Culture is defined as…

Culturally Yours
Developing and Implementing
Cross-Cultural Education in
Foreign Language Teaching
Sevgi Can & Ayça Palancılar
Koç University English Language Center
İstanbul, Turkey
SLTEP Alumni Conference
November 1, 2014
Is language use associated with cultural
 One afternoon after work, a British teacher of EFL, who
had recently started teaching at a college in Hong Kong,
decided to visit some friends who lived in a different part
of the city. She went to the appropriate bus stop, and as
she walked up, a group of her students who were waiting
there asked “Where are you going?” Immediately she felt
irritated, and thought to herself, “What business is it of
theirs where I’m going? Why should I tell them about my
personal life?” However, she tried to hide her irritation,
and simply answered, “I’m going to visit some friends.”
Several months later, this British teacher discovered that
“Where are you going?” is simply a greeting in Chinese.
There is no expectation that it should be answered
explicitly: a vague response such as “Over there” or “Into
town” is perfectly adequate. Moreover, according to
Chinese conventions, the students were being friendly
and polite in giving such a greeting, not intrusive and
disrespectful as the British teacher interpreted them to
How can educators raise cultural
awareness and help learners
produce cultural identity in foreign
language teaching ?
Today’s Outline
How is culture defined?
What constitutes cultural values?
What is included in cultural behavior?
Why should we consider teaching of
cultural skills?
Classroom Applications
How Culture is Defined?
 Culture is defined as…
‘as an integrated pattern of human behavior that
includes thoughts, communications, languages,
practices, beliefs, values, customs, courtesies, rituals,
manners of interaction and roles, relationships and
expected behaviors of a racial, ethnic, religious or
social group, and the ability to transmit the above to
succeeding generations’
(The National Center for Cultural Competence of Georgetown University)
 “third culture”
 fifth skill
 The “Big C” and “Little C”
I. Cultural Knowledge
 language and thought,
“dress of thought”
 “non-verbal thought”
 Thought is completely determined by language.
II. Cultural Values
 the ‘psyche’ of the country
How can we teach cultural values?
What can be used to introduce culture in the
language classroom?
 Art work
 Festivals
 Commercials
 Maps
 Videos/movies
 Songs
(made in the original country)  Newspapers
 Music videos
 Anecdotes
 News casts
 Illustrations
 Pod casts
 Photographs
 Radio
 Literature
 Field trips
 Stories
 Authentic materials
(Materials used by native
III. Cultural behavior
 “Not only is the transmission of knowledge and
language important, but also are the nuances of
values and attitudes.”
(Corner & Bunt-Kokhuis, 1991)
IV. Cultural skills
 “Attention to cultural details doubles
the usefulness of the lesson, not only
in adding another dimension, but also
in making the lesson more interesting
and therefore easier to learn.”
(Harrison, 1990)
Classroom Application
 Communicative Language Teaching
 Community Language Learning
Activity 1: Gestures
 recognizing the meaning of specific
gestures in one’s own culture
 identifying with the meaning of
gestures in American culture
 differentiating the meaning of gestures
between US culture and other
Activity 2: Thanksgiving
Activity 2: Thanksgiving
 discussing traditional celebrations in
one’s own culture
 recognizing the significance of
Thanksgiving (Friends segment)
 raising awareness of traditional
celebrations in US culture
Key Ideas to Remember
 thoughts and behaviour are determined by
 third culture, fifth skill, the Big C
 the ultimate goal: to communicate and to be
able to use language correctly and
 achieving a balance and exchange between
cultural and educational experiences
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< >
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Thank you!
Ayça Palancılar
Sevgi Can