The Relationship Between Language & Culture and the Implications for Language Teaching | serii.info
The relationship between language and culture is deeply rooted. From this, one can see that learning a new language involves the learning of a new culture . In this chapter, I will explore the complex relationship between culture and education. First, I will define culture through a number of interrelated characteristics. This unit discusses the relationship between socialization, culture and personality. It examine how socialization and education should be used to produce.
All of these help the individual to adapt to his social environment. It must be kept in mind that all these elements undergo gradual changes as the social environment changes. Culture determines the patterns of social control, through which the individual is subjected to remain attached to that group. This knowledge enables him to adapt to social environment and thus achieve his socialization. The personality of the individual is manifested through his pattern of behaviour. Culture influences the physical, mental, moral, social, aesthetic and emotional aspects of individual.
Thus, the behaviour of the individual is greatly influenced by the culture. Socialization as a process of acculturation: Many cultural anthropologists regard socialization as a process of acculturation or the culture of a group.
In the words of Martin and Stendlar, "Culture refers to the total way of life of a people that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, customs and any other capabilities and habits, acquired by man as a member of society. One must mix up with others to learn the habits etc, of the society to which he belongs. In other words to socialize oneself one must learn the culture of the society.
Brubacher has observed, "We cannot teach the coming generation to be good simply by teaching them to be wise. They must have plenty of opportunity to habituate themselves to moral ideals. Instead of learning lessons in school apart from life, school must incorporate into itself a social context of shops, laboratories, and play grounds.
Moral learning in school and college must be continuous with moral training outside through field trips, community activities and the like. If schools fulfil this larger function, we may be assured that anything learned in an enterprise having an aim and in cooperation with others will be inescapable moral.
Society is very keen that its young members should not lapse into barbarity and ignorance. Whatever, it has attained in social, cultural, religious and other fields it feels its bounden duty to transmit it to the next generation.
As the society has become more complex and knowledge is piling up it feels the need for formal education and thus society starts schools to educate its members. The purpose is two fold: To transmit cultural heritage. To improve the society. Transmission of culture heritage: To perpetuate present progress we should transmit the cultural heritage. Only physical reproduction is not sufficient; we should equip the new generation with our attainments in all fields of life.
Here we should exploit the innate tendencies, needs and interests of the children for the purpose of education. Our education should also be in consonance with the mental 'make-up' of the students. Improvement of the Society: Without improvement the society will stagnate. Education is not only to reflect the social conditions but also to improve them. With the advancement of science and technology our ways of life are also undergoing tremendous change. If we would not cope with the present advancement there would be 'cultural lag'.
We must adjust ourselves with the fast changing world. So education must adapt itself to the changing conditions. But as always happens some new things are not very desirable. So we shall have to guard ourselves against the tendency of the schools to import everything new in the society.
If old and out-dated things are to be discarded we shall have to be vigilant against blind and slavish imitation of the new developments. It is through education that we can prepare students to evaluate the past and understand the present and to be prepared for future.
In short the students should be taught to get inspiration from the inspiring past, to live in the dynamic present and to face the challenging future. Education is obviously reflection of the social, cultural and political conditions prevailing outside. It reflects the society but it has within it the seeds of dynamics of change and thus can keep pace with the fast changing world.
The schools thus are not blind followers of the dictates of the society but when it degenerates they can improve it and enthuse it with new idea of thought and new horizons of desirable ideals. Role of the School: The school has to give up its ivory tower isolation. It must be closely linked with the society. Branford writes "The school should be an idealized epitome or model of the world, not merely the world of ordinary affairs, but the whole of humanity, body and soul, past present and future.
Greene states, "The good school programme stems from community needs as an integral part of the life of the people. It is made by, for, and of those it would serve. They should no longer emerge as helpless, shiftless individuals who do not know what to do with themselves. Ross, 'Schools ought to stress the duties and responsibilities of individual citizen, they ought to train their pupils in the spirit of cheerful, willing and effective service—they will themselves be model communities.
School is a social institution which has been established by the society for the purpose of transmitting among its members, those ideas, beliefs, attitudes and dispositions that will make them worthy members of the society.
Schools are to be the reflection of the larger society outside its will in which life can be learnt by living. The school is to be looked at not as a place where traditional knowledge is inculcated as authoritative but as a place where experiments in life are carried on and where other experiments in life be read about and told about because of their results by which alone they are to be judged and not by their prestige.
Impact of culture on educational institutions: The aims and ideals of the educational institutions are influenced by the values and patterns of the society. The curriculum is prepared according to the culture of society. The system of education tries to realize the cultural needs of society through curriculum which conditions all educational activities and programmes. Culture and methods of teaching are intimately connected.
The changing cultural patterns of a society exert its influence upon the methods of teaching. Previously teaching was teacher centered where teacher used to give knowledge to the child. Now it has become student centered. The teacher considers the needs, interests, aptitude, attitude, inclinations, behaviour etc before teaching.
SM Lesson3 CULTURE AND EDUCATION
In this way education is a method pf preparing child for the future for effective living. In short we can say that cultural and social conditions generate the methods and techniques of teaching in a powerful manner. Cultural values influence the concept of discipline. The present cultural patterns of thinking and living are directly linked to our concept of discipline where the democratic values are accepted all over the world.
Curriculum is contained in the textbooks. Textbooks are written according to the formulated or determined curriculum. Only those textbooks are welcomed which foster and promote cultural values and ideals. They infuse higher ideals and moral values in children. A schools is a miniature of a society. The total activities and programmes of a school are organized according to the cultural ideals and values of the society which establishes and organize the school. Hence, school is the centre of promoting, moulding, reforming, and developing the cultural pattern of the society.
Impact of education on culture: It cannot carry on with handful of education and mass illiteracy. The technological advancement has necessitated the re-orientation of education. The environmental effect of the education of child is now given special stress and attention. Douglas, in The Home and the School has specially developed this aspect of child education. Likewise, children from smaller families generally have higher educational attainment, since they are also likely to receive more parental attention than children in large families.
He or she is an active agent who has to learn to interpret that environment… Consequently, when considering the effects of the home on educational attainment. It is not enough to see this simply as the result of the occupation and education of the parents. Family insecurity, for example, is not only produced by poverty but also results when professional parents with busy lives spend little time with their children.
In USA, there does not exist a national system of education. It is not a Federal subject. It is left entirely to the care of the local administration. There, therefore, exists diversity of institutions and of standards. Even within the same State, educational standards and the quality of schools varies. The American elementary and high school education is comprehensive, and in the schools are conducted commercial, vocational and college preparatory programmes.
There are schools, which exclusively conduct college preparatory courses. In England, there are elementary schools for the working class, Grammar schools for middle class children, and public school education, for the children of the upper class. This pattern has remained more or less unchanged, since long time. The Education Act ofdid not bring about any change in this differentiation. There is, however, effort being made to bring about the changes in the system, to develop comprehensive school system.
Education in our country under the British Raj did not make much progress. Inliteracy did not cover more than 10 per cent of the population. Since independence much extension has been given to education and literacy. Efforts are afoot to extend education both at the primary and adult levels.
In the five decades since independence much advance has been made in education at secondary, college and university levels. Under the new pattern Ten plus Two system at the secondary and senior secondary levels, emphasis is now being laid on vocational and technical education. In the traditional society, teacher was taken to symbolise the best in social values.
He was accepted as a moral authority. But this position has now undergone a distinct change. Teacher in an educated society is not the only person who can be said to have intellectual competence and school too is not the only institution to impart education. The normative aspect of education is not attended to.
The Relationship between Education and Society (7040 Words)
In fact it has remained neglected. The emphasis in learning is on the accumulation of knowledge or acquiring a qualification, vocational or otherwise. Equality of Educational Opportunity: The equalisation of educational opportunities is essentially linked with the notion of equality in the social system. In a social system if all the individuals are treated as equal, they get equal opportunities for advancement. Since education is one of the most important means of upward mobility, it is through an exposure to education one can aspire to achieve higher status, position and emoluments.
But for getting education he must have equal opportunities like other members of the society. In case educational opportunities are unequally distributed, the inequalities in the social structure continue to be perpetuated, it is in this light the quality of educational opportunity has been visualised. The need for emphasising the equality of opportunity in education arise due to number of reasons. Some of these reasons are enumerated below: Education is supposed to eliminate social and economic inequality.
The relationship between education and inequality is a result of the historical particulars of the educational system. There are two factors in this 1 the available opportunities which structure individual choices and 2 the social and economic process which structure individual choices while the above factors point out that the educational system is a product of the social structure it must be remembered that it is not a one-way process because the educational system itself and the values it stands for influences individual decisions.
The major problem with respect to the equality of educational opportunity is the perpetuation of inequalities through education. It is through a system of education in which elite control is predominant that the inequalities are perpetuated. In an elite controlled system the schools practise segregation.
This segregation may be on the basis of caste, colour or class etc. In South Africa schools practise segregation on the basis of colour. Equality of educational opportunity is more talked about, than really believed.
In all modern industrially advanced countries there is the total inequality of educational opportunity. Educational opportunities for a child are determined by his family, class, neighborhood consideration. A comprehensive school system free from these considerations is the demand all over the world.
There is a move to this effect in U. But the movement is comparatively weak in Britain and France. The size of the family and the parental attitude makes a lot of difference to the educational career of a child. The educated parents give due attention to the education of the children. The family influence determines the educational goal of the children. Inequality of educational opportunity also occurs due to the poverty of a large section of the population and the relative affluence of small minority.
The poor cannot pay the fees and their children do not find chances of continuing in schools. Children from the families that cannot provide the economic support and other perquisite, suffer badly. From this group, there is the maximum number of dropouts. Education and social status have close connection.
Social class position includes income, occupation and life style. These have impact on the upbringing of the child. Under the segregated schooling that long prevailed in the United States, officially in the South and informally elsewhere, Negroes received an inferior education.
Racially segregated schools have simply been poorer schools and children in these schools are not given the same opportunity to learn to the same level as white schools. The neighborhood environment has much to do with the education of the children. Low income families concentrate in the inner city, live in old and decaying houses. Families with similar level of income, and similar vocation live in neighborhood.
This sort of inequality is found everywhere in the West. The residential segregation is a factor that produces class structures. Neighborhood has its impact on the school, and on the peer group. The attitude of the teacher has much to do with education of the children.
The very real measurable differences between middle class and lower class children in tests, as well as the differences between white and Negro children, are to be accounted for, not by innate differences in ability, but by differences of cultural exposure and bearing opportunities.
The children in rural areas studying in poorly equipped schools have to compete with the children in urban areas where there are well-equipped schools and more informative environment for getting admission to the schools for higher bearing on professional colleges. In Indian situation educational inequality due to sex is also very much visible. They are given inferior position in the family and their education is neglected.
Educational inequality is due to the system itself and also on account of conditions prevailing in society. It is multi-sided affair and is continuing both in developed and developing societies. In many societies it finds expression in the form of public schools. Some of the societies including our own, run public schools which provide much better education than the type of education provided by State run and controlled educational institutions.
The education in the former institutions being much costly as compared with the latter and admission obviously open to only few privileged. This creates educational inequality in its own way.How Culture Affects Education
It is really strange that education aimed at social transformation reflects the structured inequalities in our social system.
Educational institutions are in a sense closed systems since opportunities that elite has for excellent educational system is not available for the unfortunate masses.
Obviously this system breeds inequality of opportunities. In many cities there is a definite status hierarchy in primary education and to a large extend, the choice of a primary school determines career opportunities.
Top priority is given to English medium schools sponsored by missionaries since they offer the best education. Next in the hierarchy are non-English medium schools run by religious organisations and charitable trusts. At the bottom of the hierarchy are the schools run by the Government.
Naturally the choice of English medium schools is the forerunner for lucrative and prestigious careers for a particular segment of society. We have at present a stratified society and a stratified pattern of schooling and they compete each other.
Dual system of education has to be done away with through legislation and thereby evolve a common pattern of schooling to build a strong and unified democratic system in India. Educational privileges must reach down to the poor and particularly it should benefit members of the Scheduled Castes.
Rapid expansion of education among women is achieved although they are still at a disadvantage compared to men. To some extent education has proved to be a source of social mobility for the depressed groups. Education is a double-edged instrument which can eliminate the effects of socio-economic inequalities but it can also introduce a new kind of inequality. Education can influence the process of social change among the weaker sections of society.
Persistent and planned efforts by the Government and voluntary agencies will go a long way toward elimination of educational inequalities. Education as Medium of Cultural Reproduction, Indoctrination: The enduring function of education is the cultural reproduction. It has been recognised to be its main role.
It is by education that the newborn is initiated in the social ways. It transmits culture to him. At the early stages the aim is to introduce the child to the normative order of his group.
The Relationship Between Language & Culture and the Implications for Language Teaching
In the traditional society kinship group worked for the child to this end. In complex modern industrial society of the West, this work is undertaken by specialized agencies such as school. In traditional society, cultural reproduction may take place by oral teaching of heritage and culture; history and legend, and in a practical way by participating in the celebration of festivals. One may at a successive stage be introduced to culture through books. Yet one may not be in a position to appreciate it.
It is only after one has been initiated and motivated that one gets cultivated in the cultural ways. As indicated above it is a lifelong educational process. The movies, radio, record industry, and the television are strong instruments to impart education. Their appeal is direct. But these are not bound to any normative standard.
Their basic standard is the marketability. The American Council on The Teaching of Foreign Languages has expounded on the importance of combining the teaching of culture into the language curriculum to enhance understanding and acceptance of differences between people, cultures and ideologies Standards One example where as policy makers did not recognize the importance of culture is outlined by Kimin which the Korean government had consulted American ESL instructional guidelines which stated that for students to become competent in English they must speak English outside of the classroom.
The government on reviewing this policy requested that all Korean English language students use English outside of the classrooms to further enhance their language competency.
What they failed to consider is that while in America, English is taught as a second language and speaking English was quite acceptable in all locations, that in Korea, English is taught as a foreign language and the vast majority of the Korean population do not converse with each other in English.
Korean students speaking English outside of the classroom context were seen as show-offs. In a collectivistic culture, as is Korea, such displays of uniqueness are seen as a vice to be suppressed, not as a virtue Kim Thus policy makers must not rely on the cultural views and policies of others, but incorporate the cultural views of the students as well as considering the culture where the teaching is taking place.
Language teachers need to be informed about various teaching interaction-based methodologies, manipulate them and develop their own teaching methods compatible with the educational context to foster interaction between students Kim When creating policies, one must consider the cultural meanings of teaching materials used.
The materials may have a far broader meaning or encompass far more or less than what one has considered. An example of this is when the school I worked for decided that I introduce a discussion topic on holidays with one of my classes. The school did not enlighten me as to the cultural significance of holidays or what the Chinese equivalent of the word entails.
This problem, as described by Yuleis that people have pre-existing schemata or knowledge structure in their memory of what constitutes certain ideas; e. The culturally based schemata that the students had for holidays were considerably different than that of my own. Their ideology of a holiday was any day that was special, possibly where one did not have to go to school, a weekend, a birthday, or any other major happening.
When I asked the students what their favourite holiday was, I received many replies, all of which were not what I was looking for. I proceeded to tell them that Christmas was a holiday. This however, was a bad example as Christmas is not a holiday in Taiwan. Finally, as this paper has shown, language and culture are intertwined to such an extent whereas one cannot survive without the other. It is impossible for one to teach language without teaching culture.
The implications for language teaching and policy making are therefore vast and far reaching. Brooks N Culture in the classroom. In JM Valdes ed Culture bound: Cambridge University Press, pp — Byram M Cultural studies in foreign language education.
Englebert Character or Culture? An EFL Journal, 24 2 Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research. Hui Du False alarm or real warning? Implications for China of teaching English. Journal of Educational Enquiry, Vol. Information for foreigners n. Retrieved June 17, from http: Murray DM The great walls of China. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, vol 11, no 4, pp —