Culture

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  • Question is how to get students to achieve proficiency with limited classroom contact hours
  • Examples from Bright Lights Big City, Russian movie – importance of cultural understanding to even process the linguistic part
    I wanted to try to incorporate that BARNGA game, but a) I don’t have enough students to really do it, and b) it would take too long.
  • Discuss possible activities that could fall under each of these categories
  • Culture

    1. 1. Powerpoint TemplatesPowerpoint Templates CULTURE MODULE 26 October 2010
    2. 2. Powerpoint TemplatesPowerpoint Templates DISCUSS! •Is it important to teach culture in our language classes? Why or why not? •How do you currently teach culture? Are you satisfied?
    3. 3. Powerpoint TemplatesPowerpoint Templates Culture? What culture?
    4. 4. Powerpoint Templates • Culture as a fifth skill. – The ability to perceive and recognize cultural differences. – The ability to accept cultural differences. – The ability to appreciate and value cultural differences. ”Language without cultural relevance is nearly useless.”
    5. 5. Powerpoint Templates •Seelye: "Learning a language in isolation of its cultural roots prevents one from becoming socialized into its contextual use. Knowledge of linguistic structure alone does not carry with it any special insight into the political, social, religious, or economic system.“ •Rivers: "We must focus on both appropriate content and activities that enable students to assimilate that content. Activities should encourage them to go beyond fact, so that they begin to perceive and experience vicariously the deeper levels of the culture of the speakers of the language.” •Kramsch: "At the intersection of multiple native and target cultures, the major task of language learners is to define for themselves what this 'third place' that they have engaged in seeking will look like, whether they are conscious of it or not”
    6. 6. Powerpoint Templates What is the difference between BIG C culture and LITTLE C culture?
    7. 7. Powerpoint Templates Linguoculture In the process of learning, the union of language and information relating to the national culture is called 'linguocultural' teaching.
    8. 8. Powerpoint TemplatesPowerpoint Templates DISCUSS! Choose a sample portion or segment from a textbook that you use frequently in your own language classes. Think about the lexical-grammatical material and the cultural material featured in the unit. Consider what might be done to integrate the two elements more fully in your class. Consider four other "cultural artifacts" from non-US cultures. As in the models provided in the video online, identify the cultural markers of these items that make them unique "purveyors" of cultural information. How might you integrate this kind of culture-specific information into a more general lesson on language?
    9. 9. Powerpoint TemplatesPowerpoint Templates Proficiency and Cultural Literacy
    10. 10. Powerpoint Templates Proficiency is a complex notion that is notoriously difficult to define.
    11. 11. Powerpoint Templates Cultural literacy: Cultural literacy refers to the shared or "core" knowledge of members of a cultural group. The term was coined by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. in his controversial 1987 book Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know. Hirsch warned that American educators were focusing on "critical thinking skills" at the expense of actual cultural and historical content.
    12. 12. Powerpoint Templates ROLE PLAY (Smith and Otero 1977) Split in to groups of 4, pair A and pair B. On the next slide, A will receive instructions; B must not look. The following slide then gives B their instructions; A must not look.
    13. 13. Powerpoint Templates PAIR A You, two Americans, are traveling through the imaginary country of Fondi. You go out on your own to explore. After some time, you want to go back to your hotel, but you have walked far from it and, unfortunately, lost your money. You need enough money for bus fare back to their hotel, and decide to ask two natives for help. You must figure out a proper way to ask money from the natives, or you will never get back to your hotel!
    14. 14. Powerpoint Templates PAIR B You two are from the imaginary land of Fondi. As you interact with the two foreigners who approach you, keep in mind these Fondian cultural norms: 1. You indicate agreement by frowning. 2. When you disagree, you smile and nod. 3. You customarily stand no more than 8 inches from people, or closer, when conversing. 4. It is considered disrespectful to look at someone’s face when conversing, unless you are close friends.
    15. 15. Powerpoint Templates ROLE PLAY (Smith and Otero 1977) Carry out the roles/tasks indicated on the previous slides. We will debrief as a class.
    16. 16. Powerpoint TemplatesPowerpoint Templates Using realia and media to teach culture
    17. 17. Powerpoint Templates A variety of texts can be used to teach culture: textbooks, videos, realia, artifacts, etc. We distinguish between three types of text: 1. Created texts: Texts authored by non-native speakers for non-native speakers to achieve pre- determined curricular goals. 2. Semi-authentic texts: Texts created by native and/or non-native speaker, based on original language materials, but adapted to fit curricular needs. 3. Authentic texts: Texts created by native speakers for native speakers for consumption in a native environment.
    18. 18. Powerpoint Templates Videos are an ideal source of linguistic and cultural information. Judicious use of these materials can substantially increase the quantity and quality of time spent on task with the language and culture
    19. 19. Powerpoint Templates How to choose a video? should be current, accurate and useful should have a high audio/visual correlation: picture and sound/words should work together to enhance meaning should contain multiple "layers," where repeated viewings can increase understanding of paralinguistic elements choose material with high production values, which present a complete discrete segment (beginning, middle, end), are entertaining, and can maintain the interest of a native speaker.
    20. 20. Powerpoint Templates How to use a video? Same principles apply as with all other text engagement: previewing, guided viewing, follow-up 1. Previewing: makes the material (linguistic and non- linguistic) of the video segment more readily accessible to the learner 2. Task Viewing: guides the learner in peeling away the various layers of the video segment, to discover and master the linguistic, paralinguistic, and cultural material contained in it. 3. Follow-Up: help the learner understand the broader application of the material covered in the segment
    21. 21. Powerpoint TemplatesPowerpoint Templates DISCUSS! Have you used video in the classes you teach? For what purpose? (i.e., linguistic, cultural, just for fun, etc.) Did you design specific activities to accompany the video, or were students only required to view the video? Did the video activity achieve its goal? Explain what was successful and what was not. What would you change next time?
    22. 22. Powerpoint TemplatesPowerpoint Templates Web-based approaches to teaching culture
    23. 23. Powerpoint Templates The internet offers a vast array of resources that can be exploited to teach cultural awareness. Web-based instruction: Uses Internet resources to facilitate authentic contact with L2 (e.g., connect with native-speaker pen pals). Encourages direct interaction within virtual community of learners and native speakers. Uses multiple modalities (text, audio, video, interactive, etc.) in real time.
    24. 24. Powerpoint TemplatesPowerpoint Templates DISCUSS! Discuss the Rockin’ Russian video example given at the end of the last segment. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the site (as much as we can tell) and the activity shown in the module. Could you improve the exercise in any way? Do you know of any similar sites in the language you teach that might be useful in your classes? How?
    25. 25. Powerpoint Templates Homework FOR NEXT WEEK: • Prepare “The Language Learner” module • Reflection (Spruz) #10 • Portfolio 2 due [“Portfolio” activity from any of the four most recent modules: vocabulary, grammar, pragmatics or culture]
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