Intercultural communication barriers between Zulu and Chinese students at selected higher education institutions in Durban
This study presents the research of an investigation into the intercultural communication barriers between Zulu and Chinese students at selected Higher Education Institutions in Durban. To achieve this aim, two sets of questionnaires were administered separately to Zulu and Chinese students at two HEIs in Durban and an observation report was compiled. This study reviewed theories and literature relevant to defining and understanding the barriers to intercultural communication. The insights gained from this literature review were used to interpret the results which were obtained through a quantitative and qualitative research methodology. The findings revealed that intercultural communication barriers do exist between Zulu and Chinese students. Findings also found that language problems amongst Zulu and Chinese students are viewed as common barriers, especially where the communicators speak different languages. Comments from respondents revealed that a communicators‟ accent, different grammar structure and the words they use are confusing during their intercultural communication experience. Cultural differences and language problems were found to be the main intercultural communication barriers. In addition, the problems of nonverbal communication, racism, ethnocentrism, cultural stereotyping were also viewed as obstacles of the intercultural communication process.