The use of the linguacultural texts in teaching undergraduate degrees

What a text is? What do we mean by text? We can define text, in the simplest way perhaps, by

The use of the linguacultural texts in teaching undergraduate degrees

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eliefs, customs and habits which can be roughly qualified under a small c, that is culture associated with the way people live and the big c is a culture which encompasses knowledge, art, morals and law which forms the framework for the popular culture and becomes the cultural heritage of a target language country.the Practical English module forms a substantial part of the learning curriculum it might be justifiable to say that, if it is feasible, it should at least partially be the role of Practical English teachers to impart some knowledge about ways of all people to students in Years Three would then be to focus on those elements of culture that would complement well-established courses like history, literature and British Studies. The British Culture course cannot however, be perceived as mere information, as it is a content subject with educational objectives. The main one being the achievement of cultural competence within specified subject areas such as art, architecture, cinema, music, sport or theatre.culture of the target language and sociocultural aspects of the language enhance the knowledge of that country which in turn promotes international understanding. The Polish borders being open means that there are a lot of possibilities for young people to travel and to get to know the world. But most of all, it is the planned European Union expansion to the east that will bring change into foreign language methodology and the choice of teaching materials in the and teacher development. When in 1868 James Stuart, the first University of Cambridge professor of Mechanical Engineering, started a series of lectures to the workmen of Crewe he meant to deliver them:

…in the hope of perhaps commencing in some of you a thread whose strands are pleasure and instruction, which some of you may perhaps keep spinning all through your lives.

(Rowdings 1998)we agree that education means permanent education then the aim of education is no longer restricted to youth and specific qualifications but it always open to questions and review. If teachers of English pursue their interests through culture they will not only continue their education but they will develop as teachers.Piaget asserts:precondition of all future pedagogical reform is the training of teachers.

( Fragniere 1976)Learning. The role of the English language culture teacher is to assist and guide the independent exploring of culture by students at any Without Frontiers from 1976 the author foresees that:autonomous learning, this one way teaching relationship will give way to more spontaneous behaviour on the part of the pupil. The process of teaching will become an exchange and not a passive pupil facing a dominant and knowledgeable teacher.

(Fragniere 1976)teaching of culture can become, then:

…an education based on contract.

(Schwartz in Fragniere 1976)the classroom students will work on activities offered by the teacher and learn how to pursue their interests in culture through books, multimedia or the Internet.activity based learning of culture?can provide a basis for a great number of activities which in turn offer students opportunities to get away from stereotyped and conditioned responses and develop their own critical-thinking skills. As to the methodology of the teaching of culture there are no hard and fast rules concerning it. Chastain (1989) talks about Modes of Presenting Culture such the culture aside approach, a slice of life technique or a culture capsule. However, in view of what Byram says about a largely intuitive practice in culture teaching the model of teaching culture adopted on the Bydgoszcz TTC British Culture course seems to be justified.the absence of a fully developed methodology(of teaching culture), however, intuitive techniques may be equally valid and ultimately absorbed into methodology.

(Byram1987)point made by Buttjes is worth considering:

…a view of cultural studies as an acquisition of foreign socio-cultural meanings is particularly well served by working through visual and spoken media and texts as well as written ones.

(Byram 1987), architecture and film are based on visual concepts and these concept appeal to students. In order to present these elements of culture we can use the following visual aids: xerox-copies, black and white or colour ones, transparencies, both black and white or colour ones, slides, posters, video documentaries, featuring films, film experts or stills, postcards, tourist brochures and leaflets.this way students interests in the target culture are stimulated. The aim of these activities is to show students that when talking about painting, for example, there is more to it than personal reaction. Frances Sword, Education Officer at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, says:have to work them to a pitch where theyre not just going to say I dont like it or This doesnt make sense.

(Woodward 1997)to these suggested activities students thinking is stretched, unexpected reactions are heard and also all the four skills are practised. In this way introducing culture in the foreign language classroom leads to creativity and offer inspiration both to learners and teachers who can so easily get lost in the daily grind.


.3 Theory of teaching linguacultural texts


What a text is? What do we mean by text? We can define text, in the simplest way perhaps, by saying that it is language that is functional. By functional, we simply mean language that is doing some job in some context, as opposed to isolated words or sentences that I might put on the blackboard. (These might also be functional, of course, if I was using them as linguistic examples.) So any instance of living language that is playing some part in a context of situation, we shall call a text. It may be either spoken or written, or indeed in any other medium of expression that we like to think of.important thing about the nature of a text is that, although when we write it down it looks as though it is made of words and sentences, it is really made of meanings. Of course, the meanings have to be expressed, or coded, in words and structures, just as these in turn have to be expressed over again - recoded, if you like - in sounds or in written symbols. It has to be coded in something in order to be communicated; but as a thing in itself, a text is essentially a semantic unit. It is not something that can be defined as being just another kind of sentence, only bigger., we cannot simply treat a theory of text as an extension of grammatical theory, and set up formal systems for deciding what a text is. It is by no means easy to move from the formal definition of a sentence to the interpretation of particular sentences of living language; and this problem is considerably greater in the case of the text. Because of its nature as a semantic entity, a text, more than other linguistic units, has to be considered from two perspectives at once, both as a product and as a process. We need to see the text as product and the text as process and to keep both these aspects in focus. The text is a product in the sense that it is an output, something that can be recorded and studied, having a certain construction that can be represented in systematic terms. It is a process in the sense of a continuous process of semantic choice, a movement through the network of meaning potential, with each set of choices constituting the environment for a further set.of culture. Much of the work of learning a foreign language consists in learning to make the right predictions. If the student coming into school with a first language other than English finds difficulty in using English to learn with, this is likely to be in part because he has not yet learnt to expect in English - to use the context in this predictive way. Tcontext of situation, however, is only the immediate environment. There is also a broader background against which the text has to be interpreted: its CONTEXT OF CULTURE. Any actual context of situation, the particular configuration of field, tenor, and mode that has brought a text into being, is not just a random jumble of features but a totality - a package, so to speak, of things that typically go together in the culture. People do these things on these occasions and attach these meanings and values to them; this is what a culture itself provides a good example of what in modern jargon could be called an interface between the context of situation and the context of culture. For any text in school - teacher talk in the classroom, pupils notes or essay, passage from a textbook - there is always a context of situation: the lesson, with its concept of what is to be achieved; the relationship of teacher to pupil, or textbook writer to reader; the mode of question-and-answer, expository writing, and so on. But these in turn are instances of, and derive their meaning from, the school as an institution in the culture: the concept of education, and of educational knowledge as distinct from commonsense knowledge; the notion of the curriculum and of school subjects; the complex role structures of teaching staff, school principals, consultants, inspectorate, departments of education, and the like; and the unspoken assumptions about learning and the place of language within it.these factors constitute the context of culture, and they determine, collectively, the way the text is interpreted in its context of situation. It is as well to know what we are assuming, as teachers, when we stand up in front of a class and talk, or when we set pupils a task like writing a report or an essay, or when we evaluate their performance in that task.have not offered, here, a separate linguistic model of the context of culture; no such thing yet exists, although there are useful ideas around. But in describing the context

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