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Incorporating world heritages and cultures into thematic units for TEYL

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TEFL should not be limited to the teaching of linguistic skills and the culture of the target language. It should rather highlight cultural diversity to prepare young people for a multicultural world. Exposure to different cultures at an early age leaves almost no room for stereotypes.

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Incorporating world heritages and cultures into thematic units for TEYL

  1. 1. Incorporating World Heritages and Cultures into Thematic Units for TEYLTESOL Convention 2013, Dallas, Texas USA By Chaouki M’kaddem, Ministry Of Education, Tunisia.
  2. 2. Abstract: TEFL should not be limited to the teaching of linguistic skills and the culture of the target language. It should rather highlight cultural diversity to prepare young people for a multicultural world. Exposure to different cultures at an early age leaves almost no room for stereotypes.
  3. 3. References:Byram, M., & Zarate, G. (1997). Defining and assessing intercultural competence: Some principles and pro-posals for the European context. Language Teaching, 29, 239–243.Liddicoat, A.J. (2002). Static and dynamic views of culture and intercultural language acquisition. Babel, 36(3), 4–11, 37.Piaget, J. (1970). The science of education and the psychology of the child. New York:Orion Press.Ruben, B. D. (1976). Assessing communication competency for intercultural adaptation. Group and Organization Studies, 1, 334- 354.Shin, J. K. (2006). Ten helpful ideas for teaching English to young learners. English Teaching Forum, 2. p. 2-7, 13. Retrieved from http://americanenglish.state.gov/files/ae/resource_files/06-44-2-b.pdfVygotsky, L. (1962). Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Wood, D., Bruner, J, & Ross, G. (1976). The role of tutoring in problem solving. Journalof child Psychology and Psychiatry, 17:2, 89–100.
  4. 4. Young learners’ characteristicsand culture
  5. 5. Why Thematic Units?Through thematic units there will be: – more comprehensible instruction – meaningful context – achievement of meaningful goals through language – smooth transition between activities and lessons – connection of content, language and culture to a broad idea – incorporation of real life situations in instruction. – Integration of language skills communicatively and naturally – focus on experiential learning – easy selection of the cultural aspects. – adaptation of the cultural aspects – reinforcement of the awareness of cultural aspects through recycling – more motivation and learner involvement
  6. 6. Ruben (1976) identified seven dimensionsof intercultural competence:1. Display of respect  individual’s ability to express respect and positive regard for other individuals.2. Interaction posture  individual’s ability to respond to others in a descriptive, non- evaluative, and non-judgmental way.3. Orientation to knowledge  individual’s ability to recognize the extent to which knowledge is individual in nature.4. Empathy  individual’s ability to put her/himself in someone else’s shoes.
  7. 7. 1. Self-oriented role behavior  individual’s ability to be flexible and to function in initiating and harmonizing roles.2. Interaction management  individual’s ability to take turns in discussion and initiate and terminate interaction based on a reasonably accurate assessment of the needs and desires of others.3. Tolerance for ambiguity  individual’s ability to react to new and ambiguous situations with little visible discomfort.
  8. 8. Language teachers should:• enable YLs to actively engage in culture learning, rather than only learn about cultural information in a passive way.• engage YLs in the process of exploring their own culture and other cultures.• involve YLs in the process of discovering their own cultural dimensions and cultural differences.• Guide the YLs to set stereotypes into question.• enable YLs to reflect on cultural otherness.
  9. 9. • lead YLs to be tolerant and to accept what is different.• let YLs compare and contrast without being judgemental.• intervene when necessary to adjust YLs attitude towards cultural otherness.• sharpen the YLs’ critical thinking skills.• facilitate learning through ICT use.• create a social network group for the class (Facebook)
  10. 10. The process of developingintercultural competence is cyclical: A pathway for developing intercultural competence (Liddicoat, 2002)
  11. 11. Information (Input) Sources Teachers should be careful when selecting information. The input may be found in:• Extracts from films/TV programs• Internet (videos, images, podcast, websites …)• DVD & CDs• Encyclopedias• Background information• Anecdotes• Plays & songs• Photographs• Illustrations• Newspapers, magazines• Stories• Jokes• Proverbs
  12. 12. Activity types (Output):Activities need to be task-based and should meet YLs’ learning styles. They can be done in groups, in pairs, or individually. Below are some examples of activities that are suitable for young learners.Story telling Drawing Role-play Simulation Problem solving Projects Quizzes Class debate Writing assignments
  13. 13. Examples of cultural aspectsrelated to themes:
  14. 14. Take home message:World Cultures within Kids’ Reach (by Chaouki M’kaddem)Dear language teacher,Young learners are known for malleabilityAnd zeal to quench their curiositySo as to grasp life aspects and any noveltyWhy not seize such a golden opportunityAnd make their future free from hostility?
  15. 15. Dear language teacher,It is mainly your responsibilityTo offer young learners the immunityTo stereotypes, prejudice and bigotryBy exposing them to a selected varietyOf other people’s culture and society
  16. 16. Dear language teacher,Enrich every class with an extra activityAbout cultural aspects of a different communityBe careful! Select your items with sincerityAnd mind those concealing duplicityTo avoid any backfire or tendency to animosity
  17. 17. Dear language teacher,When it comes to techniques and methodologyDo some readings to broaden your creativityThen adjust them to match learner specificityMake use of twenty-first century technologyTo manage motivating hands-on activityhttp://chaoukimkaddem.blogspot.com/

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