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Literature review - Assignment Example

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Full Title of the Assignment Considering the world of today that we live in, where there is such widespread interaction across all our borders, in order to successfully function, one needs to be able to be adept in communicating their ideas and at the same time accepting knowledge from the outside (Peck, 1998)…
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Download file to see previous pages Students that learn English as a foreign language naturally come from countries where English is not the native tongue that is spoken. These countries often speak other languages and therefore have cultures that are diverse and different from the basic English culture. But as students of the English language, can their understanding of it be complete without a proper cultural understanding? And if not, how much culture do they need to be functionally taught, and more so, in what manner? The conflict over the syllabus design used to teach English as a foreign language is divided over one basic difference. Some writers argue that the target language's culture should be incorporated into the syllabus, while others argue that culture may be incorporated into the learning process, but through additional activities, not necessarily as an integral part of the syllabus design itself. To investigate the debate, it is first necessary to explain what culture in terms of languages actually is. In fact it is this definition, and thereby the methods of incorporating it, where the debate arises from. The four integral part of learning any foreign language, English naturally being no exception, are listening, speaking, reading and writing. Grammar, vocabulary, sentence structure and other such sub-clauses are divided across all four categories, with each category playing its part in teaching each sub-category. Culture is considered the fifth skill. But should this skill be taught independently of all other skills, or should all four incorporate culture into themselves? Those such as that support incorporating culture into English as foreign language curriculum support that culture is an integral part of any language: so much as to say that language is basically verbal depiction of a particular culture (Damen, 1997). To simply learn the vocabulary and grammar of a language does not necessarily enable one to be able to use that language (Vernier et all, 2005). Furthermore, according to According to Brown (2000), the basic purpose behind learning a language is to be able to communicate effectively, and that arises not only from studying a language, but also from fluency and accuracy in a particular context, outside of a classroom setting. So much so, that it is not something that can be taught independently but rather it should be the core of all other lessons (Kramsch, 1993). The basic methodology adopted when teaching was that of Segregated-Skill Instruction (SSI) where each skill, reading, writing, speaking or listening, was independently taught, with specific emphasis on the clauses and specifics of each, in technical terms, rather than actually teach how the skills would be used in a practical situation (Brown, 2000). But over the decades, this is being seen as an obsolete system of teaching and instructors are looking to move towards Intergrated-Skill Instruction (ISI). ISI is further divided into two sub-schools of thought, Content-Based Language Instruction (CBLI) and Task-Based Instruction (TBI). The former is when the lanugage itself is not the focus of interest, but rather just a medium through which other content is explained (Brinton, Snow & Wesche, 1989). Whether this is a successful approach is debated however, but Oxford (2001) states that if the content is at a level directly proportional to the skill of the learners, then it ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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