Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Language teaching

Developing Students’ Cross-cultural Communicative Competence in English Teaching

Author ZhaoJing
Tutor ZhangYanLing
School Shanxi University of Finance
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords culture learning local colleges cross-cultural communicative competence culture knowledge inputting culture understanding training
CLC H319
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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In China, the researchers and educators had realized the importance of culture teaching in English teaching more than twenty years ago. Many of them have done much in this field, focusing on the cultural knowledge inputting and cultural understanding training, as well as the teaching objectives, methods, contents, principles etc. These achievements have been applied in the teaching and training in key universities, where these researchers and educators have been working. However, it may not be the case in local colleges, because of the relatively limited conditions in teachers and students quality, teaching and researching facilities and so on.To some extent, the ultimate goal of EFL (English as a foreign language) is to develop the students’cross-cultural communicative competence. As English majors, their learning is supposed to involve acquisitions of two cultures: English culture and Chinese culture, thus their cross-cultural communicative competence should be strengthened. However, in these local colleges, firstly, the students’learning task concentrates on learning language skills, such as listening, speaking, reading, writing and translating, and it’s too heavy for them to pay due attention to cultural knowledge, which has hindered their all-sided development. Secondly, the teachers have not focused on the cultural teaching, because they have no chance to have direct contact with target culture and culture teaching techniques. As a result, due to the inadequate awareness of students’cross-cultural communication and teachers’training, the situation of culture learning and teaching in local colleges is far from satisfactory.Despite all these disadvantages, the local colleges will cultivate the talents for the whole state, especially for the local places. It is necessary to pay due attention to the culture teaching in these local colleges. Therefore, to achieve the final aim, the first step is to input the cultural knowledge. Only the students possess the cultural knowledge can reach the second step of cultural understanding. The culture teaching should be started with the cultural knowledge inputting and then cultural understanding by developing students’ culture awareness.In order to improve this condition of culture teaching in local colleges, firstly, the teachers should provide the students with culture knowledge to lay a profound foundation for the next step; secondly, teach them to understand target culture appropriately and lead them to form right attitude towards native culture and target culture. Then the teacher would provide some activities for students, in order that they can understand the two cultures deeper and better. If the students have the right attitude towards the two cultures, their perspective will be widened, and they will view the world differently than before. As a result, they could achieve the final aim of improving their cross-cultural communicative competence. With their developing of cross-cultural communicative competence, they can deal with the culture conflicts flexibly, conduct cultural creativity in cross-cultural communication and cultivate high quality middle school students.With this purpose, the author makes an investigation of English majors from three local colleges in one province. Questionnaires and a small scale interview of teachers and students were conducted to reveal the present situation of culture learning. The result is unsatisfactory. Though the students have realized the importance of culture learning, their acquaintance with target culture knowledge is inadequate and unsystematic, because they have been English majors for two or three years. And culture teaching in these local colleges has not reached the second level: culture understanding training at all. Based on the study and analysis of the results, the author put forward some suggestions for the improvement of this situation of culture teaching and learning in such local colleges.

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