ERIC Number: EJ687085
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Mar
Integrating Culture and Second Language Teaching through Yoruba Personal Names
Modern Language Journal, v89 n1 p115-126 Mar 2005
Using Yoruba as a case study, this article demonstrates the fact that the languages of Africa and the cultures of its peoples are inseparable. Therefore, the study advocates that appropriate aspects of these cultures should form an integral part of African language teaching. This article discusses specifically how language teachers can transmit the cultural practices of the Yoruba people to students in the beginning foreign language classroom by teaching Yoruba personal names and the naming traditions of their culture. In other words, this study looks at the role that personal names play in understanding the culture of the Yoruba people. It argues that teaching Yoruba personal names should go beyond mere explanation of their meanings to include an exposition of the link between the names and their cultural content. Consequently, the study categorizes Yoruba personal names functionally, revealing the rules that govern the structure of these names and examining the cultural traits that are embedded in them. The article also recommends that teachers of beginning Yoruba explore the use of the tonal patterns in Yoruba personal names in order to introduce their students to the three tonal levels of the language.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Second Language Instruction, Cultural Traits, Language Teachers, African Languages, Etymology, Teaching Methods, Introductory Courses, Tone Languages
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
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