English in the Community

Essay by birknerUniversity, Master'sA+, July 2008

download word file, 14 pages 5.0

Principio del formulario

English in the community

Look at the three extracts from adult coursebooks in the Assignment section of your printed study materials. Analyse the cultural content of these extracts, drawing on insights you have derived from the study of this subject.

Student response

Before looking into the three extracts and their impact on cultural content, I would like to introduce my personal perspective on the issue of culture in the EFL curriculum, an issue which has clearly gained its place in the spotlight in foreign language learning.

We have seen in the subject "English in the Community" that the term "culture" can adopt an array of meanings depending many times on the academic field which defines it. In our own discipline, ELE (English Language Education), in order to handle this term effectively, it is essential to examine the relationship between language and culture and reflect upon the teaching of culture as an integral ingredient in the English language lesson.

So what is culture, or what components of culture are usually addressed in the English language lesson? Commonly, English language educators draw attention to cultures which have English as their mother tongue and address such issues as holidays, clothing, food and concepts of the sort. These notions can be categorized under what Clarke (1996) distinguishes as culture as content. This first category is frequently evidenced in modern text books and comprises an important framework in transmitting cultural knowledge.

Nevertheless, a broader context is needed if our goal to language instruction is to empower learners to function effectively across cultures. Therefore, we also need to conceptualize culture under what Clark goes on to categorize as high culture as well as cultural practice or behavior. High culture, also known as "culture with a capital C", includes the artistic production...