Read full document

Gufg

  • By
  • June 2012
  • 1497 Words
  • 1 View
Page 1 of 5
a) What does the excerpt tell you about language and culture?

According to the excerpt given, I can elaborate that the language is one of the main tools mankind uses to interact and to express ideas, emotions, knowledge, memories and values. Language is also the main vehicle for cultural expression essential for individual and collective identity.  Linguists have long recognized that the forms and uses of a given language reflect the cultural values of the society in which the language is spoken; this is why mere linguistic competency is not enough for learners to be competent in a particular language. Second language learners need to be aware of culturally appropriate ways to address people, make requests, agree or disagree and express gratitude, especially since their own customary behaviour and intonation may be perceived differently by members of differing cultures. It is essential to understand that in order to become a successful communicator; the language being used must parallel culturally appropriate behaviour. Language is a part of culture and a culture is a part of a language. This is because, understanding a language involves not only knowledge of grammar, phonology and lexis but also a certain features and characteristics of the culture. To communicate internationally inevitably involves communicating intercultural as well, which probably leads us to encounter factors of cultural differences. Such kind of differences exist in every language such as the place of silence, tone of voice, appropriate topic of conversation, and expressions as speech act functions (e.g. apologies, suggestions, complains, refusals, etc.).

According to Elizabeth Peterson and Bronwyn Coltrane in their articles “Culture in Second Language Teaching” state that linguists and anthropologists have long recognized that the forms and uses of a given language reflect the cultural values of the society in which the language is spoken. Linguistic competence alone is not...