Home » Exercícios de Audio »FA_Posts »Inglês para Comissários » Currently Reading:

Countries and culture

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Countries and culture


  • Practice English skills in an aviation context
  • Discuss cross-cultural communication
  • Have fun!

A flight attendant will become familiar with a great number of countries and cultures over the course of her/his career, but the significance of this is more than just the interest value of visiting diverse geographical locations, witnessing different customs or meeting new people; for a flight attendant working with the public from all walks of life and from all over the world, having an understanding of cross-cultural communication is an essential part of the job.

Successful communication is important for reasons of both safety and service standards but there are more factors to consider than just getting the language right. Cultural differences may sometimes means the message is not received the way it is intended. Reasons for this include:

  • Communication styles differ between different cultures
  • A direct translation of a word might have a different meaning
  • What is good manners in one culture might be bad manners in another culture
  • What is acceptable in one culture might be taboo in another culture
  • Body language can have vastly different meanings

For example, in Albania, people nod their heads for no and shake their heads for yes.

Depending on a person’s first language, a question requiring confirmation might receive a yes or a no, both meaning “That’s right.” i.e. “We don’t have any milk, do we?” “No” (from an Australian), “Yes” (from a Korean) – both meaning “That’s right, we don’t have any milk.”

Knowing how to prevent, recognise and resolve cross-cultural communication problems is a valuable skill set. Expect to be asked to demonstrate your cross-cultural awareness at your interview, and be prepared for the question, “Tell us about a time when cross-cultural communication was an issue, and how you solved it.”

Link to resource Fact sheet: cross-cultural communication


Click and open the link. Read through the fact sheet then answer the following questions.

1. Misunderstandings can occur around the simplest things such as: (give 5)

    2. Techniques for clearer communication include: (give 5)

      3. Language can be influence by culture. For example:  (4)


        1. Misunderstandings can occur around the simplest things such as: (give 5)
        • food
        • language
        • greetings
        • gestures
        • facial expressions
        • eye contact
        • touching
        • pointing
        • self expression
        • privacy
        • male and female roles
        • punctuality
        • religion

        2. Techniques for clearer communication include: (give 5)

        • speaking slowly
        • using short, simple sentences
        • paraphrasing
        • avoiding slang, jargon, jokes, irony or sarcasm
        • demonstrating when giving explanations
        • giving instructions in the order they are to be carried out
        • avoiding double negatives
        • showing understanding and patience
        • avoiding raised voices
        • explaining how ‘the system’ works

        3. Language can be influence by culture. For example:  (4)

        • patterns of conversation – taking turns to speak, silence, how much and what we say, attentiveness and listening
        • functions – apologising, inviting, complimenting, requesting
        • expressiveness – facial expressions and gestures
        • personal space – how far or close we stand or sit when talking to others



        Contact Us

        We would love to hear from you! Please fill out this form and we will get in touch with you shortly.

        Connect to Us

        Facebook Twitter Youtube Linkedin

        Featured Posts

        Aviation English – Inglês para Aviação

        Damon Freeman Aviation English

        Welcome to Global Aviation English’s Blog. Here we will release up to date information about what is happening in the world of Aviation English. We will also share some of our videos, mini lessons, videos and tips for tests and interviews. We have FREE online courses for Pilots, Flight Attendants, Mechanics, …

        Passengers with Special Needs

        special needs 1

        Flight Attendants 1 Passengers with special needs Aim Practice English skills in an aviation context Revise or learn vocabulary surrounding passengers with special needs (level: difficult) Have fun! While some passengers may think that flight attendants are standing by to top up drinks and bring more peanuts, you will no …

        On-board Service


        On-board service Aim ·         Practice English skills in an aviation context ·         Revise or learn adjectives surrounding quality of service ·         Have fun!   Hi Dana, I just got back to Singapore after a week in Bangkok. I remembered that you asked me to tell you what the flight attendants …

        First Bird Strike In Aviation History


        The first reported bird strike was recorded in 1905 by none other than aviation pioneer Orville Wright. According to his diaries, Orville was conducting a practice flight that lasted a little under five minutes total, during which time he covered 4,751 meters and completed four circles. During two of these …

        Types of Aircraft


        TOPIC: Types of Aircraft GOAL: To learn about the various types of aircraft Level: Easy Exercise #1: Read about types of aircraft and then proceed to Exercise #2 Going to an airshow can be a great experience. This is true, not only for the aerial demonstrations, but also the opportunity …

        Airline vs. Executive Aviation


          TOPIC: Airline vs. executive aviation Listen to the audio GOAL: To compare airline flying versus working in executive aviation Level: Easy Exercise #1: Read about the differences between airline flying and executive aviation and then proceed to Exercise #2 The physical aspects of flying an airplane are fairly similar in …