Intercultural Linguistic Competence and EFL Immersive Environments

Majetic, Senka (2012) Intercultural Linguistic Competence and EFL Immersive Environments. In: 2nd International Conference on Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics (FLTAL’12), 4-6 May 2012, Sarajevo.

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Currently, we are witnessing a new emphasis on the inseparability of language and culture in the development of policies and programs for the teaching of foreign languages. For language learners, an awareness of the cultural facets of language makes it easier to comprehend the topics and situations they encounter when reading or listening. Exposure to the culture of the people who speak the language being learned also leads to increased understanding and tolerance. There are many excellent sources to help teachers connect culture with the language learning process. For example, to develop an English as a foreign language (EFL) program at our university, we consulted the linguistic communicative benchmarks from the Council of Europe. Additional guidelines are available from the national Standards in Foreign Language Education Project, which provides valuable information on how to help students (1) understand the perspectives of other cultures, (2) compare of others with their own, and (3) use the foreign language outside the school setting. These cultural objectives enhance an EFL program where ″the true content of the foreign language course is not the grammar and the vocabulary of the language, but the cultures expressed through that language″ (National Standards in Foreign Language Education project 2006, 47-48). When developing our program, we felt that literature modules would be a great way to incorporate U.S. and British cultural elements while strengthening English reading abilities. We also recognized that using literature offered the potential to create an interesting multimedia experience and to introduce variety and more extensive exposure to English. Although unabridged literature is typically appropriate for advance learners, there is a renewed interest in integrating graded literary materials such as simplified novels that are written especially for beginning and intermediate level students. Therefore we structured our program around graded literary readers, in this case simplified novels, as well as associated audio recordings, films, and other supplementary texts and exercises. The aim of this article is to describe the implementation and results of two cultural multimedia modules that center on the simplified novels 1984 by George Orwell and Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Depositing User: Mr. IT Center Editor
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2012 12:06
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2012 12:06

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