What does it mean to teach culture in the classroom (final version with references) (2)

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How to deal with culture in English as an additional language classroom. Inteculturality. Intecultural activities in the classroom.

Transcript of What does it mean to teach culture in the classroom (final version with references) (2)

  • What does it mean to teach culture in the classroom? Dilemmas and possibilities Gloria Gil UFSC ! XX Convention APIRS Greatest Hits: English Teaching Then & Now
  • Discussing the intercultural approach to English as an additional language from a 'practical' perspective First, I will briefly present the different meanings that culture has in language teaching. Then, I will make a parallel between the communicative approach and the intercultural approach, pointing out their main differences. After that, to illustrate interculturality, I will talk about the characteristics of an intercultural communicator. Then, I will provide some examples of some intercultural tasks. Finally, I will show some of main problems and limitations that teachers have to be 'intercultural' and offer some ways to overcome these drawbacks.
  • Teachers dilemmas What does teaching culture in the classroom mean? What comes to our mind? ! Food, customs, historical facts, geographical facts, festivals, paintings, music, ways of saying goodbye, values, ideologies.
  • Teachers dilemmas How do I teach culture in the classroom? By talking about the culture of the other? Do I feel safe or comfortable? Do I know enough? Is this appropriate? By talking about our own culture? How can I do this?
  • Teachers dilemmas How can I deal with stereotypes? Do I have stereotypes? What about students stereotypes?
  • What does it mean to teach culture in the classroom? Very difficult to answer. ! Most empirical research show that teachers when asked this question say that they do not teach culture.
  • Different meanings that culture has in additional language teaching
  • Culture as information or a set of facts Culture as an object or set to facts to be learned about cultures. Culture as information About the other About oneself. Usually brought by the course-books. Big C Culture vs. small c culture. Culture is separated from language.
  • Culture as pragmatic behaviour Culture is embedded in the pragmatic dimension of language, that is, what we do with words. Culture as pragmatic behavior: ways of apologizing, ways of initiating a conversation, turn-taking rules. Also it usually included in course-books.
  • Culture as language Some authors emphasize that by using and talking about some linguistic aspects such idioms, slang, metaphors, proverbs, we are dealing with culture as language. These are examples of how communities have different ways of inscribing realities.
  • Culture as pedagogy Pedagogy = the way we teach:! teacher-centered, student-centered; using authentic materials, using contrived materials; fostering student-student interaction; being language structure-oriented or communication oriented (or in between).
  • Culture as awareness (attitudes) that: culture is a process; culture means dialogue and understanding; cultural issues can be seen from multiple perspectives which lead to the complex understanding of difference (Byram, 1997; Kramsch, 2005).
  • Culture as classroom interaction Culture as attitudes & awareness Culture as pedagogy Culture as information Culture as language Culture as pragmatic behavior
  • Culture as classroom interaction Culture as interaction Teacher MaterialsLearners
  • How can we teach culture? We do not teach culture, culture is inside the classroom whether we like it or not. ! A better question then is: ! How do we deal with culture?
  • ! THE INTERCULTURAL APPROACH
  • COMPARISON Communicative Approach Intercultural Approach
  • In what way does communicative language teaching deal with language and culture
  • Some Communicative Language Teaching - CLT - characteristics: A STANDARD CULTURE A STANDARD LANGUAGE A PROCESSUAL OBJECTIVE USA or BRITISH CULTURE USA or BRITISH LANGUAGE TO BECOME A NATIVE SPEAKER
  • !A Standard Culture USA or British Culture CLT deals with cultures as national cultures. CLT avoids dealing with culture as difference and stresses monolithic or essentialist views of cultures. CLT disregards cultural factors related to age, gender, social class, race, profession, etc. and presents a homogenous view of society.
  • !A Standard Language USA or British Language CLT deals with languages as national languages. CLT avoids dealing with other varieties of English. CLT emphasizes the informational dimension of language
  • The main cultural function of language is the transactional function Exchange of information function CULTURAL INFORMATION IS USUALLY USED AS A PRETEXT FOR SPEAKING/WRITING.
  • !A PROCESSUAL OBJECTIVE: TO BECOME A NATIVE SPEAKER The native speaker is the ideal objective. Standard grammar, pronunciation and accent are valued.
  • How can the intercultural approach fix those drawbacks?
  • By re-interpreting the main objectives of the communicative approach How can the intercultural approach fix those drawbacks?
  • OBJECTIVES OF THE INTERCULTURAL APPROACH TO BE FLEXIBLE REGARDING LANGUAGE AND CULTURE PATTERNS LINGUISTIC AND CULTURAL VARIETY AND DIFFERENCE
  • OBJECTIVES OF THE INTERCULTURAL APPROACH INCLUSION OF THE IDENTITY FUNCTION OF LANGUAGE TRANSACTIONAL + IDENTITY FUNCTIONS to establish and maintain contact between people, being strongly connected to a persons or group identities
  • Identity function: negotiating who we are. Every time language learners speak, they are not only exchanging information with their interlocutors; they are organizing and reorganizing a sense of who they are and how they relate to the social world. They are, in other words, engaged in identity construction and negotiation. (Norton 1997: 410)
  • OBJECTIVES OF THE INTERCULTURAL APPROACH NATIVE SPEAKER INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATOR
  • ! What is the intercultural communicator like?
  • ! HIS/HER OWN CULTURE STARTING POINT
  • Culture as information She/He needs to know how to deal with culture(s) as information: his own and other cultures
  • She/He should be aware although culture is in the understandings and practices that are shared within groups of people (Phillips, 2003), these shared understandings and practices are loosely bounded, constantly changing, and subjectively experienced. (Menard-Warwick, 2009, p. 30) The ever-changing nature of culture
  • She/He needs to have a critical stance in relation to the issues of power related to the languages and cultures at play. Power relations
  • She/he needs to understand how participating in a community and sharing a language determines his/her perceptions of the world Linguistically and culturally determined modes to see the world There are complex linguistically and culturally determined modes to see the world
  • She/he needs to be confident to use language and other semiotic resources (images, sound, music, etc.) in a creative way and understand their creative power. This is essential for the language learners who live in the current era, when creativity is one of the keys for successful communication. (New London Group, 1996) Creativity
  • How can interculturality be dealt with the classroom
  • ! ! Through spontaneous intercultural dialogue.! ! Through planned intercultural tasks. Two main ways
  • Example of intercultural dialogue
  • 1. S1: Recently I broke my earphone, so when I am in the bus I have to listen to another ones stories. So I was going to Canasvieiras and we have like this couple of Argentinos, oh its so boring, the voice, the tone of the voice, the fast th