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ERIC Number: ED399232
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Oct
Pages: 50
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Teaching Culture: Crosscultural Understanding Barriers Faced by Japanese Students.
Yagi, Miki
Crosscultural understanding is a common goal of foreign language teaching; however, conventional cultural lessons provide only a superficial, monolithic view of culture. Based on the perceived ineffectiveness of conventional cultural lessons, this study explores an alternate way of teaching culture, employing the notion of culture as both shared knowledge and individual differences. This approach views culture as complex, dynamic, and diverse. Five Japanese undergraduate and graduate students who recently arrived at the University of Hawaii participated in this study as co-researchers, investigating the notion of culture. In daily journal writing and weekly meetings, the participants reported personal experiences which they felt were caused by cultural differences. They revealed their previously learned cultural knowledge of both Japan and America. Their basic concepts were that they equated culture with nation, perceived American Culture and Japanese Culture as monocultural entities, and ignored individual differences. These findings indicated that previous attitudes are difficult to overcome and that conventional cultural exercises are not sufficient to overcome such attitudes and can sometimes interfere with in-depth crosscultural understanding. It is suggested that teaching culture should start from understanding cultural diversity within one's own country. By observing diversity, students can see that each person belongs to a variety of subcultures and develops a cultural identity, which is both shared and unique. This awareness will help students view culture as diverse, dynamic, and complex, thus facilitating their readiness for crosscultural understanding. (Contains 44 references.) (Author/ND)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Masters Theses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan; United States