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On Cultural Components In Language Teaching

2209 words - 9 pages

AbstractLanguage is the carrier and the main expressive form of culture.Different nations have different culturehistorylocal conditions andcustoms.The culture and social customs of a nation express in its own language.So culture plays a very important role in language teaching.Ke y wordslanguageculturelanguage teaching1 IntroductionTurning to culturewe deliberately shift focus away from language assuch towards the people who use the languagewhere and how they livewhat they thinkfeel and do.It is nowadays a commonplace in languagepedagogy to stress the importance of culture teaching.2 Definition of cultureThe term"culture"has always referred to at least two ways of definition.The first definition comes from the humanities;it focuses on theway a social group represents itself and others through its material productionsartliteraturesocial institutionsor artifacts of everyday lifeandthe mechanisms for their reproduction and preservation through history.The second definition comes from the social sciences:it refers to what educators like.i.e.the attitudes and beliefsways of thinkingbehaving andremembering shared by members in the community.Both definitions have given rise to two different approaches to thestudy of culture:the historical and the ethnographic.The first is basedon the written tradition of texts;it understands the present and imaginesthe future in light of the past;it derives its authority from time-honoredinstitutionsgatekeepers of the academywhich have codified the rules ofexegesis and interpretation of written texts.The second is based on theobservationdata collection and analysis of mostly oral phenomena;it understands the present by viewing current events in the light of their social diversity and their relation to other contemporary events;it derivesits authority from the discovery of laws that regulate social life.Both approaches give meaning to phenomena by placing them into appropriatehistorical and social contests and by enunciating their appropriate lawsin time and space.3 Relationship between language and cultureLanguage is the principal means whereby we conduct our sociallives.When it is used in contexts of communicationit is bound up withculture in multiple and complex ways.We are now in a position to seelanguage and culture in a dialectical relationship.3.1 Language is part of a culture.Language cannot but serve and reflect cultural needs.A language is limited by the particular cultural setting from which a language extracts its signifies.Within the broad limitsset by the specific needs of a culturea language is free to make arbitrary selections of signifies.The fact explains that there is never a perfect match between the cultural needs and its linguistic resources.3.2 Language reflects culture.Language is not a passive reflector ofculture.Even assuming that culture is in many cases the first cause inthe language-culture relationshiplanguage as the effect in the first linkof the causal chain will in turn be the cause in...

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