of nonverbal communication, this may be one of the most noticeable. We all examine each others' faces as we talk, gleaning information to confirm that the meaning is received as it is delivered. Smiling is one facial expression that is likely to put other people at ease and make them feel accepted and comfortable. You exude happiness and encouragement when you smile, so try to add it to more of your conversations. Scowling, chewing your lip, and raising your eyebrows can all signal different meanings, so it is important to be aware of how your face looks during a conversation." (Source:
Smiling is often used to request information or help. Verbal expressions in the states such as “thank you” are often skipped and a smile is used instead. Be aware that smiling could also signal embarrassment. Wiggling the nose may indicate confusion or a desire to have a situation explained. To point at something a Puerto Rican student may purse their lips and motion toward it with their mouth. (Curt, 1984)
In the Chinese culture, a display of good feelings can mask the true feelings of the speaker. May display good feelings when feeling nervous, embarrassed, or criticized. Most with a person in a lower position of a hierarchy, showing respect or consideration to their superiors. Smile is also used to suppress the bad feelings within themselves. (Sun, 2010)
When greeting a person, one should always smile. (Iraq, n.d.)
Students may need to be taught how to verbally request help in the classroom. Many cultures do not rely as heavily on language when seeking help. Do not assume that if a child is smiling he is happy. Check for understanding even if the student appears to understand what is happening. They may be saving face.
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