Essay: Teaching culture

Target language teaching concerned teaching culture and enabling learners to make differentiations between their first cultures with the target culture (Liddicoat and Crozet, 1997). Harumi (2002) portrays the culture as a crucial component in language teaching and states that culture is not detachable from language teaching and learning. For example, in the context of ELT, teachers focused on culture in English. To be specific, British English language teachers show special thought patterns of their speaking when they concentrate on lexical and grammatical items. Moreover, utilizing evincing pronouns of English is also considered an example of culture in English for Japanese learners in Harumi’s (2002) point of view.
While referring to the ‘equivalence’ in teaching a second or foreign language, problems happen in setting up semantic ‘equivalence’ for the target language culture. For instance, transferring an item like ‘cow’ from Gujarati into English is not regarded as a linguistic transfer from the source language (SL) to the target language (TL). The transfer changes the whole socio-cultural context in the TL. In the culture of India, a cow is not only holy, but worshiped; wounding and harming a cow is both inadmissible and irreligious, while in the English culture there is not such a sturdy adorable feeling for a cow. In this sense, cultural patterns transferred from a source language into the target language out of second language learning, and learning a new language does not occur unless some discernment of the cultural setting of that language obtained (Trivedi, 1978:92-93).

2.2. The role of culture in second-and foreign-language teaching
Teaching culture in the second and foreign language classroom has been a focus on the interest for many years. Kramsch (1993) states that culture in language learning should not calculated as an expendable fifth skill, since it subsits along with speaking, listening, writing and reading. She also argues that culture is always in the backdrop, correct from day one, ready to parasitize the best language students when they expect it least, making obvious that the restricted of their hard-won communicative competence, demanding their ability to add up of the world around them(1993:1).The increasing significance of obtaining the knowledge about target culture out of incorporating it into language learning has drawn the interest of many scholars and educators in recent years. For instance, Stern (1992) suspends that language and culture are inextricably attached to each other; teaching a language without involving teaching its culture is unattainable, and that culture plays as a great role in raising learners’ linguistic competence. Likewise, Yildirim (2012) comments that culture holds an influential place in foreign language teaching and learning because of the truth that the sides of culture linked to language fixed into the study of a language. However, the forms are not easily accessible, in language learning, the content of culture can a precondition for both cultural and linguistic competence (Yildirim, 2012). A huge importance linked to blend of culture after the introducing of communicative theories in the field of ELT.

2.2.1. The importance of teaching culture
Language teaching pedagogy is undergoing tough alterations by implementing an intercultural approach and sociolinguistic feature, and today it is commonplace in language teaching to strain the significance of this approach. As Byram (1999) explained, developing both linguistic and cultural competence among learners and enabling them to have two cultures at ease is today’s aim of language teaching. According to Qu (2010:58-59), students who speak and use only one language are ‘culture bound’. The meaning of ‘culture bound’ is someone who views the world through the knowledge that he/she has obtained within one cultural environment. This might result in not consenting or discernment the viewpoint of people from various cultural backgrounds. Hence, raising students’ cultural awareness that there is not only one single way to view and express things is very crucial in foreign language teaching (Ibid). In addition, Politzer (1959) remarks that language teachers must have an interest in teaching culture, not because they want to teach the culture of the people who speak that language, but because it should taught. If the teachers teach language without simultaneously teaching its culture, they are teaching symbols that don’t deck any meaning and incorrect meanings which linked to them by students (Politzer, 1959). Baker (2012) notes that learning how to use of Lexis, Grammar and Phonology of a language such as Standard British English is deficient to be competent in an intercultural communication over the language. According to the author, including an understanding of the sociocultural context in which the communication occurs in this is a prerequisite.

2.2.2. Problems in teaching culture

Linda, Crawford-Lange and Lange (1987) argue that despite its long been confirmed that culture and language learning are not separable, there is still not a huge emphasis placed on teaching culture in the textbooks or the classroom. In general, the existing literature offers the next problems that may account for this in teaching foreign languages: teachers lack the cultural knowledge of the target culture; they are not convinced in supplying culturally accurate information, but they have only a small amount and specific experiences in the foreign language culture, which causes compression on them; teachers may lack sufficient trainings in the teaching of culture. What can seen among them might be the familiarity with an area of culture-teaching strategies, but incorporating the strategies in the study of culture and the ways that culture can integrate in language learning are also obstacles (Linda, Crawford-Lange, and Lange, 1987). When teachers teach language as culture they often fear stereo sorts on the target culture and have concerns about the students’ capability to deduct the meanings from both their readings and interactions (Byram and Kramsch, 2008). The points mentioned below could likewise prevent teachers in teaching culture. The points include not having enough time, uncertainty about what sides of the culture should teach, and lacking the most effective techniques. Above all, attaching great significance to scores in most language proficiency tests, including TOFEL, IELTS, CET, and TEM aggravate the dilemma (Mao, 2009: 144).

2.3. Techniques and methods for teaching culture

A magnificent, variety of techniques and methods developed in culture teaching over the last couple of decades. Stern (1992) made a singularity between three situations where culture teaching may take place. In the first situation, culture taught in foreign language courses in which learners psychologically and physically are far away from the actuality of life in the country that speaks the language. In this sense, both background and context provided that by culture teaching, which assists learners to conceive the reality. The second situation involves students that might be living far away from the place of the second language physically, but psychologically it is the fact for them because they plan to visit the country. The last situation is one in which students, immigrants and people were before in the target language setting.

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