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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of situation, it is helpful to build in some indication of the cultural background, and the assumptions that have to be made if the text is to be interpreted - or produced - in the way the teacher (or the system) intends.lesson in culture. This paper argues for a new interpretation of culture which potentially challenges traditional views of culture common in discussions of foreign and second language learning. It also proposes ways to restructure curriculum around this new interpretation. Three different perspectives on culture are developed: first, culture creates differences and tension, both of which propel learning; second, culture is not a fact but a process of learning; third, culture can be used in a monolingual/monocultural and multilingual/multicultural setting. The theoretical perspective explained here is grounded on the premise that knowledge, or meaning generation, is constructed as the result of a transaction between an individuals conception of the world (individual culture) and the world outside the individual (social culture). From this standpoint, culture resides in, rather than being separate from, each individual. This progressive theory of culture allows us to restructure the curriculum in ways that highlight learner participation, the importance of social transaction, and the role of tension in promoting learning. After an explanation of this alternative interpretation of culture, suggestions for creating a classroom environment consistent with that interpretation are explored.paper potentially challenges the ways in which traditionally existing perspectives view culture and its relationship to language learning. In what follows, the traditional views on the role of culture in foreign or second language learning and teaching will be discussed, and contrasted to a new interpretation of culture. Finally, the creation of an environment that supports learning, and which involves the introduction of classroom activities, will be suggested.is often neglected in EFL and ESL teaching/learning, or introduced as no more than a supplementary diversion to language instruction. Yet changes in linguistic and learning theory suggest that culture should be highlighted as an important element in language classrooms. Efforts linking culture and language learning are impelled by ideas originating in sociolinguistic theory and schema learning theory. Sociolinguistic theory focuses on the social and cultural aspects of language. From a sociolinguistic perspective, competence in language use determined not only by the ability to use language with grammatical accuracy, but also to use language appropriate to particular contexts. Thus, successful language learning requires language users to know the culture that underlies language.to both EFL and reading instruction is the premise that deficiencies in cultural background knowledge create learning difficulties. It follows that understanding the culture of the text is essential to successful language learning; without the appropriate cultural schema to aid understanding, what is learnt must necessarily be incomplete.new interpretation of culture. A new interpretation of culture, which focuses on culture as a process of learning rather than an external knowledge to be acquired incidental to the facts of language, reconceptualizes our view toward culture in EFL. This reconceptualization helps us to reposition the role of culture in learning. Sociolinguistics, schema learning, and cultivation theories all focus on cultural knowledge as an essential component for gaining competence in learning second and foreign language., that triggers learning is not culture but the process of meaning generation, and the differences and tensions that come from encountering various cultures. As valuable as sociolinguistics, schema, and cultivation theories are for pushing us into more effective ways of conceiving language learning, if we examine Peircian semiotics (1992), then these theories present several problems.(1868) wrote that no cognition not determined by a previous cognition , then, can be known. In other words, we must use our inner, pre-existing cognition to make sense of the outer world, to detect and expand meaning. That inner text is formed through our multiple experiences with the world. As a result, each individual has his or her own uniqueness, and carries his or her own culture. Second, any meaning-making is a transaction between our own inner world and the external world (environment). Meaning is generated as a result of transactions between our conception of the world and our confrontation with that world. In other words, all knowledge is a dynamic construction orchestrated by language users. As an example, think of the differing concepts held by Americans of the words Michael Jordan, conceptions developed from previous experiences as consumers of news, television, or other entertainment media. When an American sees the words Michael Jordan on a bulletin board, one may recall a Chicago Bulls basketball game that he or she has watched, that brings to mind the grace in movement of a particular play, while another may recall some sporting shoes they purchased and which may be needing repair. Yet the bulletin board may refer to a wholly different context, such as an attack on the athlete for endorsing Nike shoes. In this way, any meaning we construct is a transaction between our own perspectives - developed from our past experiences in the world - and the reality of that present world.can infer from this meaning-making process an interpretation of culture. Every new perspective on culture is the transaction between each individuals culture (developed from a personal history of the world) and social culture (composed of the histories of others). An individual culture (IC) refers to each individuals conception, which becomes a culture in itself. The world outside the individual - other people and their environments - becomes the social culture. (SC). When we apply these terms to the language classroom, SC will include not only people in the immediate society of the language learners, but also those who live in the target language culture (TC) - the culture of the second or foreign language being learned. Any knowledge or meaning that we generate is the result of transactions between IC and SC. As a consequence of the interaction between them, a new perspective on culture is developed through a process that is always incomplete, and continuously evolving. The triad relationship among these terms, which draws on Peirces theory, is illustrated in Figure 2.

language culture foreign game

is the differences between IC and SC that allow us to generate new meaning and knowledge and to gain new perspectives. The process is unlimited, however, because individuals have separate and unique cultures. That is, we can never duplicate the SC in our IC, nor are we in danger of doing so, because we never share identical histories. Each of us will always create our own unique meanings based on our differing experiences (Pierce 1992). For example, people may belong to the same social culture, but have different interpretations about the role of women in society, because each persons life trajectory will have assumed a different shape in relationship to ideas about women. This uniqueness creates an availability of alternatives, a rich bank of differing viewpoints, which allow transactions between IC and SC to continually generate differences.a difference us beyond our understanding or expectation, an anomaly occurs. Characterized by ambiguity, difficulty, conflict, and uncertainty, anomalies are unexpected situations, which generally result in frustration, struggle, dissatisfaction, and surprise. While anomalies may occur in any setting, they are especially prevalent when speakers operate from different communication rules. Bodily contact, for example, can be very different between cultures, as is indicated by distinctions between contact cultures - those of the Middle East, Latin America, and Southern Europe - and those of the non-contact cultures, such as the United States and England. Speakers interacting who come from a mixture of non-contact and contact cultures can find themselves irritated and frustrated by their conversational partners apparent failure to understand. However, such a difference can also create a tension that actually propels learning. Tension increases when an anomaly occurs. Uncertainty forces us to rethink our experience, and to search until we find answers, or generate new thoughts for solving what puzzles us about unfamiliar situations. In this search, our thinking and meaning-making constantly moves forward.semiotics lends credence to a new theory of culture, one in which culture is no longer a set body of information or facts to be memorized, but a process for generating frameworks of perception, a value system, and a set of perspectives. It is a mistake to assume that knowledge is a static object out there to be acquired by the first or second/foreign language learner. Changes in culture rely not on gaining knowledge products but on the process of transaction.can draw on Peircian semiotics in explaining all learning from a perspective of cultural differences. Such anomalies will always have to be faced, whether in the foreign language (FL) classroom, where learners from the same country are learning a target language, or in the English as a Second Language (ESL) classroom, where learners from different countries are learning English. Cultural differences can exist between people from different cultures and within the same culture. However, individuals who share the same culture may encounter fewer differences than do individuals from differing cultures, because each persons interpretation is limited by the social group in which he or she resides.

 

.4 Creating an environment that supports learning

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