Elements of culture and civilization in teaching english
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ELEMENTS OF CULTURE AND CIVILIZATION IN TEACHING ENGLISH. IZABELA DANKIĆ, PH. D. . WHAT IS CULTURE?.

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Elements of culture and civilization in teaching english

ELEMENTS OF CULTURE AND CIVILIZATION IN TEACHING ENGLISH

IZABELA DANKIĆ, PH. D.

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


What is culture

WHAT IS CULTURE?

  • “ A society’s culture consists of whatever it is one has to know or believe in order to operate in a manner acceptable to its members. Culture is not a natural phenomenon; it does not consist of things, people’s behavior or emotions. It is rather organization of these things. It is the form of things that people have in mind, their models of perceiving, relating, and otherwise interpreting them”

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


What is culture1

What is culture?

  • “Cultural knowledge is “socially acquired”. We learn all necessary behaviors that are part of that knowledge. It is a “knowhow” necessary to fulfill social requirements” (Wardhaugh, 1998)

  • “Culture is “knowledge” which is shared and negotiated between people, belonging to all of them”

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


What is culture2

What is culture?

  • “Culture is associated with civilization, and culture and civilization refer to the whole way of life of a foreign country included but not limited to its production in the arts, philosophy, and “high culture” in general”. (Byram, 1989)

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


What is culture3

What is culture?

  • “Culture is the systematic, rather arbitrary, more or less coherent, group invented, and group shared creed from the past that defines the shape of “reality”, and assigns the sense and worth of things; it is modified by each generation and in response to adaptive pressures; it provides the code that tells people how to behave predictably and acceptably, the cipher that allows them to derive meaning from language and other symbols, the map that supplies the behavioral options for satisfying human needs.” (Seeley, 1997)

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


Elements of culture and civilization in teaching english

THE ELEMENTS (ASPECTS) OF BRITISH CULTURE:

COUNTRY AND PEOPLE EVERDAY LIFE

HISTORY THE MEDIA

GEOGRAPHY TRANSPORT

IDENTITY WELFARE

ATTITUDES HOUSING

POLITICAL LIFE FOOD AND DRINK

THE MONARCHY SPORT AND

THE GOVERNMENT COMPETITION

PARLIAMENT THE ARTS

ELECTIONS HOLIDAYS

THE LAW SPECIAL OCCASIONS

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

RELIGION

EDUCATION

THE ECONOMY

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


Culture and language

CULTURE AND LANGUAGE

  • Language expresses cultural reality

    Language is “the principal means” of communication in our everyday life. People belonging to the same society share common knowledge and common experience. When they communicate they refer to that knowledge and they can express their personal opinions, beliefs, and point of view.

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


Elements of culture and civilization in teaching english

  • Language embodies cultural reality

    Language is not only used to express experiences, but also to create experiences because of its verbal and non-verbal aspects. The medium people choose for communication is important in creation of such experiences (whether is spoken, written, or visual medium) .

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


Culture and language1

CULTURE AND LANGUAGE

  • Language symbolizes cultural reality.

    Language has itself a cultural value for its speakers. It is seen as an aspect of their “social identity”. They identify themselves and others through the use of language.

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


2 teaching culture tc v teaching language tl

2. TEACHING CULTURE (TC) V. TEACHING LANGUAGE (TL)

“LANGUAGE IS THE GLUE THAT BINDS A GROUP OF PEOPLE TOGETHER”, (BROWN, 1987) – THE MOST OBVIOUS MARKER OF CULTURAL IDENTITY

  • THERE IS QUITE A LONG HISTORY OF TEACHING CULTURE IN EUROPE (LANDESKUNDE, CIVILISATION) AND IN AMERICA

  • IN BRITAIN, THE FOCUS IS ON HISTORY, INSTITUTIONS, CUSTOMS IN ADDITION TO CUSTOMARY LANGUAGE AND LITERARY STUDIES)

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


Tc v tl

TC v.TL

After the World War II the idea of teaching culture through teaching language was strengthened together with the development and influence of anthropology. This was particularly strong in America where the American Committee on language and culture expressed the following:

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


Tc v tl1

TC v. TL

  • (1) Language is a part of culture and must be approached with the same attitudes that govern our approach to culture as a whole.

  • (2) Language conveys culture so that the language teacher is also of necessity a teacher of culture.

  • (3) Language is itself subject to culturally conditioned attitudes and beliefs which can not be ignored in the language classroom. (Stern, 1996, p.251).

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


Tc v tl2

TC v. TL

Theory v. Practice

  • They have found out that “young people acquire some information but very little knowledge of the foreign culture through language classes; the influence of extra-curricular forces such as the media is greater than the intuitive and unsystematic efforts of the teachers”. (Byram and Morgan, 1994, p. 3)

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


Tc v tl3

TC v. TL

Theory v. Practice

  • Culture is seen as mere information conveyed by the language, not as a feature of language itself.

  • A great number of studies recommend that culture should be taught together with language, culture is still rarely seen in the same light as language.

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


Tc v tl4

TC v. TL

Theory v. Practice

  • English teachers were educated to become teachers of language and literature.“It is too readily assumed that exposure to language teaching will lead to some kind of cultural knowledge.

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


Tc v tl5

TC v. TL

FOREIGN CULTURE TEACHING THEORIES:

  • Establishing a sphere of interculturality - to be able to understand a foreign culture we have to put it in relation with our own culture.

  • Teaching culture as an interpersonal process --replace the presentation/prescription of cultural facts and behaviors by the teaching of a process that applies to understanding differences

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


Tc v tl6

TC v. TL

Foreign culture teaching theories:

3. Teaching culture through differences that exist between cultures

4. Crossing disciplinary boundaries – they encourage language teachers to broaden their readings to include besides literature, studies by social scientists, ethnographers, and sociolinguistics on both their society and the societies that speak the language they are teaching.

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


Tc v tl7

TC v. TL

Foreign culture teaching theories:

5. Intercultural tolerance must be emphasized in helping teachers develop awareness (overcome stereotypes , prejudices, one-sided views) and relationships, discover personal experiences, horizontal relationships in the classroom, relationships among families, neighbors, free activities and media.

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


Tc v tl8

TC v. TL

The UNESCO GUIDE suggests the “realms of learning” should encompass (p. 30):

1. welcoming awareness of the presence of others in one’s social environment,

2. acknowledgment of the positive aspects of diversity and its appreciation,

3. respect and integration of differences to enrich and strengthen society,

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


Tc v tl9

TC v. TL

The UNESCO GUIDE suggests the “realms of learning” should encompass (p. 30):

4.vision and work towards achieving common goals that are mutually advantageous to diverse groups

5. recognition of interdependence and human universals and work towards positive arrangements of diversity in an interdependent world.

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


3 attitudes and the english classroom practice

3. ATTITUDES AND THE ENGLISH CLASSROOM PRACTICE

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


Elements of culture and civilization in teaching english

A video grab image shows John Bercow speaking to Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron as he is led to the Speaker’s chair after being reelected as speaker of the House of Commons, in central London, May 18, 2010.

Betty Boothroyd

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


Elements of culture and civilization in teaching english

“FALLACY OF PROJECTED COGNITIVE SIMILARITY” – we all project the logic of our own reasoning to explain the actions of others.

THE OBJECTIVE: to get students thinking about different forms of human behavior

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


Elements of culture and civilization in teaching english

What are intrinsic and extrinsic factors that

help shape English language teachers’ attitudes?

Intrinsic – factors which help shape personal

position based on prior knowledge and

past experiences (education,

travels, encounters with foreigners,

professional or private life)

Extrinsic – outside factors which influence

teachers’ position on foreign language

teaching and learning? (national

curriculum)

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


Elements of culture and civilization in teaching english

National Curriculum in England and Wales

(B-H) indirectly or directly indicate that TFL

should:

offer insight into the culture and civilization of the countries where the language is spoken

encourage positive attitudes to foreign language learning and to speakers of foreign languages and a sympathetic approach to other cultures and civilizations;

develop pupils’ understanding of themselves and their own culture.

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


Elements of culture and civilization in teaching english

  • The Common European Framework of Reference

  • for Languages

  • The following competences and skills in culture

  • teaching and learning are particularly emphasized:

  • sociocultural knowledge – knowledge of society

  • and culture of the community

  • 2. intercultural awareness – knowledge, awareness

  • and understanding of the relation (similarities

  • and distinctive differences) between the “world

  • of origin”and the “world of the target community”.

  • It is also enriched by awareness of a wider range

  • of cultures and it helps to place them both in

  • context.

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


Elements of culture and civilization in teaching english

For example: “Learning Lakota”

“Kill the Indian, and save the man” – “Genocide of a culture”

http://www.tolerance.org/magazine/number-30-fall-2006/learning-lakota

  • Intercultural skills and know-how

    The ability to bring the culture of origin and the foreign culture into relation with each other

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


Elements of culture and civilization in teaching english

Attitude formation and attitude change are complex processes and mere exposure to language learning and information about other cultures will not necessarily lead to the desired results.

The Bosnian study –conflicting results

Teachers support systematic British culture teaching, but because students have other opportunities to learn about the Anglo-American culture they emphasize language skills.

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


4 the goals of cultural instruction

4. The Goals of Cultural Instruction

Intercultural competence is the objective of teaching culture.

  • “All students will develop the cultural understandings, attitudes and performance skills needed to function appropriately within a society of the target language and to communicate with the culture bearer” (Seeley, 1984)

  • The selection of cultural data should be guided by how well they will increase students’ skills in intercultural communication.

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


7 major goals of cultural instruction

7 major goals of cultural instruction

1. Reasons behind culturally conditioned behavior

Understanding that people act the way they do because they are using options the society allows for satisfying basic physical and psychological needs.

Different cultural patterns must be employed if one wants to satisfy basic needs. These include also non-linguistic elements (facial expressions, visual interaction, body movement and gesture, proximity behaviors, and multichannel communication)

2. Interaction of language and social variables

Understanding that social variables as age, sex, social class, and place of residence affect the way people speak and behave.

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


The goals of cultural instruction

The Goals of Cultural Instruction

3. Conventional behavior in common situations

Understanding of the role convention plays in shapingbehavior by demonstrating how people act in different situations.

4. Cultural connotations of words and phrases

An awareness that culturally conditioned images are associated with even the most common target words and phrases.

5. Evaluating statements about a society

The ability to evaluate the evidence to be able to make objective statementsabout the target culture.

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


The goals of cultural instruction1

The Goals of Cultural Instruction

6. Researching another culture

Skills to be able to research, find and organize information about the target culture from the library, the mass media, people, and personal observation.

7. Attitudes toward other cultures

Develop intellectual curiosity about the target culture and empathy toward its people.

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


How do we develop activities to fit these goals

How do we develop activities to fit these goals?

1. Everything that you choose must have a deeper

cultural purpose.

2. One might say that these goals can be summed upunder one goal – to think like a native?

3. What is the position between the students’ native and target language and culture? Croatian versus British?

Are we to celebrate Croatian over English?

(Beware of ethnocentrism (integration and loyalty among members of the same group; negative attitude towards foreigners, their culture and language and glorification of one’s culture, but derogatory stereotyping of outgroup characteristics).

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


Nc v fc music

NC v. FC Music

I don't ever wanna drink againI just ooh I just need a friendI'm not gonna spend ten weekshave everyone think I'm on the mendIt's not just my prideIt's just 'til these tears have driedThey tried to make me go to rehab but I said 'no, no, no'Yes I've been black but when I come back you'll know know knowI ain't got the time and if my daddy thinks I'm fineHe's tried to make me go to rehab but I won't go go go

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


Nc v fc

NC v. FC

Ne pomišljaj na kraj

iz srca mi dolazemračne i sumorne sjenene budi ludane pomišljaj na krajsamo ti možešočima mojim vratiti sjaj

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


Nc v fc1

NC v. FC

  • “In general Mendelssohn's personal life seems to have been fairly conventional compared to his contemporaries Wagner, Berlioz, and Schumann — save as regards his ambiguous relationship with the famed Swedish soprano Jenny Lind whom he met in October 1844. An affidavit from Lind's husband, Otto Goldschmidt indicates that Mendelssohn in 1847 requested for Lind (who was then not married) to elope with him to America. Mendelssohn met and worked with Lind many times, and wrote the beginnings of an opera, Lorelei, for her, based on the legend of the LoreleiRhine maidens; the opera was unfinished at his death. He is said to have included a high F-sharp in his oratorio Elijah("Hear Ye Israel") with Lind's voice in mind,although she did not in fact sing this part until after his death, at a concert in December 1848. In 1847 Mendelssohn attended a London performance of Meyerbeer's Robert le diable —an opera which musically he despised— in order to hear Lind's British debut, in the role of Alice. His friend the critic Chorley, who was with him, wrote "I see as I write the smile with which Mendelssohn, whose enjoyment of Mdlle. Lind's talent was unlimited, turned round and looked at me,as if a load of anxiety had been taken off his mind. His attachment to Mlle. Lind's genius as a singer was unbounded, as was his desire for her success."

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


Nc v fc2

NC v. FC

  • What would happen to an orchestra if the conductor wasn’t there – could the musicians cope by themselves? Students will discover in this music lesson.These are all ideas that students can use to learn about the conductor in the orchestra. There is a complete lesson plan on this subject in Our Printable Music Lesson Plans Series

  • Demonstrate the basic beat patterns. Have students practice the patterns using pencils or drinking straws as temporary batons. Select individual students to choose a pattern, conduct it, and have the other students identify it. Don’t forget to show the students the beat patterns at different tempi (fast, medium and slow).

  • Dynamics are indicated by the size of the conducting gestures: big gestures = loud, small movements = piano. Conduct a beat pattern and have students count the beats out loud; ask them to get louder and softer as you change the size of your gestures.

    www.vjekoslavsutej.com

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


How do we develop activities to fit these goals1

How do we develop activities to fit these goals?

  • reading emphatic literature to create empathy

  • watch emphatic films

    3. mini dramas – three or more episodes representing cultural visit to a bar miscommunications. With each episode more information is presented, but the precise cause of misunderstanding is not clear until the end. (bar, child, windows, squash, mild beer (lager), barman shouts,

    4. culture assimilator episodes - interesting reading presenting a problem situation. They are provided with four different answers and they have to pick the right one. They are also provided with the explanations. (Shrove Tuesday –meat on Monday, eggs on Tuesday – pancakes)

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


Elements of culture and civilization in teaching english

5. culture capsule – usually a text accompanied with an activity that supports or represents cultural information presented in the text.

While in culture assimilators students have to identify culturally appropriate explanations for the described situations; in culture capsule the explanation is both presented with a textual description, but also it is accompanied with a multi media support. (meals – “tea” –urban working class dinner)

6. culture clusters – three or more capsules - a half an hour skit – simulation of the situation described and talked about in the related capsules.

7. ask the right questions – from trivial to questions that students find to be interesting – for example making a scrapbook containing clippings from magazines pertaining to what a student finds to be interesting and ask and check it with the teacher.

8.interviews with native speakers or people from the local community who lived in Britain.

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


Concluding remarks

Concluding remarks

  • Avoid all generalizations, let culture teaching be individual.

  • The guiding principle in material and acitivity selection should be what the cultural knowledge my students need to master in order to communicatively succeed in the target country.

  • Use every opportunity for improving your knowledge of English and of the Anglo-American culture as a teacher and help your students develop that skill too. (“Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs”)

  • Nurture love and respect for your culture and your students’ cultures to be able to respect the culture of the people whose language you teach.

  • Your are the ambassadors of the Anglo-American culture among your students.

dankic, 2010, teaching culture


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