The links between language and culture

The Inseparable Link Between Japanese Language And Culture Japanese is a unique language that makes it fun to learn but makes it challenging to master. In order to speak the language correctly, it is necessary to learn about Japanese culture.

The links between language and culture

Language is used to maintain and convey culture and cultural ties. When an infant is born, it is not unlike any other infant born, in fact, quite similar. It is not until the child is exposed to their surroundings that they become individuals in and of their cultural group.

This idea, which describes all people as similar at birth, has been around for thousands of years and was discussed by Confucius as recorded in the book by his followers, Analects Xu, Brooks argues that physically and mentally everyone is the same, while the interactions between persons or groups vary widely from place to place.

Patterns which emerge from these group behaviours and interactions will be approved of, or disapproved of.

The links between language and culture

Behaviours which are acceptable will vary from location to location Brooks, thus forming the basis of different cultures.

Hantrais puts forth the idea that culture is the beliefs and practices governing the life of a society for which a particular language is the vehicle of expression. The understanding of a culture and its people can be enhanced by the knowledge of their language.

This brings us to an interesting point brought up by Emmitt and Pollockwho argue that even though people are brought up under similar behavioural backgrounds or cultural situations but however speak different languages, their The links between language and culture view may be very different. As Sapir-Whorf argues, different thoughts are brought about by the use of different forms of language.

Different languages will create different limitations, therefore a people who share a culture but speak different languages, will have different world views. Consequently, teachers of a language are also teachers of culture Byram The implications of language being completely entwined in culture, in regards for language teaching and language policy are far reaching.

Language teachers must instruct their students on the cultural background of language usage, choose culturally appropriate teaching styles, and explore culturally based linguistic differences to promote understanding instead of misconceptions or prejudices.

Language policy must be used to create awareness and understandings of cultural differences, and written to incorporate the cultural values of those being taught.

Implications for language teaching Teachers must instruct their students on the cultural background of language usage. If one teaches language without teaching about the culture in which it operates, the students are learning empty or meaningless symbols or they may attach the incorrect meaning to what is being taught.

The students, when using the learnt language, may use the language inappropriately or within the wrong cultural context, thus defeating the purpose of learning a language. Conflict in teaching styles also stem from the relationship between language and culture.

2 thoughts on “The Relationship between Language and Culture”

During the past decade, I have taught English in Taiwan and have observed a major difficulty in English instruction brought about by teachers and suffered by students. Western English teachers who teach in Taiwan bring along with them any or all of their teaching and learning experiences. From this, they bring with them what they imagine to be appropriate teaching methodology.

Pennycook continues by pointing out that student centered learning is unsuitable for Chinese students. The students may not know how to react to this different style of learning. A case in point, when at the beginning of my teaching career in Taiwan, I found it very easy to teach English, but very difficult to get the students to interact with me while I was teaching.

Teaching was very easy because the students were well behaved and very attentive. The difficulties surfaced when trying to get the students to interact with me, their teacher.

At the time, I did not realize that in Taiwan, it was culturally unacceptable for students to interact with their teacher. The Taiwanese students were trained to listen to what the teacher said, memorize it, and later regurgitate it during an exam.

The classroom setting had to be changed to a much less formal setting to coax out student interaction. The language classes taught using this style proved to be most beneficial to the students with an overall increase in the grade point average.

The links between language and culture

Because language is so closely entwined with culture, language teachers entering a different culture must respect their cultural values. As Englebert describes:We describe our experience and culture by using language, and the categories built into language, its structures influence our perceptions--language in turn shapes our thought and culture.

Therefore, we should take a dialectical point of view on the relationship between language and culture. Cultures hiding in languages, examines the link between Japanese language and culture. An Insight into Korean Culture through the Korean Language discusses how Korean culture influences the language.

Languages spoken in Ireland, focuses on the status of the Irish language nowadays and how it has changed over time.

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Risager () explores the link between language and culture when a communicative event takes place; by communicative event she means any social event, which also refers to a cultural event, so the best term is socio-cultural event in which languaculture (Agar, ) is used in a local integration with discursive and other cultural flows.

She analyses the relationship between language and culture from . Language is all about culture and culture is all about language, because this is main basic product of human, then human uses language to communicate with this then commutation brings the culture to the society.

The relationship between language and culture is deeply rooted. Language is used to maintain and convey culture and cultural ties.

Different ideas stem from differing language use within one’s culture and the whole intertwining of these relationships start at one’s birth. Language is all about culture and culture is all about language, because this is main basic product of human, then human uses language to communicate with .

The Inseparable Link Between Language And Culture