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ERIC Number: ED037453
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969
Pages: 7
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
The Culture Gap: Some Problems in Understanding English Literature.
Tezer, Phyllis
Within the English curriculum, a course to provide familiarity with Western culture may prevent the problem of foreign students' misunderstanding Western literature. This problem was observed at Iran Girls' College during an American literature short story class conducted for advanced seniors, none of whom had been in America but whose English proficiency and motivation were high. When the students attempted to interpret John Steinbeck's "How Mr. Hogan Robbed A Bank" and Ernest Hemingway's "Soldier's Home," they were unable to grasp the central ideas of the stories. Even after background information on satire, American cultural characteristics, and symbolism were supplied, the students were able to interpret Steinbeck's story only on a level of detail; on a level of general ideas, they merely repeated the teacher's explanation. In studying "Soldier's Home," the students were confused even more through their ignorance of the basic American family relationships and tensions. To overcome this lack of familiarity with Western culture, an extensive course in the background of Western literature would be extremely valuable for students from other countries. (JM)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: N/A