• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extend is knowledge of culture important when learning a foreign language? Discuss.

Extracts from this document...


To what extend is knowledge of culture important when learning a foreign language? Discuss. ___________________________________________________________________________ According to English Anthropologist Edward B Taylor, culture is "that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, law, morals, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society". In other words, culture is a complex tool which every individual has to learn to survive in a society. It is the means through which people interact with others in the society. In fact, every society has a distinct culture that forms the backbone of the society. Costumes, customs, language, literature and the art forms are some of the important aspects of culture. However, the most crucial element of culture is that which is internal and hidden, which governs the behaviour people encounter. This dimension of culture can be seen as an iceberg with the tip sticking above the water level of conscious awareness. The most significant part, however, is unconscious or below the water level of awareness, includes cultural values and thinking models. Foreign language learning is comprised of several components, including grammatical competence, intercultural communicative competence, language proficiency, as well as a change in attitudes towards learner's own or others' culture. ...read more.


Therefore, foreign language learners should have the knowledge of culture so that they will be aware of culturally appropriate ways to address people, make requests, agree or disagree and express gratitude, especially since their own customary behaviour and intonation may be perceived in a dissimilar way by members of different cultures. It is important to comprehend that so as to become an excellent communicator; the language spoken must be equivalent to culturally appropriate behaviour. Through the learning of culture in foreign language classroom, learners will be aided in taking an insider's sight of the undertones of others' thoughts and words. In other words, learners could doubt their own assumptions and try to discover the underlying magnitude of certain terms or words in their target language and culture. For instance, in English culture, both animals and humans have feelings, get sick, and are buried in cemeteries. Nonetheless, in Hispanic culture, the difference between humans and animals is vast. As a result, bullfighting is greatly improbable to be considered as a waste of time, as many western spectators are apt to say. In this context, notions such as "cruel," "slaughter," or "being defenceless" convey enormously diverse connotations in both cultures (Lado, 1986). Consequently, through exposure to the foreign civilisation, learners certainly will draw some comparisons between their home and target culture. ...read more.


In fact, the learners purely want to master the language and they will not involve themselves into that community which uses the language. For this reason, in the learners' point of view, it could be meaningless for them to discover about the culture of the society or nation. In my viewpoint, although the main goal of foreign language instruction is facilitating foreign language awareness and acquisition, I agree that it is important that cultural teaching should also be included in the curriculum of foreign language learning. In point of fact, the incorporating of culture into the syllabus could heighten learners' cross-cultural awareness as well as understanding and learners could be encouraged to think slightly further. In this case, learners will not lose sight of the fact that not all members of the target community think and behave in the identical way since their judgments are enriched and they have been given far deeper meaning of "intercultural communicative competence". Indeed, materials treated in foreign language classes could also help to develop knowledge, and learners are encouraged to relate the knowledge they have learnt to knowledge of their own culture. In addition, learners could put the new knowledge into practice in real situations if there is a need. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Education and Teaching section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Education and Teaching essays

  1. Language Development. I have chosen to observe Kaitlin for my assignment focusing on ...

    This will help allow Kaitlin to reach her full potential and helps to maintain a positive ethos for my setting. This helps to meet the five key outcomes of Every Child Matters "The Government's aim is for every child, whatever their background or their circumstances, to have the support they

  2. What are the Benefits and Challenges of an Integrated Foundation Phase Curriculum in terms ...

    tasks through which they will support the child and assist if necessary to achieve something specific to either assess the child's progress, or to progress their skills in multiple areas of learning as the chosen theme dictates when linked across the curriculum.

  1. Idendification of literacy needs. A dyslexia assessment is a full process that focuses ...

    There were many grammar and punctuation errors with a capital 'B' in the middle of the sentence at the word 'bye' spelled incorrectly. There was only two full stops in the whole piece - one at the end. Sam used a basic vocabulary, although His description had lots of details.

  2. Describe the difference between the pre-normalised and normalised child.

    He is familiar with the exercises and situations he is choosing, therefore it is not merely for exploration. A pre-normalised child is motivated by curiosity and only wants to explore. The normalized child is remarkably obedient. He starts as a novice in this virtue and goes through progressive degrees of

  1. Following a recent presentation (to a validating panel) of the curriculum Health and Social ...

    Nursing, and the curriculum I have presented, both fall into the definition of a narrow curriculum as they have been designed to provide educated and skilled workers for public provision. I have witnessed the provision of skilled workers (for the National Health Service and for the private sector)

  2. Monitoring and Assessment is at the heart of all good teaching. Discuss.

    with administrating end of unit assessments in KS3 which I marked in line with the National Curriculum level guidelines. (See in Appendix 1 and 2) However, I do not believe on end of topic assessment alone, I believe in order to see the true character of any learner a variety

  1. Teaching and Learning with Emerging Technologies. The reasons that prompt us to acknowledge Web ...

    of the technology, the students' learning expectations have increased and should be anticipated by the educators. The evolution of Web 2.0 has situated learning far beyond the classroom walls, giving the opportunity to students to reach knowledge through their participation in communities of practice (Anderson, 2007; Downes, 2005, cited in Thompson, 2007; Richardson, 2006; Wunsch-Vincent and Vickery, 2007).

  2. Modeling complex phenomena: An investigation of two teaching approaches with fifth graders.

    in a learning process, two different modeling approaches, one computer-based and one non computer-based, were developed. It is believed that is interesting to investigate if learning styles can affect the modeling-based process in science teaching, since is a new approach in science education.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work