S&C, Ch. 13In Chapter 13, Snow & Campbell discuss bringing culture into the classroom. As many people know, English has become one of the languages that people all around the world want to learn for business or formal setting reasons. Most people of the same culture have certain perspectives on a particular event, thing, person, etc. This could determine why a certain person would act and say what they say. For example, greetings, refusing politely, and responses to compliments differ in different cultures. Misunderstandings can arise from different cultures as they do not have the same shared view. Bringing awareness to the students about the cultural differences can bring more understanding views. Also, culture has been defined differently by different people, but Snow & Campbell said that culture falls under three points; those are share knowledge, shared views, and shared patterns. There will be background information about the target culture that the student understands and not understand about, so the teacher should not always assume and become more aware and clarify any information to the student. This chapter also talks about the considerations that the NTs have to take account of. For example, the teachers should provide a more accurate portrayal of the Western culture and be aware of the student’s feelings toward the Western culture. Students views of the American culture can be influenced by the portrayals by media. The teacher can tell the students whether or not a behavior portrayed in media is more or less representative of the Western culture. The teacher can not necessarily change a student’s resentment or negative feelings toward the Westerns culture, but teachers can completely provide a just handling of cultural issues and respectfulness.____________________________________________Jiang (2001) In the article, Jiang talks about how to handle ‘culture bumps’ during their time in the foreign country and also the classroom setting. Due to the different culture, it is common for English-teaching teachers to come across ‘culture bumps,’ while they are teaching abroad in a different country. There are different ways to convey respect to other people of different cultural background, so learning about speech acts like introductions/greetings and politely refusing is important as an individual does not want to come off as impolite. In fact, most ‘cultural bumps’ occur when NESTs are greetings and also when dealing with the students in a classroom setting. When dealing with a student’s behavior, the teacher should first ask the student why they are acting in that certain behavior. After questioning a student’s behavior, you can incorporate how that kind of behavior in the target language can be viewed differently or come off as rude. This can help prevent less misunderstanding and frustration between, both, the teacher and the student. The students get a chance to learn a bit of the culture in the target language, and the teacher also gets to learn more about the culture. It’s a “give and take.” Also, a better understanding of the fundamental values of a nation can also alleviate any misunderstanding and cultural bump. The three fundamental values of a nation are collectivism or individualism, power distance, and intragroup harmony. Researching and getting to know the country’s cultural values can help the NESTs navigate through the culture bumps.
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