Why Is Asians Silent in Class

Topics: Culture, The Culture, United States Pages: 3 (836 words) Published: January 30, 2011
Why is Asians Silent in Class?
: Silence is Virtue

College in United States, especially in N.Y.C, is very fascinated place for learning. People called N.Y.C as cultural melting spot. More than one hundred cultures and various people are making one big culture, as well as in college. Some people said that class in N.Y.C seems like U.N association, because people from six continents gather together and study. Although it is totally joking, it is not unavailable to see like that way by people who live out of U.S. However, among the group of the students in a class, some students seemed that they are not fit in the class well—it is Asians. Unlike Americans, Asians are known to be silent and apprehensive when it comes to class participation. Jun Liu studies this situation and enumerates the possible reasons as to why Asian students prefer silence. “Silence is open to interpretation, its meaning, its structure, and its functions are culture-laden.” Its interpretation is also culturally defined. (Liu, 189-190) That is why people with an “expressive culture” such as those from the United States, are constantly seeking possible opportunities geared towards self-expression. While people who grew up in a country with a “receptive culture,” such as China, feels less need to display themselves to others (Liu, 190). An example would be the Japanese, “who seem to hold words in lower esteem than do other members of other cultures.” In Japan and many other Asian countries, "the emphasis is on listening rather than speaking, on intuition rather than explanation, on synthesis over analysis” (Liu, 191). In American classes, silence is usually viewed as “absence” or lack of communication. However, in an Asian classroom setting, silence is expected and encouraged as a sign of respect for their teachers and classmates. Due to the generally large class sizes, teachers usually prefer that students do their inquiries or discuss issues after class so that the...
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