20 SES 06, Intercultural Issues in Foreign Language Teaching
Parallel Paper Session
Teaching Universal Cultural Concepts in the System of Intercultural Education.
Ethnical conflicts in European countries have raised a question "Whether the ideas of multiculturalism appeared to be a failure?". Some people think so. They are ready to deny the principles of multicultural education. We are against radical changes, but we are sure that new and fresh ideas should be taken into consideration.
In spite of the fact that some scientists started to speak about an intellectual bancruptcy of multiculturalism (Thomas J. Famularo) or multicultural education failier, this education is still important for the situation of globalisation of the world. The idea of multicultural education is being transformed to the idea of intercultural education. Teaching different languages we can’t avoid the idea of teaching and understanding different cultures. We would accept the fact that we should develop some new theoretical approaches inside intercultural education.
Using English for the international communication, speakers of other languages unconsciously implement their native cultural values. It challenges mutual understanding. How to help students prevent this problem? What new approach to develop in order to create intercultural learning invironment for the students?
We have come to the idea of using the studies of intercultural communication and cognitive linguistics (cultural concepts of universal type –or universal human concepts) into methodology of teaching foreign languages.
Cognitive linguistics and linguistic culturology proved the idea of including the theory and practice of conceptual analysis into the system of foreign language education so that students could be taught the procedure of analyzing different language materials; conceptual analysis technique on three levels of investigation: word etymology, dictionary analysis (nuclear components), context analysis (interpretation components) and the theory of intercultural communication (studies of Jain, Prosser, Miller, Sitaram, Cogde) – were also included into theoretical framework of our empirical research.
Objective of the research:
Our objective is to create a new intercultural approach to the system of foreign language education and develop some models of its realization. The process of language education should be based on the cognitive linguistics and focused on the fact that teaching foreign languages is not only a language code acquisition, but learning of the conceptual world picture of native speakers in comparison with their own world picture.
For this purpose we develop the idea of comparing of cultural concepts or cultural values.
One of the main goals here is to teach students understand that universal concepts only partially have common features in different cultures, in many aspects their interpretation in different cultures is different.We started to develop the ideas of intercultural education at the following stages: 1) multilingual content stage (reading and comparing the texts in two different languages); 2) conceptual level (learning about the theory of universal- common to all people in the world - cultural issues (cultural concepts); 3) methodological level (possessing the skills of fulfilling a conceptual analysis).
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