Culture and language are inseparable. Teachers should help students to study from the perspective of cultural experience in college English class, which is helpful to culture learning. Starting with the culture and cultural experience teaching, this article puts forward the design principles of cultural experience teaching, and explains the implementation strategy of the cultural experience teaching in college English teaching, so as to provide reference for college English teaching.
Key words: college English; cultural experience; culture teaching.
With the development of economy and the deepening of the globalization, intercultural communication between countries all over the world becomes more and more widely, the communicator's English ability has been measured more by the ability to cross-cultural communication. Therefore, English teaching, especially in college English teaching cannot be simply satisfied with training of listening, speaking, reading and writing, it should be to cultivate the students' ability of language and culture and so on. Although college English education is more freedom and openness than exam-oriented education of high school in our country, it is still very backward in terms of culture and education. So college English education should bring more cultural experience in teaching, enrich students’ understanding of culture, and improve their intercultural communicative competence.
Disadvantages of Traditional English Education
Traditional college English teaching focuses on the analysis and translation of vocabulary and sentence, which is limited to the sentence itself and be lack of the meaning out of the language. That is to say, traditional college English ignores the relationship between context language environment and sentence vocabulary, and be divorced from the language education for a long time. At the same time, the traditional teaching method pays attention to the language’s grammar translation, and too much grammar input makes students only understand the meaning of the words and text, but can not be used in some communication environment and social environment. Language has its own character of culture, as well as society, and the same word may have completely different meanings in a different environment. Therefore, in the modern society where exchanges become increasingly frequent, the traditional English education must be improved. While the use of cultural experience education method could effectively improve the English education malpractice.
Basic Connotation of Culture Experience Teaching
Culture itself has the character of complexity and richness, people’s study of culture has lasted for centuries, but its connotation presents different meanings under the perspective of different scholars. A famous American Patrick cross-cultural communication scholar has pointed out that, culture includes five elements, namely cultural products, cultural concepts, cultural practices, cultural individuals and cultural social group. Patrick (1998) once pointed that culture is not only a way of life, but a life practice system common in group of human. This theory not only highlights the survivability of the culture, but also highlighted the rheology, mass culture and circumstances. Therefore, it is a very important part of culture experience to the collision with the way of culture life learned in learning culture.
In the culture teaching theory of Patrick, culture experience is a very important concept. He thinks that cultural experience is a collision with another way of life, which is also a cultural definition of focus. In learning, teachers should help the students understand the culture who are learning from the perspective of cultural experience, which mainly includes three aspects, that is cultural experience, cultural knowledge and experiential learning cycle. In the process of learning, there are interaction between four elements:(1) Provide cultural information; (2) Understand by using the method of cultural practices;(3) Understand the causes through cultural concept; (4) improve their awareness by cultural self-knowledge. Teachers and learners should consciously implement the four elements in the process of language learning to carry out the cultural experience learning.
Cultural experience teaching, that is, cultural teaching through experience, making learners actively contact with the culture and learn the different way of life, habits, value concept and literature and art of the language they are learning. Experience teaching requires learners to learn autonomously and grasp the nature of knowledge in the process of learning, to change the contents what they have learned into their own knowledge. In which teaching method, students become the main body of learning. The process of teaching focuses more on the learning motivation and initiative of students, as well as their emotion. The process of learning a foreign language is also a process experiencing foreign culture. Therefore, teachers should adopt positive guidance, rich curriculum and some effective activities to enable students be involved in the foreign language learning from the body and mind fully, and understand the cultural content of the target language deeply.
Design Principles of Cultural Experience Teaching
Make learners as the center
Experiential learning is the most basic method of human learning. From the hunting of the ancient society to the infant and young children to learn from their parents, they are both experiential learning and be passive accepted differently. In these processes of learning, the learners have fully played an active role in learning. Experiential teaching also needs to be carried out in the center of the learners, it is not only for the learners to accomplish something, but also to obtain new knowledge and skills through practice and reflection in practice. In the design of the teaching of cultural experience, teaching activity should pay attention to the learners’ individual experience, learning style and value orientation, so that the learners can learn and think in different environment, and have the ability to solve problems.
Design Teaching Based on Practice
In the process of cultural experience teaching, learners should participate in and experience the teaching process, so as to produce different views and ideas about things in different cultures. Experiential teaching is to act as the guide, and gain experience and knowledge to guide the next step of the study through the practical experiences. This method can give more attention to the learners. In the design of cultural experience teaching, teachers should focus on how to guide the learners to act, and what kind of action is more conducive to the development of cultural learning.
Carry out Cultural Comparison
Cultural comparison is a comparison between Chinese and foreign cultures, which means understanding the similarities and differences between cultures, so that learners can understand the same thing in different cultures, and finally help them free to communicate in the face of different cultures. When different cultures have similarities carrying out cultural comparison, it can make learners more easily to adapt to the culture of learning. Language and culture are difficult to learn when different cultures are different, but cultural contrast will be helpful for learners to deepen the understanding of the culture being learned and reduce cultural conflict effectively.
Implementation Strategy of Cultural Experience Teaching in College English Curriculum
Application of Cultural Experience Teaching in College English Course
In the design of College English curriculum, teachers can start with the four elements of the cultural information, namely cultural practices, cultural ideas and cultural self-awareness. At the same time, teachers should also carry out the three principles, include grasping the learner as the center, making practice as the subject and making cultural comparison, so that college English courses are no longer just for language teaching and neglect of cultural learning, but a comprehensive curriculum learning.
In the aspect of providing cultural information, it should reflect the theme of English national culture combined with the contents of College English teaching materials. Teachers should guide students to pay attention to the culture of English speaking countries through video materials and writing materials. For example, when learning the Marriage A cross nations of “new horizons university English”, teachers can be appropriate to introduce the English speaking countries and cultural knowledge after learning the language knowledge, and layout related tasks, so that students will understand and introduce the wedding customs, ceremonies, and the comparison of Chinese and foreign wedding customs. In this way, students can make their own cultural learning and cultural contrast.
In the aspect of cultural practice, teachers should make students to carry out a variety of culture experience combined with the concept and cultural information which has been gained. In this process, teachers should act the role of a coach and model to provide the scene and demonstration, so that more students will carry out performance through group cooperation and other ways. What teachers can do is to give a certain guidance or guide students appropriately to sum up and summarize the experience in the end. In this process, the teacher needs to choose the appropriate experience activities and reasonable grasp the activity time, and help students make a appropriate summary after the activity.
In the aspect of understanding of cultural concepts, teachers should guide students to discuss the clause of different culture phenomenon, includes beliefs, values and attitudes, etc, which is an important part of culture. Students more deeply understand the culture of English speaking countries, and help them to respect the culture of different countries and establish the concept of cultural relativism.
In the aspect of cultural awareness, teachers should realize that it is an important part of the students’ self reflection, the revision of the original cognition, and the promotion of intercultural communication competence. Teachers should listen to and witness the progress of students, sum up the study contents, and analyze the differences and similarities between different cultures. At the same time, it is appropriate for teachers to collect foreign culture comments on Chinese culture and carry out discussions, thus encouraging students to speak freely and think independently through debates, lectures, panel discussions and other forms.
Pay Attention to Problems in Cultural Experience of College English Teaching
Pay attention to teacher’s position. Although the students are the center and the main body of the teaching in the process of developing the cultural experience in College English, the role of teachers in the teaching process is also very important. In different learning stages, teachers should play the role of interpreters and information providers to guide students to carry out cultural experience.
Pay attention to balance the national culture. In the teaching of cultural experience in College English, students should pay attention to the concern of the national culture, rather than blindly attach importance to the western culture. Research shows that most students can not express Chinese culture in English, but can better express western culture, which hinders the students’ intercultural communication competence and the inheritance of Chinese culture. Therefore, people should pay attention to the balance of their own culture in the development of cultural experience teaching, and teachers can guide students through the form of cultural comparison.
Optimize evaluation system. In order to improve the students’ participation in the cultural experience teaching in College English, teachers should change the traditional curriculum evaluation system, improve the students’ performance in the process of cultural experience, and play an incentive role in the weights of curriculum evaluation system.
Cultural experience teaching pays attention to setting up the scene and stimulating students’ learning enthusiasm. Compared with the traditional teaching methods, cultural experience teaching is more three-dimensional and diversified. This paper analyzes the basic connotation of cultural experience teaching, puts forward the design principle of it, and studies the strategies and problems in the teaching of cultural experience in College English education. College English teaching should not only teach students language knowledge, but should guide students to become a learner of culture, so that students will learn more knowledge from college English courses.
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