On a Contrastive Method of Teaching Culture in ELT Classroom for College-Level Students
It has become an agreement that language teaching is reinforced when ESL teachers have an awareness of incorporating culture teaching in the classroom. Language and culture are intertwined. In any language, it is more than just words that convey meaning. All cultures have their preferences, practices, values and traditions that interwoven with the language. From the humanistic perspective, the education of different cultures aids students in getting to know different people, which is necessary for understanding and respecting other peoples and their ways of life; therefore contrastive study between the two languages and cultures is imperative for ESL teachers. Students would master the second language better, if teachers have an adequate understanding of both native and target culture and actively spread it. The aim of language teaching is more than the manipulation of syntax and lexicon but to foster well-rounded students that can understand and respect other cultures at the same time spread Chinese culture to promote the communication and interaction between China and western world. In terms of methods of teaching culture in college-level ESL classroom, it would be more effective that teachers design a series of students “hands on” activities. Teachers can make those cultural features an explicit topic of discussion rather than being taught implicitly, imbedded in the linguistic forms.
Key words: Language and culture; Contrastive study; Culture instruction activities
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