Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Cultural Aspects of Learning and Teaching English As a Foreing Language

Cultural Aspects of Learning and Teaching English As a Foreing Language
4
13767
1
Second semester
OB
Main language of instruction: English

Other languages of instruction: Catalan, Spanish,
If the student is enrolled for the English track then classes for that subject will be taught in the same language.

Teaching staff


chowes@uic.es

Introduction

In the event that the health authorities announce a new period of confinement due to the evolution of the health crisis caused by COVID-19, the teaching staff will promptly communicate how this may effect the teaching methodologies and activities as well as the assessment.


Culture is part of our identity; it plays a role in how we define ourselves, in how we perceive ourselves, communicate, understand, classify and describe everything around us. Based on this view, any communicative act may also be regarded as a social act that frames the cultural reality of the language speaker. Therefore, the role of culture is especially important in the acquisition and teaching of language within a communicative approach.

Pre-course requirements

A B2 level of English under the CEFRL is recommended to follow this course, as well as knowledge of oral and written academic English. Students are also recommended to have a basic knowledge of the acquisition of English as a foreign language and the various methodologies for teaching English as a foreign language: CLIL, Task-Based Learning (TBL) and communicative approach.

Objectives

The general objectives of this course are: 1) to raise the students’ critical awareness of the importance of culture in the classroom, framing it not just as an element present in teaching-learning, but by treating the language itself as culture; 2) to familiarise the students with the theoretical concepts of culture and models of intercultural competencies; 3) to enable the students to apply this theoretical knowledge in the design of teaching activities for the second language classroom.

Competencies

Basic and General Competences

CB7, CB8, CB9, CB10, CG1, CG2, CG3, CG4, CG6

CB7

To know how to apply the acquired knowledge and problem-solving abilities in new or little-known environments within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to one’s area of study.

CB8

 

To be able to acquire knowledge and deal with the complexity of formulating judgments based on information that, although incomplete or limited, includes reflections on the social and ethical responsibilities linked to the application of one’s knowledge and judgments.

CB9

To know how to communicate one’s conclusions and the latest knowledge and the supporting arguments to specialist and non-specialist audiences in a clear and unambiguous way.

CB10

To possess the learning skills that allow one to continue studying in a way that will be largely individual or autonomous.

 

CG1

To search for, obtain, process, summarise and communicate information (oral, printed, audiovisual, digital or multimedia-based), transform it into knowledge and apply it to teaching English as a foreign language.

CG2

To develop critical thinking, problem solving, decision-making or inquiry skills, and apply these to educational reality with the aim of promoting students’ autonomy, creativity, confidence and personal initiative.

CG3

To manage work time based on learning priorities and objectives, promoting self-learning.

CG4

To communicate decision-making in the field of teaching English as a foreign language based on solid arguments.

CG6

To be able to effectively work as a part of a team in multilingual, multicultural and interdisciplinary professional and/or academic environments.

Transversal Competences

CT1, CT2, CT3, CT4, CT5

CT1

To apply pedagogically innovative models and educational research on the acquisition, teaching and use of English as a foreign language to specific cases, to a specific school context and/or contexts related to education, so that the theoretical knowledge acquired is suitably connected to the educational practice.

CT2

To critically analyse one’s own work and use appropriate resources and strategies to achieve professional improvement.

CT3

To incorporate information and communication technology (ICTs) into teaching and learning activities, teaching management and professional development.

CT4

To generate innovative and competitive proposals in professional or research activity.

CT5

To express oneself in public and give presentations with digital support adapted to the different interest groups in the school environment (teachers, families, students, etc.)

Specific Competences

CE1, CE5, CE6

CE1

To know and reflect on processes of the acquisition and learning of English as a foreign language and its literature and culture.

CE5

To plan the process of teaching and learning English as a foreign language and its literature and culture at different educational stages, taking the students’ level and previous knowledge into account.

CE6

To design innovative teaching proposals that promote the development of students’ linguistic, multilingual and intercultural competences, based on the requirements of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages; while also promoting reflection, openness and respect towards other languages and cultures.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes that will be required of the students will be linked to the selected competences in each case. Among others, the following stand out:

 

Reflect on the literature and culture of English as a foreign language.

  • Plan the process of teaching and learning English as a foreign language and its literature and culture, while taking the level and previous knowledge of the students into account.
  • Design innovative didactic proposals that promote the development of the linguistic, multilingual and intercultural competences of the students, based on the requirements of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages; while also promoting reflection, openness and respect towards other languages and cultures.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes that will be required of the students will be linked to the selected competences in each case. Among others, the following stand out:

 

Reflect on the literature and culture of English as a foreign language.

  • Plan the process of teaching and learning English as a foreign language and its literature and culture, while taking the level and previous knowledge of the students into account.
  • Design innovative didactic proposals that promote the development of the linguistic, multilingual and intercultural competences of the students, based on the requirements of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages; while also promoting reflection, openness and respect towards other languages and cultures.

Syllabus

  • What is culture? Theoretical approaches
  • Concepts of intercultural competencies
  • From communicative competence to intercultural communication competence
  • The impact of globalisation and the Internet on culture and language learning
  • Verbal and non-verbal aspects of English (paralinguistic) communication
  • Intercultural differences
  • Methodological approaches to classroom culture: Issues in the teaching of linguistic versus metalinguistic competence.

Bibliography and resources

Bennett, Milton J. (1993). “Towards Ethnorelativism: A Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity.” Education for the Intercultural Experience. Ed. R.M. Paige. 2nd edition. Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press. 21-71

Byram, Michael and Claire Kramsch. (2008). “Why Is It so Difficult to Teach Language as Culture?” The German Quarterly, vol. 81, no. 1, pp. 20–34

Byram, Michael, and Lynne Parmenter. (2012). “The Common European Framework of Reference: The Globalisation of Language Education Policy.” The Common European Framework of Reference: The Globalisation of Language Education Policy

Byram, Michael, and Manuela Wagner. (2018). “Making a Difference: Language Teaching for Intercultural and International Dialogue.” Foreign Language Annals, vol. 51, no. 1, pp. 140–51

 Byram, Michael, et al. (2013). “Intercultural Communicative Competence in Foreign Language Education: Questions of Theory, Practice and Research.” Language Learning Journal

Byram, Michael. (1997). “Teaching and Assessing Intercultural Communicative Competence Multilingual Matters (Series).” Issues in Coursebook Evaluation

Castro et. al. (2004). “Integrating Language-and-Culture Teaching: An Investigation of Spanish Teachers’ Perceptions of the Objectives of Foreign Language Education”. Intercultural Education. Vol 15, 1. Pp 91-104

Council of Europe. (2016) Competencies for Democratic Culture: Living together as Equals in culturally diverse Democratic States. Council of Europe. Strasbourg

Dema, Oxana, and Aleidine Kramer Moeller. (2012). “Teaching Culture in the 21st Century Language Classroom.” Touch the World: Selected Papers from the 2012 Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, pp. 75–91

 Hall, Edward T. (1998). “Basic Concepts of Intercultural Communication: Selected Readings.” Basic Concepts of Intercultural Communication: Selected Readings. Nicolas Brealey Publishing

Hall, Edward T. (1998). “The Power of Hidden Differences.” Basic Concepts of Intercultural Communication: Selected Readings.  Nicolas Brealey Publishing

Hoff, Hild Elisabeth. (2014). “A Critical Discussion of Byram’s Model of Intercultural Communicative Competence in the Light of Bildung Theories.” Intercultural Education, vol. 25, no. 6, Routledge. pp. 508–17

Jordà, Alcón Soler Eva and Maria Pilar Safont, eds. (2008). Intercultural Language Use and Language Learning. Springer

Lewis, Richard D. (2006). “When Cultures Collide: Leading Across Cultures.” Harvard Law Review, no. c, p. 624.

Lickteig, Mary J., and Kathy Everts Danielson. (1995).  “Use Children’s Books to Link the Cultures of the World.” The Social Studies, vol. 86, no. 2, pp. 69–73

Liddicoat, Anthony J., and Angela Scarino. (2013). “Designing Classroom Interactions and Experiences.” Intercultural Language Teaching and Learning, pp. 63–82

Martínez-Flor, Alicia. (2007). “Analysing Request Modification Devices in Films: Implications for Pragmatic Learning in Instructed Foreign Language Contexts.” Intercultural Language Use and Language Learning, pp. 245–80

Nunn, Roger, and Sivakumar Sivasubramaniam. (2014). From Defining EIL Competence to Designing EIL Learning. June.

Perry, Laura & Leonie Southwell (2011) Developing intercultural understanding and skills: models and approaches, Intercultural Education, 22:6, 453-466

Toumalin, B. (2008). “Making Culture Happen in the English Classroom.” Teaching English. British Council. BBC.