Is there a relationship between language and culture

The Relationship Between Language & Culture and the Implications for Language Teaching |

is there a relationship between language and culture

Cultures hiding in languages, examines the link between Japanese language and culture. An Insight into Korean Culture through the Korean. The relationship between language and culture is deeply rooted. Language is used to maintain and convey culture and cultural ties. Different ideas stem from. The relationship between language and culture is complex yet one is a part of the other. You learn the culture once you start learning a.

As Sapir-Whorf argues, different thoughts are brought about by the use of different forms of language. Different languages will create different limitations, therefore a people who share a culture but speak different languages, will have different world views.

Consequently, teachers of a language are also teachers of culture Byram The implications of language being completely entwined in culture, in regards for language teaching and language policy are far reaching. Language teachers must instruct their students on the cultural background of language usage, choose culturally appropriate teaching styles, and explore culturally based linguistic differences to promote understanding instead of misconceptions or prejudices.

is there a relationship between language and culture

Language policy must be used to create awareness and understandings of cultural differences, and written to incorporate the cultural values of those being taught. Implications for language teaching Teachers must instruct their students on the cultural background of language usage.

If one teaches language without teaching about the culture in which it operates, the students are learning empty or meaningless symbols or they may attach the incorrect meaning to what is being taught. The students, when using the learnt language, may use the language inappropriately or within the wrong cultural context, thus defeating the purpose of learning a language. Conflict in teaching styles also stem from the relationship between language and culture. During the past decade, I have taught English in Taiwan and have observed a major difficulty in English instruction brought about by teachers and suffered by students.

Western English teachers who teach in Taiwan bring along with them any or all of their teaching and learning experiences. From this, they bring with them what they imagine to be appropriate teaching methodology. Pennycook continues by pointing out that student centered learning is unsuitable for Chinese students.

The students may not know how to react to this different style of learning. A case in point, when at the beginning of my teaching career in Taiwan, I found it very easy to teach English, but very difficult to get the students to interact with me while I was teaching.

Teaching was very easy because the students were well behaved and very attentive. The difficulties surfaced when trying to get the students to interact with me, their teacher. At the time, I did not realize that in Taiwan, it was culturally unacceptable for students to interact with their teacher.

The Taiwanese students were trained to listen to what the teacher said, memorize it, and later regurgitate it during an exam. The classroom setting had to be changed to a much less formal setting to coax out student interaction.

The Relationship Between Language & Culture and the Implications for Language Teaching

The language classes taught using this style proved to be most beneficial to the students with an overall increase in the grade point average. Because language is so closely entwined with culture, language teachers entering a different culture must respect their cultural values.

As Englebert describes: As Spence argues, success and failure in a Chinese cultural framework influences not just oneself but the whole family or group.

Therefore, teachers must remember to respect the culture in which they are located. Language teachers must realize that their understanding of something is prone to interpretation. The meaning is bound in cultural context. One must not only explain the meaning of the language used, but the cultural context in which it is placed as well. Often meanings are lost because of cultural boundaries which do not allow such ideas to persist. As Porter argues, misunderstandings between language educators often evolve because of such differing cultural roots, ideologies, and cultural boundaries which limit expression.

Language teachers must remember that people from different cultures learn things in different ways. For example, in China memorization is the most pronounced way to study a language which is very unlike western ideologies where the onus is placed on free speech as a tool for utilizing and remembering vocabulary and grammar sequences Hui When a teacher introduces language teaching materials, such as books or handouts, they must understand that these will be viewed differently by students depending on their cultural views Maley For instance, westerners see books as only pages which contain facts that are open to interpretation.

This view is very dissimilar to Chinese students who think that books are the personification of all wisdom, knowledge and truth Maley One should not only compare, but contrast the cultural differences in language usage. Visualizing and understanding the differences between the two will enable the student to correctly judge the appropriate uses and causation of language idiosyncrasies.

For instance, I have found, during my teaching in Taiwan, that it is necessary to contrast the different language usages, especially grammatical and idiom use in their cultural contexts for the students to fully understand why certain things in English are said. Thank you, and you?

This question was very difficult to answer, until I used an example based in Chinese culture to explain it to them. One example of this usage: It was culturally and possibly morally significant to ask someone if they had eaten upon meeting.

is there a relationship between language and culture

This showed care and consideration for those around you. Even now, people are more affluent but this piece of language remains constant and people still ask on meeting someone, if they have eaten. If someone in a western society was greeted with this, they would think you are crazy or that it is none of your business.

It has enabled them to differentiate between appropriate and inappropriate circumstances of which to use English phrases and idioms that they have learnt.

is there a relationship between language and culture

Valdes argues that not only similarities and contrasts in the native and target languages have been useful as teaching tools, but when the teacher understands cultural similarities and contrasts, and applies that knowledge to teaching practices, they too become advantageous learning tools. Implications for language policy Creators of second language teaching policies must be sensitive to the local or indigenous languages not to make them seem inferior to the target language.

English language teaching has become a phenomenon in Southeast Asia, especially in Taiwan. Most Taiwanese universities require an English placement test as an entry requirement Information for Foreigners Retrieved May 24, Foreigners non-native Taiwanese which are native English speaking students however, do not need to take a similar Chinese proficiency test, thus forwarding the ideology that the knowledge of English is superior to the Chinese counterpart and that to succeed in a globalized economy; one must be able to speak English Hu The implications for language policy makers are that policies must be formed which not only include but celebrate local languages.

This is usually known as the linguistic determinism or the strong form of Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and it has been criticized for its lack of evidence. However, some issues of Sapir-Whorf hypothesis are worth considering. Linguistics still wonder if knowing more than a language can help people more open in their perspective or whether there is an absolute translation for any word in other language or how people would call a phenomenon or understand a cultural practice that they have never witness or experience it before.

Those issues used to be explained in the way that language was the key factor that control knowledge of people. However, as the world is flatter and flatter Friedman,as globalization turns into a universal phenomenon, as people in the tropical country can see snow falling through television or the Internet, language are no longer the basis for the real world to be built on, individual experiences and the driving forces of globalization are the real stepping stones.

It is the identity of individual that is now shaping the language and linguistic choices.

The Relationship between Language and Culture - Lexiophiles

Dei, asserts that language is such a powerful instrument to express identity and belongings pp. Also, he classifies a number of levels of identification that can alter the language usage. The second type is rank or social class.

  • The Relationship between Language and Culture
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Thirdly, it is the level of sexual identity or gender. Usually, a female member of any particular community will have the tendency to speak softly and in a more polite way than a male member, and there are several norms and etiquettes for woman to behave appropriately using language. Then comes the level of generation that signified which group people are in.

Different generations will have different way of speaking, talking and addressing ideas. And the final level of identification is professional identity.

Relationship between language and culture

In Vietnam, there used to be five major social class: Moreover, a differentiation among the classes in society can be clearly noticed by the jargons people of the same jobs use to address a particular issue.

For an English teacher, it might be the tendency of inserting some common English words in the speech i. Is this the same case of culture? Obviously, language in the same culture is presumably the same to every member.

is there a relationship between language and culture

To exploit the relationship between language and culture, a further analysis on cross-cultural communication is more applicable. Over the intercultural communication cases, language is strongly influenced by its culture as it the core value of that culture, and language can play a great role in deciding whether communication succeed or not.

On the national level, the most significant impact of culture on language is the assimilation of the dominant language. The subordinate language will be gradually replace and so does the culture. For more than four thousand years of Vietnamese history, Vietnamese ancestors struggled to maintain the language over the invasion of the north culture and army, and Vietnamese people are proud to preserve the language their ancestors spoke thousand years ago.

Especially in love, when people realize that language is never informative enough to express their feeling when there are such a lot of things needed to be understood; nevertheless, at the time there is no word that can express the complete idea, no grammar structure that is complicated enough to voice the sentimental notions. Language even turns to its unintended meaning due to its polysemous characters.

Therefore, people misunderstand and are misunderstood. Another case in cross-cultural communication is that people usually misunderstand the language the interlocutors use mainly because of the lack of cultural pre- understanding of values.

Furthermore, different cultures tend to have different language diversity originated from the lifestyle and tradition of typical cultures. For example, in English, the structure of noun phrase is in favor, even it has the so-called gerund a type of verb form plays the role of a noun.

On the contrary, Vietnamese prefers the structure of verb, and active voice to express the action ongoing. Back to English teaching career in Vietnamese, there are some main issues to discuss. The Vietnamese national project to improve the English standard of Vietnamese citizens has just been applied; however, there are a few drawbacks on English teaching in the new challenge.

First, the current curriculum does not include culture and other English values. English is taught merely on the surface of forms, structures, pronunciation, skills… and there is no focus on culture as well as the identity of learners.

Moreover, Vietnamese learners study English merely for their career, sometimes, English is treated as the final rescue for their promotion. The most concerned issue of all is the individual identity when learning and using and living in English. Most Vietnamese learners are not aware that they totally have a new chance to build up a completely different avatar or at least a brand new identity when they use English.

They should have known that the careless pronunciation they made i. From another perspective, the Sapir- Whorf hypothesis makes sense in the interference of mother tongue in English teaching and learning. Learners of English before acquire a new language have to stand aside from their mother tongue in order to dig deeper, to live within, to bound with English and really feel it. More or less, when learning another language, people tend to be more logical and tend to consider the fact from different aspect of thinking.

In short, for English learning, teachers should be culturally and linguistically comprehensive and they should leave their students choices of identity to choose to take. In a broader sense, the story of language, culture and identity puts a challenge for developing countries like Vietnam.