Language and Culture in Second Language Learning

Authored by: Claire Kramsch

The Routledge Handbook of Language and Culture

Print publication date:  December  2014
Online publication date:  December  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415527019
eBook ISBN: 9781315793993
Adobe ISBN: 9781317743187

10.4324/9781315793993.ch27

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Abstract

The teaching of culture in foreign language (FL) learning is facing new challenges associated with the globalization of linguistic and cultural exchanges across the world. The proliferation of global media and electronic social networks, the fragmentation within national boundaries of majority and minority languages, foreign, second and heritage language learners, and, beyond national boundaries, the deterritorialization of national languages and their cultural characteristics due to increased migration and the formation of diaspora communities – all these developments have transformed the nature and the role of culture in FL learning. What used to be the cultural and historical context in which languages were taught and used has now become truncated memories and projected stereotypes, constructed in and through discourses whose authenticity is uncertain as they are both local and global, real and imagined. I first pass in review the changes that have occurred in the last thirty years, I then examine the paradoxes and the challenges of the language–culture duo in FL learning today. Finally I explore some of the suggestions that have been made for redefining the relationship of language and culture in FL education.

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