AEE 374: The Top 3 Body Languages Mistakes to Avoid When You Come to the US

Mark italki English conversation teacher

Are you making mistakes with your facial expressions and gestures when you visit the US?

Today Mark will show us the top 3 facial expressions and gestures that he has seen in parts of Latin America that you should avoid if you want to connect with American people when you visit the US.

Three facial expressions or body language gestures to avoid in the US:

  • Using a puckered lip gesture to point at something or someone (pucker means to bring your lips together and hold them tight). In American culture this looks very strange. We might use an eye or a head gesture to draw someone’s attention in one direction or another but we don’t use puckered lips.
  • Calling someone to come toward you by pulling your arm out straight, pointing your palm down, and moving your fingers toward you in a downward gesture. This is rude if you use this gesture in the US.
  • Kissing as a greeting. If you kiss an American on the cheek as a greeting they will feel awkward. Use a handshake instead or if there is a large group you could wave.

 

What should you do if you don’t know what gestures to make?

Observe. Sit back. Wait for other people to use their gestures and then do what they do.

 

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Mark Esposito’s Bio:
From New Jersey, USA. B.A. Spanish Translating/Interpreting. ASL interpreter and instructor.
TEFL/TESOL Certificate for teaching English.  
Teaching English and Spanish for over 25 years.
I Worked as a Sign Language Interpreter for about ten years.
My wife and I are both teachers on italki. I’ve lived in 6 countries, including Spain and 5 Latin American countries. I’ve been living out of the U.S. for the past 15 years.
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