Language learning success depends on the acquisition of cultural knowledge, students should acquire cultural background knowledge to communicate and enhance their understanding of the target language.

The first one is the language which is important to know its culture as well. As long as we as future educators agree on how the target language’s words can be interpreted, a common language and therefore society is essential to be a part of its culture. Similarly, language differences can make it quite difficult to communicate because language is a most important symbol of any culture. The second one is a symbol which is an essential part of the culture. Each culture is filled with symbols or other things that often evoke different reactions and emotions. Some symbols are nonverbal communication types, whereas other symbols are material objects. For example, many people use nonverbal communication in order to keep the conversation more alive. Teachers should teach this cultural element. The third one is the value which helps to create a link between the culture and the language while people communicate successfully. Language and culture both have a communication function because they both have meanings. While teaching a foreign language, a language teacher also should teach its cultural elements such as symbols and values. The last one is norm which has two types, formal and informal. Formal norms, also known as mores and laws, refer to behavior norms that are considered to be the most important in every society. And informal norms, also known as manners and customs, refer to behavior norms that are considered less important but still influence how we act.

Another issue is accepting the perception of others about the world and to mediate the differences between different perceptions and to be aware of others to communicate successfully.

Culture” by EpicTop10.com is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Language, symbols, values, and norms should be integrated into language teaching. By writing “language” word that means in two different ways spoken and written. While writing to someone every culture has their own texting language or while speaking every culture has their own accents to speak in different volumes and tones. For example, if you have no idea about the culture but know the language, the language learning process will be problematic. To clarify, while students learning a foreign language with the help of teaching culture will make students minds actively working and thinking effectively. More importantly, it allows the students to learn the language more easily. When it comes to symbols gestures can be applicable to students while teaching a foreign language such as smile or winking. Also, if a teacher is teaching in a multicultural classroom, he or she should pay attention to which body movement or gesture is appropriate for the classroom in order to not so misunderstood. When it comes to cultural symbols such as flags, countries or the important events happened in the past in the target country’s language, the teacher ought to examine students that cultural symbols affect the language learning in an efficient way. Also, there are many values to teach students in order to understand the target language’s culture in a meaningful way and enrich the language. Culture learning is an interpretation process. For example, the teaching of cultural facts or information did not allow students to understand foreign values due to not learning the target’s language. On the other hand, when we talk about norms for example, how we react or behave a person who spilled a drink on us. This cultural element should be thought to students in order to understand which norms are crucial in the target’s language culture for keeping the communication effective. Because norms differ in any culture, people need to respect each other. To emphasize, teachers should integrate the symbols, values, norms, and language (spoken and written way) into language teaching.

Lastly, another thing to realize, we know that a teacher should inspire the students in order to foster cultural awareness in the classroom.

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

For example, a teacher can give homework to students for analyzing different beliefs, customs, and traditions of a culture which fascinates students. Moreover, this homework will help students to have a different world of view to comprehend a variety of cultures by searching such as Egyptian, French, or Italian cultures. On the other hand, they can share information on their ethnic background to promote a trustworthy relationship with fellow friends. Besides, classroom activities are propitious for cultural awareness. For instance, students can watch a movie in their houses about a different culture and they come to class for discussing and sharing their opinions about it. Also, they can pretend like the characters in the movie like role-playing owing to reflect the reality of the culture. Not only classroom activities but also reading books will be advantageous for students by acclimating their minds to different cultures and gaining a new perspective. In brief, it is crucial for students to be aware of different cultures and to embrace them.

7 thoughts on “The Best Way to Learn a Language is Learning About Culture

  1. Jas krish says:

    So true..

    1. Yes, exactly!

  2. I’m learning French and I’m planning to move to France to fully grasp the language after the pandemic.

    1. I am so glad for you, it will be great to be a part of that culture while learning the language! ☺️

      1. Yes. The language of love! And the city of romance!

        1. Haha, right you are!

          1. Merci! 🙂

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