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Cultural Awareness

论文作者:Anne-Brit Fenner论文属性:短文 essay登出时间:2007-01-12编辑:点击率:13839

论文字数:4294论文编号:org200701122229251685语种:英语论文 English地区:中国价格:免费论文

关键词:Cultural Awareness

Cultural Awareness Most educators would agree that cultural awareness is an important aim in foreign language teaching. There are, however, differing views on what cultural and intercultural awareness is, and how learners can be encouraged and assisted in moving towards this goal. In considering cultural awareness in relation to textbooks, I would first like to discuss the term in a wider educational and methodological context. In this context I find it useful to look at two different ways of defining education: according to the Oxford Dictionary the term can mean 'instruction' or it can mean 'development and personal growth'. If we, as textbook authors, regard our task solely as providing reading material and exercises in order to transmit a set of skills that might enable the learner to cope in a foreign country, we are faced with a purely instrumental and utilitarian view of foreign language teaching. This is the traditional view of teaching culture, which has its roots in teaching methods long before the advent of a communicative approach to language learning with its focus on the learner. Instruction by the teacher or textbook followed by exercises designed to make the learner merely reproduce or copy language rather than produce his or her own, is very difficult to combine with the development of personal awareness on the part of the learner. If we only try to provide a body of knowledge, hoping that it can be transferred to the learner by the teacher or the textbook, we reinforce what Bourdieu (1994) calls' symbolic power'; i.e. we enforce, through our choice of teaching material, our own values upon the learners without giving them a chance to develop a critical awareness of this knowledge. And in so doing, we manage to preserve our own set of values. If, on the other hand, we regard education as 'development and personal growth', our aim must be to give the learner opportunity to develop cultural knowledge, competence and awareness in such a way that it might lead to a better understanding of the foreign culture, the 'other', as well as of the learner's own culture, the ‘self’. The former definition of education, 'instruction', falls into a category of teaching where the relationship between teacher and learner, or textbook and learner, can be categorized as a subject-object relationship (Skjervheim 1992). In a cultural awareness context, the encounter between one's own and the foreign culture can be seen in terms of a similar type of relationship, with the foreign culture as object while 'I, myself and 'my culture' constitute the subject. In such a relationship it will always be the aim of the subject to impose its own cultural values upon the object. Historically and politically, the relationship between colonial powers and their colonies can be characterized and recognized in this way. In a foreign language learning context such a view, conscious or unconscious, may result in an attitude towards the foreign culture which enhances symbolic power instead of resulting in cultural awareness as a basis for developing empathy and tolerance. Rather than remaining in a subject - object relationship with the learners within which they are 'instructed' or taught about culture, textbooks and teachers need to open up ways in which learners can gain insights into the foreign culture in a subject - subject relationship; in other words, a dialectic process between equals. Is it possible for textbook authors to provide material 论文英语论文网提供整理,提供论文代写英语论文代写代写论文代写英语论文代写留学生论文代写英文论文留学生论文代写相关核心关键词搜索。

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