Cultural Competence In Language Learning

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Language plays an important role in communication, understanding of a person’s own/other cultures and acquisition of knowledge in different fields (Icelandic National curriculum). English has gained status as a global language based on the fact that it is linked to international sports, politics, technology, science, etc. hence, to the idea that the English language learner has a chance of economic advancement (Larsen-Freeman & Andersen, 2013). However, learning a language is not an easy task. According to McLaughlin (1992), learning a second language takes longer, it is hard and complex, for both children and adults. Therefore, it is essential for teachers to know how learners acquire a second language, understand what the learner needs to…show more content…
My main focus is the importance of cultural competence in language teaching/learning. However, I also acknowledge that linguistics and communicative competencies are vital areas of language learning. In coming up with a theory of practice, it is essential to examine the qualities that make up a good teacher and put into consideration the needs of a learner. Teaching/learning a language is indeed a complex issue and is much more than most teachers perceive it to be. Initially, I had a narrow idea of teaching/learning English language as just about vocabulary and grammar rules. But this course has given me a wider perspective of looking at it and I have come to a realisation that the cultural aspect of learning English or any other language is the most important part that needs to be developed in a language class. As studies show that language and culture are inseparable; none of each can exist without the other. Since language is closely linked to culture, it is impossible to learn a language without its culture. Therefore, it is imperative for a teacher to have a deep understanding of the language he is teaching and be aware of the importance of its culture. He must also be able to use the learner’s culture to raise awareness of the target language culture since meaning making is based on the two cultures present in a class. Finally, my understanding of good ELT is that a teacher should be mindful of what the curriculum says about language learning so that he plans his lessons by developing knowledge and understanding in a balanced
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