culture learning in language education

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Culture Learning in Language Education::

Culture Learning in Language Education: Theoretical Framework for Culture Teaching and Learning 1 June 9, 2011

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Source: Paige, M.R., Helen L. Jorstad, Laura Siaya, Francine Klein, and Jeanette Colby (2003) Culture Learning in Language Education (A Review of the Literature) in Dale L. Lange and R. Michael Paige, eds. Culture as the Core . Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing. 2

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Definition of culture Culture learning Goals and outcomes A conceptual model of culture learning Teaching methodology when culture is the core 3

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Definition of Culture Learning: “The process of acquiring the culture-specific and culture-general knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for effective communication and interaction with individuals from other cultures. It is a dynamic, developmental, and ongoing process which engages the learner cognitively, behaviorally, and affectively.” (p. 177) 4

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Culture Learning Goals and Outcomes: Interactional competence : 1. Learning about the self as a cultural being 2. Learning about culture and its impact on human communication, behavior, and identity; 5

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3. Culture-general learning 4. Culture-specific learning 5. Learning how to learn . 6

A Conceptual Model of Culture Learning :

A Conceptual Model of Culture Learning A. Knowledge 1. Culture –General: Intercultural Phenomena Cultural Adjustment stages Culture shock Intercultural development Culture learning Cultural identity cultural marginality 7

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2. Culture Specific “little c” target culture knowledge “Big C” target culture knowledge pragmatics socio-linguistic competence 8

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B. Behavior 1. Culture-general: Intercultural skills culture learning strategies coping and stress management strategies Intercultural communicative Competence Intercultural perspective-taking skills cultural adaptability transcultural competence 9

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2. Culture-Specific: Target Culture Skills “little c” culture – appropriate everyday behavior “big C” culture – appropriate contextual behavior 10

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C. Attitudes 1. Culture General positive attitude toward different cultures positive attitude toward culture learning ethnorelative attitude regarding cultural differences 11

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2. Culture Specific positive attitude toward target culture positive attitude toward target culture persons 12

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Teaching Methodology when Culture is the Core: Anchored in 3 fundamental learning processes: 1. the learners’ exploration of their own culture 2. the discovery of the relationship between language and culture 3. the learning of the heuristics for analyzing and comparing cultures. 13

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Meta-awareness and cross-cultural comparison lie at the heart of such a culture pedagogy. This implies providing opportunities for interaction such that ‘members of the host culture can impart their own epistemology, their own way of seeing things on the learner’ (Jurasek, 1995,p.228 as cited in Paige, et al Culture as the Core , p. 179) 14

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Pedagogical Implications for the foreign or second language classroom 1. Teachers must first help students to become more aware of their own culture 2. Provide learners with strategies designed to help students become effective culture learners 15

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3. Teachers need to address all three levels of learning when designing lessons– that is, not simply build cultural knowledge, but also to equip learners with cultural skills, and seek to foster positive attitudes toward culture learning. 16

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