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ERIC Number: ED228876
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Reading, Writing, and Culture Shock.
Damen, Louise
Considerations for identifying the stages of cultural learning of individual students of English as a second language (ESL) are discussed. It is suggested that culture shock, or the shock of the new, is a common experience for those learning a second language in a second culture, and that anger, unhappiness, frustration, and even illness may occur. The ESL teacher needs to be aware of the stages of cultural learning of each student in order to give assistance in advancing from anger to adjustment and mastering the language. Carefully constructed reading and writing episodes can assist the learner in coping with particularly difficult periods of change and can offer a means of communication to those who cannot or will not use the vocal channel. This approach is based on the thesis that the act of describing opinions, emotions, and reactions requires a reassessment of these states on the part of the writer. Reading and writing topics that encourage the investigation of cultural similarities and differences, often provide a framework for discussion of personal reflection and ultimately cultural learning. Writing samples of ESL students are provided, and the following steps for the ESL teacher are discussed: (1) bring the students' ethnocentrism to the conscious level and examine native cultural patterns; (2) understand the target cultural characteristics and patterns; (3) assess the cultural chasm which lies between; and (4) build a personal cultural bridge across that chasm. (SW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research (Long Beach, CA, March 1982).