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Summary - Exploring Intercultural Communication Language in Action
1.1 Culture and language learning and teaching (Does learning a language mean learning a culture?)
What does learning another language inevitably exposes the learner to?Facts and practices of a society or community where the target language is used.
What is the primary motivation for learning their language for many language learners?Learning about the cultural traditions and practises of other people.
What is another reason to learn a language?Language learning provides an opportunity to interact with the people whose language they are learning and to understand their culture and traditions.
1.1.1 Teaching culture as content
What does the culture-as-content approach to language teaching focus on?It focuses on getting to know the language community and developing cultural awareness through fact finding.
What was culture-as-content language teaching very much limited to in the early days?Literature, history and geography.
What did Kramsch (1991) call literature, history and geography?The four Fs, i.e. food, fairs, folklore and statistical facts.
What does Culture with a Capital C (Brooks, 1960) refer to?Art, music, literature, politics, etc.
What does culture with a small c (Brooks, 1960) refer to?The behavioural patterns and lifestyles of everyday people, which is less visible, but equally significant, if not more so.
What did Nostrand (1967, 1974) believe?A culture is characterised by certain core elements such as values, traits and worldviews. He proposed an inventory of themes under the categories of culture, society, ecology, and the individual personality as a way of discovering patterns in feelings, beliefs, and thought processes of members of the target culture.
Which practical teaching techniques have been developed to raise the learner's cultural awareness as part of language (Hughes, 1986; Risager, 2007)?
- Culture capsule
- Culture assimilators
- Culture island
184.108.40.206 Culture capsule
What is the culture capsule technique?It encourages explicit discussion of the difference between one's own culture and the target language culture, facilitated by visual illustrations of the differences. The visual illustrations and a summary of the discussion will be put into a capsule for later use.
220.127.116.11 Culture assimilators
What is the culture assimilators technique?It takes the form of scenario-based questions and answers. In each scenario, a critical incident of intercultural communication is described and a number of possible explanations are given.
18.104.22.168 Culture island
What is the culture island technique?It aims to raise one's awareness about cultural differences through decorating the classroom with posters, pictures, or anything else that remind students of the target language culture, and encouraging students to think and talk about them.
What is the drama technique?It provides an opportunity for students to act out intercultural interactions in which misunderstandings take place, and then to explore possible explanations and solutions in the classroom.
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What is the field of intercultural communication really about?
The field of intercultural communication is primarily concerned with how individuals, in order to achieve their communication goals, negotiate cultural or linguistic differences which may be perceived relevant by at least one party in the interaction.
What is an emic paradigm?
Using local cultural terms to interpret a cultural phenomenon.
What is an etic paradigm?
Comparing one culture with another using culture-general constructs.
How is intercultural communication often defined?
It is often defined as the study of how people from different cultural backgrounds communicate with each other.
How should we use culture?
We can use culture as a resource, but at the same time should not be restricted or limited by a cultural analytical lens.
How do we deal with complexity of culture in the study of intercultural communication?
To consider culture not as one thing or another, not as a thing at all, but rather as a heuristic, a tool for thinking.
Which four approaches have been presented?
- the compositional approach: sees culture as a collection of things
- the interpretive approach: regards culture as symbols that can only be captured through thick description
- the action approach: views culture as a meaning-making process
- the critical approach: places culture as a site of power and ideological structure
What is the critical approach?
It positions culture as a part of macro social practice, contributing to and influenced by power and ideological struggle.
How does Fay see culture?
He sees culture as an evolving connected activity reflecting the interplay between, on the one hand, the activity of its members as they appropriate and alter cultural meanings and, on the other, the enabling and limiting role of culture as it shapes these agents and their activity.
What is culture as a verb?
We need to treat culture as a verb, i.e. as an active process of meaning-making and discovering what culture does. One thing that culture does is create boundaries.