Integrating Culture with English Language Learning

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Department of English, NTNU


外語教學中文化教學之文獻,傳統上一向充彌著專家學者之論見,而學習者本身之看法、喜好及需求卻常常付之闕如。為彌補此一不足,本研究特針對一百二十名來自全國各地、參與國立台灣師範大學二00 二年英語苦之高中生,進行開放式問卷調查。調查內容包括英語苦學員對( 1 )文化之認知, (2) 文化及語言二者問關連之了解, (3)英語課程中文化教學之看法,及(4) 自身和標的文化之認識及其知識來源管道。研究結果發現受試者多視文化為一群體共享之特色,而相較於其抽象、內隱之深層結構,其具體、外顯之成就表象較受關注。受試者雖然認為文化與語言之關連不及文化與歷史或地理,但多肯定比二者確有某種程度相關,惟多數對其關連性不甚明暸。多數受試者宣稱其所接受之英語教學中,文化常為被忽略之一環,而美國主流文化及日常生活層面,為全試者最想學習之文化種類及內容。對自身及標的文化之內涵,受試者多可提出二者在行為規範及思考模式上一些具代表之特色o 根據以上種種發現,此研究最後針對外語教學中之文化教學,提出數點有關文化內涵及教法之具體建議。
Literature pertaining to culture instruction in the foreign language classroom has traditionally been replete with scholars' and teaching professionals' viewpoints but relatively lacking in the learners' voice, specifically their needs, preferences and knowledge of culture learning. To redress this problem, 120 high school students, who came from various parts of Taiwan, were surveyed when they attended the 2002 NTNU English Camp. The students were questioned about thcir (a) conceptualizations of culture, (b) understanding of the relationship between culture and language, (c) opinions about the culture instruction received in their English c\asses at school, and (d) knowledge of the home and target cultures and the sources of their knowledge. The study found that culture was largely understood as some common features shared by agroup of people, among which the concrete, explicit and outwardly manifested had received much more attention than the intangible, hidden and internalized. Though culture was deemed not so strongly related to language as to history orgeography, its relation to language was generally confìrmed and yet not well or widely comprehended. Culture was seen as a component largely overlooked in the English class, and thc type and aspect of culture most popularly chosen to be included in English lessons were American mainstream culture and facets of everyday life. The study also found that respondents' knowledge of their home and targct cultures, obtained primarily from TV programs, magazines, and school lessons, was generally on the mark, impressively capturing many crucial demarcating bchavioral norms and thought patterns of each culture. Based on the abovc finding, implications for culture instruction in the EFL class, including what and how culture could be approached, are discussed.