ERIC Number: ED490750
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Apr
Learning Sociolinguistically Appropriate Language through the Video Drama "Connect with English"
Hwang, Caroline C.
Video provides (1) simultaneous audio/visual input, and (2) complete and contextualized conversations, and thus proves to be a rich vehicle in foreign language instruction. The video drama "Connect with English" (a.k.a. "Rebecca's Dream"), created to promote English language learning, is particularly outstanding in that it contains an captivating storyline, true-to-life scenarios, on-location scenes, various social interactions, realistic yet easy-to-follow linguistic and cultural information, as well as high-quality filming and acting. This paper discusses how "Connect with English" can help enhance learners' intercultural communicative competence on three levels: cultural awareness, phraseological accuracy, and pragmatic appropriateness. It delineates some of the underlying thought patterns--the values, attitudes, and feelings--in the U.S. society that are portrayed in this drama and shows how they provide insights into the English language norms. Viewing this drama, learners observe American social, cultural, and discoursal conventions, and even go through a range of emotional experiences along with the characters. They may develop a better understanding of the U.S. social reality and the English-specific ways of thinking, of lexical/syntactic choices, and of formulaic expressions. As a result, learners may find viewing this drama an effective way to increase their cross-cultural language power. Finally, the importance of approximating sociolinguistically appropriate English language models to minimize the negative effect of native language transfer is emphasized. Appended are: (1) About "Connect with English"; (2) Cultural/Societal Realities; (3) Expressions That May Confuse Taiwanese Students; and (4) Pragmatic Language Use.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A