Palancılar, Ayca (2014) A WORLD PICTURE: DEVELOPING AND IMPLEMENTING CROSSCULTURAL EDUCATION IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE TEACHING. In: Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics, May, Sarajevo.

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Official URL: http://fltal.ibu.edu.ba/


The question of how educators can raise cultural awareness and help learners produce cultural identity in foreign language teaching has been widely debated in the education field with linguists such as Sapir and Whorf arguing that thoughts and behavior are determined (or are at least partially influenced) by language. The possibility of culture being controlled by language brought attention to the relationship between language, thought, and culture. However, these perspectives have not adequately addressed the issue of diversity and the power of language to reflect culture and influence thinking. Therefore, the following question arises: How can we make use of cultural differences in language teaching and how can we raise cultural awareness in our language classrooms? The National Center for Cultural Competence of Georgetown University defines culture as an “integrated pattern of human behavior that includes thoughts, communications, languages, practices, beliefs, values, customs, courtesies, rituals, manners of interacting and roles, relationships and expected behaviors of a racial, ethnic, religious or social group; and the ability to transmit the above to succeeding generations” (Goode, Sockalingam, Brown, & Jones, 2000). This means that language does not reflect the culture rather is the culture. Integrating culture into education provides learners with acquiring the components of culture together with the language they are exposed to. Through the study of languages, students gain a knowledge and understanding of the cultures that use that language; in fact, students cannot truly “master” the target language until they have also mastered the cultural contexts in which the language occurs. (National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project, 1996, p. 27); and linguistic competence alone is not enough for learners of a language to be competent in that language (Krasner, 1999). Language learners need to be aware, for example, of the culturally appropriate ways to address people, express gratitude, make requests, and agree or disagree with someone. They should know that behaviors and intonation patterns that are appropriate in their own speech community may be perceived differently by members of the target language speech community. They have to understand that, in order for communication to be successful, language use must be associated with other culturally appropriate behavior. However, cultural information should be presented in a nonjudgmental fashion, in a way that does not place value or judgment on distinctions between the students’ native culture and the culture explored in the classroom which Kramsch (1993) describes as the “third culture” of the language classroom - a neutral space that learners can create and use to explore and reflect on their own and the target culture and language. Therefore, we could argue that the teaching of culture in ELT should include these things: I. Cultural knowledge The knowledge of the culture’s institutions, the “Big C”, as it’s described by Tomalin and Stempleski in their 1995 book ‘Cultural Awareness’. II. Cultural values The ‘psyche’ of the country, what people think is important which includes things like family, hospitality, patriotism, fairness etc. III. Cultural behavior The knowledge of daily routines and behavior, the “Little c”, as Tomalin and Stempleski describe it. IV. Cultural skills The development of intercultural sensitivity and awareness, using the English language as the medium of interaction.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
Divisions: J-FLTAL
Depositing User: Mrs. Emina Mekic
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2016 23:04
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2016 23:04
URI: http://eprints.ibu.edu.ba/id/eprint/3371

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