Aji Setyanto

In foreign language learning, mastering  culture accompanying  the language learned  is essential and not negotiable. Misunderstandings  can occur  due to not knowing one another, or  do not  understand the culture  of the  opponents  in communication, could lead to feelings of guilt, feeling humiliated, ignored, scared and even angry because of the unexpected attitude from people.
The same thing can  happen between Indonesian and Japanese, which  is not good to continue communication between them, and even could lead to something fatal if such communications are  related  to business cooperation as well as other important partnerships.
The increasing number of Japanese language learners taking the second place in the world after China (The Japan Foundation Survey, 2012), the author felt the need for tracking the extent to which the learners know and understand the cultural differences between Japanese and  Indonesian culture, especially in nonverbal communication, in additions it is also necessary  to think about what is the right strategy for the right system of teaching  to support the  mastery of language intercultural competence by Japanese learners.  Therefore,  the author chose the  theme  “Intercultural Competence Language, Culture An  Absolute for Language Learners (nonverbal communication in Kaiwa Subject)” in this study.
This study is a combination of  quantitative and qualitative research, using questionnaires, with 120 respondents of sixth semester students of Department of Japanese Literature  University of Brawijaya. The questions were based on the result of  previous research on cultural differences in nonverbal communication between Japanese and Indonesian culture.  It is also accompanied by observation and study reference system to generate appropriate learning strategies.
From the results of questionnaires distributed  comprising 11 questions about knowledge of the Japanese culture in terms of communication habits. From those questions there were 6 questions (54%) in which  the number of students who know about it more (over 60%) than  those who do not know. On the other hands there were 5 questions (46%)  in which  the number of students who do not know much was more (over 50%) than  those who know it.  For students who do not know about the culture of communication, they want to get knowledge through lectures, as well as through autonomous learning using the medium of the internet, comics, movies and others.
The study also reveals that there are various strategies can be implemented to enable the students  understand  the cultural differences issues. There are some cultural knowledge communications,  which can be given by providing information, while  some others need  to be practiced in the classroom  and also need  to be applied in constant communication. In learning about cultural differences in understanding this, we can focus on the empowerment of student centered learning, by asking students to explore these differences,  select which should be practiced and applied,  as well as decide  which must always be accompanied by a teacher, so that no misunderstanding occurs.
Keywords:  cultural understanding, intercultural competence language, nonverbal communication, student centered learning.
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