Learning Languages as Expressions of Cultures

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    This paper considers how ideas about language and culture influence language learning. The methodology for the study is a comparison of the tasks involved in learning introductory Hindi and Japanese. The paper was written after 132 hours of study of Japanese. Through comparing how Japanese and Hindi are taught I demonstrate that integral to the learning of these languages is the need to understand linguistic forms as expressions of distinctive cultural practices. This is prefaced by a discussion of standards being advocated for language teaching in the Common European Framework (CEFR) and in the American Council for the Teaching of foreign languages (ACTFL). I argue that further work needs to be done examining how Asian cultures influence language usage and how standards might be set for understanding the relationship between languages and cultures. The conclusion which I draw from this is that the adoption of neither CEFR nor ACFTL standards will not have beneficial impact on learners without further studies of the relationship between socio- cultural and communicative approaches to language teaching.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)300-311
    JournalElectronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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