Title

Why and How to Teach Culture in a World Language Class

Subject Area

Second Language Acquisition

Abstract

Across levels, culture has been traditionally the last pages in the textbook that teachers never have time to teach, and cultural projects have traditionally been a break from grammar lessons; but culture in language learning should not be an expendable fifth skill apart from speaking, reading, writing and listening. It should be integrated in the curriculum from the beginning. As Kramsch, 1993 says it should be “ready to unsettle the good language learners when they expect it least, making evident the limitations of their hard-won communicative competence, challenging their ability to make sense of the world around them.”

From teaching the time in lower levels and relating it to the different times Spanish people eat, to teaching idiomatic sentences and refrains in higher levels, language and culture are very much entangled. Cultural units such as film, music, or art not only develop an appreciation for the larger contributions of Spanish and Latin American cultural manifestations to the world, but also use the language as a vehicle of communication.

The goal of this unit is to demonstrate to foreign language teachers how they can incorporate the teaching of culture into their foreign language classrooms, and teach language at the same time. Examples of activities are given in Spanish.

Brief Bio Note

Ana Zurita graduated in Education and in Spanish and English Studies at the University of Cordoba, in Cordoba, Spain. She has worked as an ESL, Spanish language and literature professor in Spain, México and New York for 13 years. She also taught Methodology and Education at the University Nacional Autónoma of Mexico, where she got her MA in Comparative Literature. For the last twelve years she has taught at Savannah Country Day School.

Keywords

Education, Culture, Second language acquisition, Activities, Projects

Location

Room 217

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-27-2015 1:30 PM

End Date

3-27-2015 2:45 PM

Embargo

5-23-2017

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Mar 27th, 1:30 PM Mar 27th, 2:45 PM

Why and How to Teach Culture in a World Language Class

Room 217

Across levels, culture has been traditionally the last pages in the textbook that teachers never have time to teach, and cultural projects have traditionally been a break from grammar lessons; but culture in language learning should not be an expendable fifth skill apart from speaking, reading, writing and listening. It should be integrated in the curriculum from the beginning. As Kramsch, 1993 says it should be “ready to unsettle the good language learners when they expect it least, making evident the limitations of their hard-won communicative competence, challenging their ability to make sense of the world around them.”

From teaching the time in lower levels and relating it to the different times Spanish people eat, to teaching idiomatic sentences and refrains in higher levels, language and culture are very much entangled. Cultural units such as film, music, or art not only develop an appreciation for the larger contributions of Spanish and Latin American cultural manifestations to the world, but also use the language as a vehicle of communication.

The goal of this unit is to demonstrate to foreign language teachers how they can incorporate the teaching of culture into their foreign language classrooms, and teach language at the same time. Examples of activities are given in Spanish.