UNIT 4. The Interrelation of Culture and Language
LESSON 1: Differences in Cultures
LEAD - IN
Give your associations with the terms “Culture” and “Language”.
Watch videos of Eva Haug on what is Culture and what is Language.
Compare the following definitions given by E.B. Tylor (1832-1917) and Edward Sapir (1884–1939).
Culture - is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, law, morals, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.
"Language - is a purely human and non-instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions and desires by means of voluntarily produced symbols." (Edward Sapir, Language: An Introduction to the Study of Speech. Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1921).
Create a 5 minute digital story describing the terms “culture” and “language”. Work in pairs and evaluate each other’s digital stories.
TASK II.Work in pairs and write the causes and reasons of cultural differences and discuss in small groups:
№ Cultural differences cause: Reasons:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. b)
How do you understand the term Global Village?
What do you know about Time Orientation of Different Cultures?
What is Monochronic/Polychronic Time?
c) Read the following extract about Cultural Differences in Time Orientation.
Monochronic There are cultural variations in how people understand and use time. Researchers have found that individuals are divided in two groups in the ways they approach time.
Monochronic individuals are those who prefer to complete one task at a time. For them, task-oriented time is distinguished from socio-emotional time. In other words, there is a time to play and a time to work. These individuals value punctuality, completing tasks, and keeping to schedules. They view time as if it were linear, that is, one event happening at a time. Examples of monochronic cultures include the U.S., Israel, Germany, and Switzerland.
Polychronic Polychronic individuals, on the other hand, are more flexible about time schedules; they have no problem integrating task-oriented activities with socio-emotional ones. For them, maintaining relationships and socializing are more important than accomplishing tasks. These individuals usually see time in a more holistic manner; in other words, many events may happen at once. Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa are places where the polychronic orientation prevails.
In certain cities in the U.S., it is not uncommon for us to find timetables or daily schedules for buses or trains. If the bus is to be at a certain stop at 10:09 PM, for example, one can expect that to happen at the designated time, give or take a minute.
For polychronic individuals such precise timetables are mind-boggling, as many of them are simply used to going to the bus stop and waiting – not knowing whether they will be waiting for five or forty-five minutes. That is just the way things are.
This difference in time orientation is reflected in the complaints of U.S. business people conducting business in Saudi Arabia or in Mexico, for example. A big source of frustration for them is the difficulty of getting through a meeting’s agenda. That is because in these countries meetings begin with an extended socializing time in which time is spent establishing social rapport – usually over many cups of coffee or tea.
d) Watch a short video about Polychronic Time Orientation and Monochronic Time Orientation and be ready to answer the following questions:
Who is the founder of monochronic and polychronic time orientation?
What are Hall’s Cultural Factors?
What is the difference between monochronic and polychronic time orientation?
Make a project on “Monochronic and Polychronic Time Orientation” issues and present it in the classroom.
сhoose one of the English speaking countries;
determine the Time Orientation of the country;
present your findings to the class.
TASK III.First, study the following information about how to write a speech. As participants of a round table discussion prepare your own speech on one of the following problems in written form:
- Cultural Values
- National Stereotypes of Different Cultures.
LESSON 2: Intercultural Communicative Competence
LEAD - IN
- What is Intercultural communicative competence?
- Can you define its sub - competences?
Read the text paying attention to sub-competences given in bold:
In MFL education, the most basic competence is considered to be the ‘intercultural communicative competence’ which is directed towards forming an ‘intermediator of intercultural communication’.
The Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC) is directed towards forming an intermediator of intercultural communication. ICC is an independent competence and the components of Intercultural Communicative Competence are independent sub-competences. This set of sub-competences displays methodological completeness and inter connectivity. The structure of the ‘intercultural communicative competence’ contains sub-competences which reflect the teaching system that forms an intercultural-communicative level of MFL command sufficient for everyday life and work in the modern interconnected world. The structure of the ‘intercultural communicative competence’ contains the following sub-competences: linguocultural, which forms a language student’s primary conceptualization of the world on the basis of their own culture. It is a linguocultural reflection of one’s national language consciousness and mentally and it is the basis upon which an eventual ‘reconceptualization’ will occur during the transition to a MLF; - the social and socio-cultural, which creates a language student’s ‘secondary cognitive consciousness ‘ as a conception and form of the world of a different language society. It also forms in the student’s cognitive system ‘secondary constructions-knowledge’ corresponding to their knowledge of the world and language of a different language society; the conceptual, which provides the means for the study of MFL and is a reflection of the conceptually-organized ‘picture of the world’ of a different society and the result of a common, integrated mechanism for working over natural language in an individual’s consciousness. The cognitive sub-competence provides the formation of language as apart of the process of knowledge-acquisition and thought.
(adapted from S.S.Kunanbayeva. The Modernization of Foreign Language Education: the Linguo-Cultural Communicative Approach. - United Kingdom: Hertfordshire Press, - 2013, - 293 p.)Linguacultural sub-competence
Communicative sub - competence
Intercultural Communicative Competence
Socio - cultural sub-competence
Personality –oriented sub –competence
Conceptual sub –competence
- Give definitions to sub - competences of Intercultural communicative competence.
Is it possible to prioritize the given sub - competences?
How do you understand the following terms and notions:
Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
Compare the definitions with the given ones in the dictionaries:
Common European Framework of Reference for languages - (a description of the language abilities of students at different levels of learning, that can be used to help different countries to compare standards and create teaching programmes).
Plurilingualism-is the ability of an individual to speak more than two languages.
Pluriculturalism - is an approach to the self and others as complex rich beings which act and react from the perspective of multiple identifications. In this case, identity or identities are the by-products of experiences in different cultures. As an effect, multiple identifications create a unique personality instead of or more than a static identity. It is based on multiple-identity, where in people have multiple identities who belong to multiple groups with different degrees of identification. The term pluricultural competence is a consequence of the idea of plurilingualism.
Multilingual - (of people or groups) able to use more than two languages for communication, or (of a thing) written or spoken in more than two different languages.
Now skim the following article of Viljo Kohonen about Intercultural Communicative Competence in Foreign Language Education.
As part of the need to increase multicultural collaboration, intercultural communicative competence is now generally seen as an overarching goal in foreign language education. It involves essentially a capacity for encountering cultural diversity in intercultural communication between people coming from different socio-cultural settings. It also emphasises the importance of being able to critically reflect on one's cultural identity and values and to develop an awareness of the complex relationships between language, society and cultural meanings (Byram 2003; Kaikkonen 2001; 2002; 2004).
The seminal Common European Framework discusses the new goal orientation in terms of fostering the language user's plurilingualism and pluriculturalism in linguistically and culturally diverse Europe. The notion involves a complex, multiple language competence on which the language user may draw in intercultural communication. It suggests the need to consider both affective, cognitive and behavioural elements in the pedagogical development of pluriculturalism (CEFR 2001). These goals clearly entail a new paradigm, involving the development of student autonomy as a language learner and as a language user. Intercultural communicative competence is an action-oriented concept, suggesting the importance of relating constructively to otherness and foreignness in human encounters. To do so, language users need to accept the ambiguity inherent in intercultural communication and develop a respect for cultural diversity. As cross-cultural encounters are also a question of attitudes and emotions, becoming an intercultural language user clearly emphasises the role of the affective elements in foreign and second language education. Intercultural communicative competence is thus an educationally valuable goal in its own right, entailing an element of personal growth as a human being. (Jaatinen 2001; 2007; Kaikkonen 2001; 2002; Breen 2001; Kohonen 2001; 2005; Kalaja & Barcelos 2003.)
Language learning constitutes an important part of the student's preparation to responsible citizenship in societies that are becoming increasingly multilingual and multicultural. A natural task for language learning is to connect people from various cultural backgrounds and thus increase openness for human diversity. There is thus a new challenge for second and foreign language teachers to facilitate their students to grow beyond the boundaries of their own cultures (Kaikkonen 2001). Such a goal also entails a clear socio-political dimension in foreign language education: promoting student autonomy and democratic citizenship education as an inherent part of language education. To do so teachers need to encourage the pupils' active participation and responsible action in the classroom community. They also need to enhance their students' personal identities as part of a wider European (and global) identity. (CEFR 2001; Beacco and Byram 2002; Kaikkonen 2002; 2004; Byram 2003; Kohonen 2001.)
Read the text once more and answer the questions given below:
What does ICC mean according to Byram and Kaikkonen?
Why does the term Intercultural communicative competence is of great
What is the role of plurilingualism and pluriculturalism in our society?
What does multilingual mean?
Watch the part of Michael Byram’s video about Intercultural competence and foreign language teacher education.
Discuss in pairs:
- What is Intercultural Competence?
- What is the importance Intercultural Competence in Foreign Language Education?
TASK III.Draw a scheme and justify the basic set of competences and sub-competences of FLT. Define the place and role of the intercultural competence in the MFL teaching profession (include a structured teacher competency model).
Write an explanation essay (300-350 words) on one of the following topics:
Foreign Language as a Mean of Intercultural Communication.
Language as a Bridge Between Cultures.
Intercultural Communication plays a Vital Role in Our Life.
TASK V.What are the different intercultural-communicative competences (ICC) upon which existing ICC models (as a means for MFL education) are based? Give a full definition of ‘intercultural-communicative competence’ and its set of sub-competences.
LESSON 3: Cultural Values
LEAD - IN
Read the article and answer the questions given below:
What do individualistic/collectivistic societies mean?
What are the peculiarities of Individualism and Collectivism?
Can you think of potential sources of conflict or misunderstanding between Individualism/ Collectivism?
Individualism versus Collectivism
This cultural dimension is concerned with the extent to which the welfare of the individual or that of the group is more valued in a society.
In individualistic societies, the goals of individuals are valued more highly than the goals of the group. Individuals are rewarded for behaving independently, making their own plans, and working toward achieving their personal goals. In these societies, individuals are hired and promoted largely based on individual achievement and qualifications. Examples of individualistic societies include the United States and Northern and Western European countries.
In collectivistic societies, on the other hand, the needs of the group are considered more important than those of the individual. In these societies, kinship ties are much stronger and may take precedence over expertise in matters of appointments and promotions. Collectivism is a value in Asian, African, as well as South American cultures.
Take, for example, the case of arranged marriages, still common in countries such as India or Pakistan. In those cultures, marriages are times to form family alliances. You marry whomever your family chooses or whoever is best for the family. In the U.S., on the other hand, you marry whomever you choose, the implication being that it’s your decision and you choose the one best for you. In this case, the welfare of the individual takes precedence over the welfare of the family. The same can happen in your professional life. A student from a collectivistic culture may be sent to the U.S. to study whatever his/her government or company needs and not necessarily what he/she wants to pursue; whatever the group needs (i.e., country or company) takes precedence over what the individual wants.
Watch a video about Individualistic and Collectivistic Cultures: Differences and Communication styles and complete the chart.
Dimension Features Strategies
Give examples and evaluate different cultures of individualism and collectivism.
TASK II.Do you know any common differences between American and British English?
Watch a video about Differences between American and British English.(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXWwQ8e8oCc)
What are the main differences between American and British English?
Give your own examples of American and British spelling, pronunciation, word choice and colloquial expressions.
Watch a video about British people peculiarities and be ready to answer the questions:
What associations do come to your mind when you think about British people?
How would you characterize British people?
How would you characterize Kazakh people?
In groups of three or four make a survey on communicative models.
Complete the Venn diagram comparing British and Kazakh people.
In Britain, when someone gets old they often go to live in a home with other old people.
- Who do you think should pay for this care, the government or the family?
- Compare the issue connected with old people care in Kazakhstan.
- Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
TASK III.Interview different people of various ages asking the following questions:
Do you know much about your own culture?
When people from other countries think about your culture, what do they usually associate your country with?
What does it mean to be polite in your culture?
What does it mean to be impolite in your culture?
What is considered rude in your culture?
How do usually young people behave with older people in your culture?
Analyze the results of your survey.
Make a scheme or graphic with the results of your survey.
Present your project in the class.
TASK IV.Write a critical essay (300-350 words) on one of the following topics:
Some cultures value elderly people more, while other cultures value the youth more.
Working and living abroad helps us to know other cultures well. How far you think working abroad has good or bad impacts on our cultural lives?
How important it is to respect older people in different cultures?