[RELO] Sociocultural Awareness: Developing the Fifth Skill
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[RELO] Sociocultural Awareness: Developing the Fifth Skill

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Presented by Kevin Hajovsky, Senior English Language Fellow, based in the Galapagos Islands.

Presented by Kevin Hajovsky, Senior English Language Fellow, based in the Galapagos Islands.

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[RELO] Sociocultural Awareness: Developing the Fifth Skill Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Kevin Hajovsky Senior English Language Fellow Galápagos, Ecuador August 2013
  • 2.  English as an International Language (EIL)  Not “owned” by native speakers, but by anyone who uses it for their purposes  Tool for communication  Bridge between cultures  Globalization Communication requires more than just language. (McKay, 2002; Tomalin, 2008)
  • 3. Culture  Strengthen our understanding of culture and its potential effect on our communication SPEAKING Framework  Use a framework for helping teachers analyze for and develop their own sociocultural awareness  Use a framework to develop questions or tasks that help students analyze and build their own awareness of how culture is reflected in communication
  • 4. When you think about “culture”, what kinds of things generally come to mind? ~Write down and provide examples~
  • 5. How much of the iceberg do you think you can see? Which part of the iceberg is more dangerous to your ship, the visible part or the hidden part?
  • 6. • Language • Food • Music • Dance • Clothes • Popular culture • Customs • Festivals • Etc. (Bennett, 1998) Big C: VISIBLE small c: HIDDEN
  • 7.  Culturally appropriate ways to:  Greet or address people  Express gratitude  Make requests  Agree/disagree with someone  Give or accept compliments  Interpersonal skills to:  Maintain an open and non-judgmental approach  Work with uncertainty and ambiguity  Be flexible and adaptable  Foster curiosity and empathy  Adapt oneself linguistically The BIG Question: How can we help? [verbal & non-verbal] [consider one’s own & others’ conditioning]
  • 8.  Language-based questions  Looking at language in context  Ex., how words’ meanings change depending on context  Function-based questions  Analyzing interactions and social functions of language  Ex., back channeling, language of agreement/following  Comparative questions  Comparing (own) interactional norms in given contexts  Ex., expectations of listener, similar interactions (what?)  Speculative questions  Fostering curiosity and interpretative skills  Ex., “Why do you think….?” (McConachy, 2009) “Oh, I see.” “Oh, is that right?”
  • 9. S Setting P Participants E Ends A Act Sequence K Key I Instrumentalities N Norms G Genre (Hymes, 1974; McConachy, 2009) Questions Types: 1. Language 2. Function  3. Comparison 4. Speculation
  • 10.  The time, place and physical circumstances and the potential expectations or influences on communication (ex. party, doctor’s office)  Teacher Analysis  Does the setting affect the language used?  Would the students’ culture consider the setting appropriate for such an interaction?  Potential Focuses of Questions (effect on interactions)  Location, environment, overall topic (Hymes, 1974; McConachy, 2009)
  • 11.  The people involved in the setting and/or the interpersonal dimension on the language used (ex., professor, daughter, friend)  Teacher Analysis  How are the participants related?  How might their description affect the kind of language used in any way?  Potential Focuses of Questions (effect on interactions)  Relationship, age, familiarity, gender, position/title, etc. (Hymes, 1974; McConachy, 2009)
  • 12.  The purposes or goals of the participants (ex., persuasion, equality/hierarchy gain something)  Teacher Analysis  What are the different participants trying to achieve?  Is there any connection between the ends, participants, and setting?  How does the language effectively work toward the ends?  Potential Focuses of Questions (effect on interactions)  Goals/desired outcomes, different or the same for participants, how are they negotiated (Hymes, 1974; McConachy, 2009)
  • 13.  The types and sequence of speech acts or ways of interacting in a given context (ex., greeting)  Teacher Analysis  What are the different speech acts involved?  Is it important to notice the order of the speech acts?  Are there any strategies used to switch between speech acts?  Potential Focuses of Questions (effect on interactions)  Number and types of speech acts involved, the order of the speech acts, how the acts were negotiated (Hymes, 1974; McConachy, 2009)
  • 14.  The general tone or spirit of conversation and how emotions and nuances are conveyed (ex., clues in manner of speech, joking, change of topic)  Teacher Analysis  Are there any clues that notify the listener of the tone in the messages being conveyed?  Are there pauses or changes in mood reflected in the participants speech patterns?  Potential Focuses of Questions (effect on interactions)  Feelings, mood, or tone of the conversation; how are they recognizable (Hymes, 1974; McConachy, 2009)
  • 15.  The style of speech and sensitivity to registers or language variation used in certain contexts (ex., casual conversation versus academic setting)  Teacher Analysis  Is the language used polite, casual, or formal?  Are there useful examples that show how this is important in the context with respect to other variables?  Potential Focuses of Questions (effect on interactions)  Examples of polite, casual, formal, etc. types of language (Hymes, 1974; McConachy, 2009)
  • 16.  The social rules for interaction and how culture influences communication (ex., interruptions, turn taking, use of titles)  Teacher Analysis  What kinds of rules of conversation or interaction are exhibited (or should be) in the conversation?  Do such rules have a potential for creating a non-linguistic misunderstanding? If so, how?  Potential Focuses of Questions (effect on interactions)  kinds of rules that govern a given social and/or communicative context (Hymes, 1974; McConachy, 2009)
  • 17.  The types of speech events and how they are generally characterized (ex., story, telephone, interview)  Teacher Analysis  What is the basic kind of interaction involved?  What are the common features of language found in this situation?  Potential Focuses of Questions (effect on interactions)  Differences roles or expectations of participants, or other interplays of different aspects of the framework (Hymes, 1974; McConachy, 2009)
  • 18.  AGAIN: It is NOT necessary to ask every kind of question every time. You can be selective and focus on key points for stimulating a healthy discussion.  Teachers can develop own sociocultural awareness, and pass it on to students through classroom tasks  Build socio-cultural awareness  Develop interpersonal skills  Work toward greater Socio-Linguistic Competence
  • 19. Having awareness of: 1. Social rules of language (e.g., formality, politeness, directness, etc.) 2. Nonverbal behaviors 3. Cultural references (e.g., idioms, expressions, background knowledge, etc.) (http://www.learnalberta.ca/content/eslapb/ about_communicative_competence.html)
  • 20.  Bennett, M. (1998). Current perspectives of intercultural communication. In M.J. Bennett (Ed.), Basic concepts in intercultural communication: Selected readings (pp. 191–214). Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press  Damen, L.(1997). Culture learning: The fifth dimension in the language classroom. New York: Addison Wesley  Hymes, D. (1972). On communicative competence. In Sociolinguistics: Selected readings, edited by J. Pride and J. Holmes. Hammondsworth, UK: Penguin.  Hymes, D. (1974) Foundations of sociolinguistics: An ethnographic approach. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.  LaRay M. Barna (1994) Stumbling blocks in intercultrual communication. In Intercultural Communication : L.A. Samovar and R.E. Porter (Eds) : Belmont CA : Wadsworth Publishing Company. (pp. 337-346)  McConachy, T. (2009) Raising sociocultural awareness through contextual analysis: Some tools for teachers. ELT Journal 63(2).  McKay, S. (2002) Teaching english as an international language: Rethinking goals and approaches. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  Tomalin, B. (2008). Culture - the fifth language skill. Available at http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/think/articles/culture-fifth-language-skill
  • 21. Kevin Hajovsky Senior English Language Fellow Galápagos, Ecuador August 2013 galapagoselt@gmail.com