ERIC Number: ED399820
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
Developing Awareness of Cross-Cultural Communication.
The relationship between language and culture is examined briefly, and instructional approaches to developing cultural awareness in language students, particularly Chinese students of English as a Second Language (ESL), are discussed. It is noted that effective cross-cultural communication requires an understanding of culture's role in governing appropriate language use, and that cultural errors can have more serious results than linguistic ones. Cultural knowledge affects listening comprehension, oral production, reading, and the accuracy of translation. Major causes of cultural errors are inadequate knowledge of and insufficient exposure to the target culture, and lack of comparative studies of cultures, and cultural awareness must be made a goal of the language curriculum and testing. While traditional second language instructional materials focused on grammar and other linguistic elements, a more culture-based approach to their construction is needed, particularly one reflecting contemporary social and language changes and social language usage. Teachers can promote cultural awareness through cultural comparison, explanation of cultural context for language use, incorporation of cultural topics, visual aids, and use of cultural readings. Teacher familiarity with the target culture is also recommended. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A