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One of the sources of the difficulties and misunderstandings that can arise in intercultural communication and collaboration lies in the differences in the way people from different cultures learn and understand one another. In the multicultural American college classroom, for example, American students can be talkative in class and willing to challenge the professor, while Asian students are often reflective, respectful listeners, which comes from their higher power distance cultural background. Many professors have class participation count as a part of the grade students receive—a practice that many of the Asian students think is unfair. In this case, differences between active and reflective learning styles create misunderstanding and confusion.

Another source of misunderstanding arises from the differences between abstract and concrete learning styles. Edward T. ...

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