ERIC Number: ED276298
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Nov
The Role of Culture in Foreign Language Education. Q&A.
Those who warn that the United States is handicapped by a state of international illiteracy are concerned both that Americans are unable to communicate in other languages and that most are unprepared to operate with sensitivity in cross-cultural situations. Culture refers to the view of the world shared by members of a group, the patterns of behavior deriving from that view, and the utilitarian and expressive forms evolving from both. For many years, foreign language departments concentrated on presenting culture as events of history in the context of art, music, and literature. The profession now seems committed to teaching the sociological aspects of culture as well as traditional civilization content, focusing on language as a manifestation of culture. The most valuable benefits from studying another culture are humility, awareness of one's own culture, and the understanding that difference is not a negative quality. The foreign language profession is currently working to better define the goals of cultural education. Materials for cultural instruction should be context-rich, experience-based, and have the foreign language as their focus. Despite the large amount of time needed to teach both language and culture, the two are best taught together, holistically, in order to achieve international understanding. (MSE)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics, Washington, DC.