On Cultural Components in Language Teaching

Essay by youtube2046University, Master'sD+, July 2009

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AbstractLanguage is the carrier and the main expressive form of culture.Different nations have different culturehistorylocal conditions andcustoms.The culture and social customs of a nation express in its own language.So culture plays a very important role in language teaching.

Ke y wordslanguageculturelanguage teaching1 IntroductionTurning to culturewe deliberately shift focus away from language assuch towards the people who use the languagewhere and how they livewhat they thinkfeel and do.It is nowadays a commonplace in languagepedagogy to stress the importance of culture teaching.

2 Definition of cultureThe term"culture"has always referred to at least two ways of definition.The first definition comes from the humanities;it focuses on theway a social group represents itself and others through its material productionsartliteraturesocial institutionsor artifacts of everyday lifeandthe mechanisms for their reproduction and preservation through history.

The second definition comes from the social sciences:it refers to what educators like.i.e.the attitudes and beliefsways of thinkingbehaving andremembering shared by members in the community.

Both definitions have given rise to two different approaches to thestudy of culture:the historical and the ethnographic.The first is basedon the written tradition of texts;it understands the present and imaginesthe future in light of the past;it derives its authority from time-honoredinstitutionsgatekeepers of the academywhich have codified the rules ofexegesis and interpretation of written texts.The second is based on theobservationdata collection and analysis of mostly oral phenomena;it understands the present by viewing current events in the light of their social diversity and their relation to other contemporary events;it derivesits authority from the discovery of laws that regulate social life.Both approaches give meaning to phenomena by placing them into appropriatehistorical and social contests and by enunciating their appropriate lawsin time and space.

3 Relationship between language and cultureLanguage is the principal means whereby we conduct our sociallives. When it...