Essay about culture and language relationship

The Relationship between Language and Culture - Lexiophiles

essay about culture and language relationship

Culture and language are two inseparable entities. You cannot divorce one apart from the other. The relationship between language and culture is presented in. What is the relationship between language and culture? 3. What role does .. Writing a good essay isn't easy and it's the fruit of hard work. For help you can. Jul 30, Furthermore, to further support this idea of the importance of culture and language to individual identity, the writer of the essay, LANGUAGE AND CULTURAL.

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 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.

essay about culture and language relationship

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.

essay about culture and language relationship

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. 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.

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.

Policies must not degrade other languages by placing them on a level of lower importance. Policies for language teaching must encompass and include cultural values from the societies from which the languages are derived as well as being taught. In other words, when making policies regarding language teaching, one must consider the cultural ideologies of all and every student, the teacher, as well as the culture in which the target language is being taught. The American Council on The Teaching of Foreign Languages has expounded on the importance of combining the teaching of culture into the language curriculum to enhance understanding and acceptance of differences between people, cultures and ideologies Standards One example where as policy makers did not recognize the importance of culture is outlined by Kimin which the Korean government had consulted American ESL instructional guidelines which stated that for students to become competent in English they must speak English outside of the classroom.

The government on reviewing this policy requested that all Korean English language students use English outside of the classrooms to further enhance their language competency. What they failed to consider is that while in America, English is taught as a second language and speaking English was quite acceptable in all locations, that in Korea, English is taught as a foreign language and the vast majority of the Korean population do not converse with each other in English.

Korean students speaking English outside of the classroom context were seen as show-offs.

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

In a collectivistic culture, as is Korea, such displays of uniqueness are seen as a vice to be suppressed, not as a virtue Kim Thus policy makers must not rely on the cultural views and policies of others, but incorporate the cultural views of the students as well as considering the culture where the teaching is taking place.

Language teachers need to be informed about various teaching interaction-based methodologies, manipulate them and develop their own teaching methods compatible with the educational context to foster interaction between students Kim When creating policies, one must consider the cultural meanings of teaching materials used.

essay about culture and language relationship

Relationship between culture and language. It is often held that the function of language is to express thought and to communicate information. Language also fulfills many other tasks such as greeting people, conducting religious service, etc. Language is the primary vehicle of communication; 2.

Language reflects both the personality of the individual and the culture of his history. In turn, it helps shape both personality and culture; 3.

The relationship between culture and language | Welcome to Hendrik's Zone

Language makes possible the growth and transmission of culture, the continuity of societies, and the effective functioning and control of social group. It is obvious that language plays a paramount role in developing, elaborating and transmitting culture and language, enabling us to store meanings and experience to facilitate communication.

The function of language is so important in communication that it is even exaggerated by some scholars. The most famous one is the hypothesis of linguistic determinism concerning the relationship between language and culture, which Nida regards as misconceptions constituting serious difficulties for cross-cultural understanding. The problem of the relationship between language, culture and thought bothered many linguists and philosophers since ancient time. To think about this problem, we need to begin with the definition of language and culture.

Language is generally accepted as a system of arbitrary vocal symbols used for human communication. And there is a most widely accepted definition of culture: Linell Davis The definitions of language and culture imply that the two are closely connected to each other.

On one hand, culture seems so inclusive, it permeates almost every aspect of human life including languages people use. On the other hand, when people need to share a culture, they communicate through language.

Howeverthe definition alone can not provide us with a clear understanding on the relationship between language and culture.

essay about culture and language relationship

Problems remains unsolved as: And does language influence the culture in return? If soin what way? Varies studies have been carried out, among them, a well known hypothesis is the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis made by two American linguists Edward Sapir and Benjamin Whorf.

The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis describes the relationship between language, culture and thought. We see the world in the way that our language describes it, so that the world we live in is a linguistic construct Liu Runqing. The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis has two major components: The former holds the idea that the way one thinks is determined by the language one speaks, because one can only perceive the world in terms of the categories and distinctions encoded in the language.

The latter means that the categories and distinctions encoded in one language system are unique to that system and incommensurable with those of others, therefore, the difference among languages must be reflected in the differences in the worldviews of their speakers.

Since the formulation of the hypothesis, discussions have never been ended. Many linguists and philosophers are against the linguistic determinism.

They argue if language determines thought totally, and if there is no thought without language, speakers of different languages will never understand each other. Nevertheless, the weak interpretation of the hypothesis is now widely accepted that language do have influence on thought and culture. Evidence is easy to be found. Is it the native language gives people different perceptions? Or on contrary, is the different worldviews and cultures determine the language?

Therefore, we should take a dialectical point of view on the relationship between language and culture. As is mentioned at the beginning, language and culture are inextricably intertwined.

Relationship Between Language and Culture

On one hand, language is a part of human being. Language both expressed and embodies cultural reality. On the other hand, language is a part of culture. It helps perpetuate the culture and it can influence the culture to a certain extent. Evidence on the dialectical relationship between language and culture There is plenty of linguistic evidence of culture difference.

We take relationship issue for example to explain the cultural difference between Chinese people and English speakers. In Chinese ,there are more precise terms for describing relationships than in English. Also, the uncles and aunts are addressed differently on each side. On the contrary, in English, there are limited words to describe relationships. This difference indicates that relationships play an important role in Chinese culture. In a broad sense, the relationships among people around are generally considered important for Chinese people.

The precise terms for describing family and other relationships reflect the Chinese culture, and the language may in turn influence the Chinese way of thinking. Therefore, relationships are paid great attention in China.

Another example can be found between English and French. English borrows a lot of words from French, and a large part of them are the names of food. Pork, veal, mutton are all French words. Judging from the language, we can tell that French cuisine must be more famous than English food, and the catering culture is more important in France than in English speaking countries. There is one thing should be pointed out that although different languages reflect and influence different culture, there are many concepts that are universal.

People from different cultures can understand each other although they speak different languages and have different worldviews, because many of the basic concepts are universal. Pedagogical implication Since language and cultures are intertwined with each other, learning a language can not be separated from learning its culture.