Using Culture To Teach A Foreign Language Education Essay

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"A l'interieur de la scolarite obligatoire, l'enseignement des langues doit etre repense, dans sa specificite propre en liaison avec l'ensemble des discilplines ( reflexion sur le language, en liaison avec la langue maternelle et les mathematiques, developpement de l'expression personelle en liaison avec les enseignements litteraires et artistiques, ouverture sur le monde en liaison avec l'histoire, la geographie, l'economie, les sciences…).

As originally come from a French colony country, at certain time French was the most spoken language. The mother tang language is dialect which is the mixture of Latin, French, Barbarian and Arabic language.

It is difficult when pupils undertake an education from the primary school starting with two languages French an d Arabic, most of subjects was in French language in purpose of further higher education where the university program was and still all in French language in the exception of certain subjects such law, history and literacy subjects in Arabic language.

The French lessons were focused on vocabulary learning, discovering a new terminology. Also the grammar, the conjugation was compulsory, every single pupil must know of heart "auxiliaire etre et avoir, les verbes du premier groupe conjugue au present, au future, au passe compose ...ect". Everyone should able to identify Sujet_Verbe_Complement d'objet. Along French language pupils had to study Arabic at exactly the same level, but the achievement was less successful compare it to the French language.

At the secondary school was the introduction of English language. The French language was more complex with the introduction of high level literacy lessons. Also maths, sciences, physics were taught in French language.

There was never the use of culture to teach any of the languages, as I have mentioned above the language was taught on the purpose of higher education. Most subjects at the university are taught in French language. It was always a problem with a French culture I think because of the colony consequences. The education system and specifically languages department never plan tom introduce a culture to teach the French language same for English or Arabic.

The exam system has always been at the same routine from the primary to the A Levels (Baccalaureate). The school year is divided in three terms (trimesters), every trimester pupils have to take pre-exam and an exam to assess them if they are able to go to further class the next year. The one who fail has to retake the year again.

The French language played a positive role in my carrier. At the university I underwent two years architecture, then after five years sports and technology science, ending up with success a master degree. My research project was about physiology, morphology (anthropometry), physical and psychological aspects of a model high performance athlete.

As a modern foreign languages trainee teacher aiming for success at the end of the course, I had to develop my general knowledge about the secondary school education system.

Going through the national curriculum, then specifically through the Modern Foreign languages curriculum; reading the national strategies secondary; the Key Stage 3 Framework. Where I come cross Intercultural understanding- Pupils will learn to recognise that people in other countries and communities using the target language may have belief and attitudes. In so doing they will develop a better understanding of their own lives.

The trainee teacher must be aware of different topics to covering a languages lesson. Here we are looking for the introduction of culture to teach foreign languages topics. My first experience was as student who underwent a German extension course during the summer at the University of Portsmouth.

I believe that I have picked up a lot of vocabulary when the German culture was introduced into the lesson I had a good assimilation. The focus was there; my mind was plunged in deep imagination with the willing to known everything about German society. Also I appreciate discovering new things in this world. By trying to understand the culture I end up by learning new vocabulary to communicate and discuss aspects with the group- KS3 Framework attainment 1(listening and speaking). Therefor focusing on one aspect of life in more details and compares it with my own, see similarities, differences and see the aspect in the past and at present time.

As student the experience was great which recognising different ways of seeing the world. In groups we had to discuss opinions and compare them, where I had to make a good challenge as a person coming from different culture (my own), living in different culture (English) and learning about new culture (German).

Sharing feeling, I think the best experience which allows individual to build confidence and this could reinforce strategies and learn about how to plan and consolidate a good structured lesson in our topic which is using the culture to teach a foreign language.

As mentioned above, culture has never been introduced to teach languages lessons during my study carrier.

With the experience gained from the German extension course, now I have to make sure to go all over my first language culture which is French culture and make sure I have covered the area I am going to be using to teach a lesson.

The best guide about education knowledge to any overseas teacher who is willing to be a qualify teacher the national curriculum in general. This allow first to discover how the education system is like in the UK, Self-settlement to become a trainee teacher.

A PGCE modern foreign language has to through the national curriculum Modern Foreign Languages, look more in details program of study for Key Stage 3 and attainment targets. The point related to my topic; Intercultural understanding.

`Learning a new language provides unique opportunities for pupils to explore national identities and became aware of both similarities and contrasts between the cultures of different countries, including their own'. (National curriculum MFL, 2007).

The co-incidence is that my first placement which is phase one at the Swanmore middle school observing year eight, the language teacher (French) was teaching "La francophonie" she was using a culture to teach language.

After a personal meeting I had with my subject mentor, I have discovered that the year eight schemes of work match exactly with my assignment essay 1.

The head of languages department and the only languages teacher Mrs Balch is using one of the key concepts from the national curriculum MFL, Intercultural understanding. The schemes of work were covering the French spoken countries all over the world in different continent with different culture. I have observed a few lessons about "la francophonie "it was challenging lesson for year eight they like the adventure of discovering a new cultures, they were focusing, learning new vocabulary words. It was also a revising to different word such colours, numbers (e.g.: - one million two hundred thousand five hundred pupils) and covering other subjects like geography. Always use of the target language.

Always after an effective PowerPoint presentation the teacher was asking questions, her aim getting pupils involve, giving them time of reflection which aloe them to answer and ask question at their turn.

This is the opportunity to be part of such a great experience where the teacher is already helping me gaining the experience on developing and working on my French culture knowledge and how to use it to plan a French lesson.

Doing my bibliography research where many authors were making researches for decades introducing culture to teach a foreign language. The UK is not the only country to make research about this topic there is a large numbers of countries such Germany, USA, China…etc. It shows that intercultural competence teaching makes pupils more tolerant.

(Sercou with Bandura, Castro, Davcheva, Laskaridou, Lundgreen, Del Carmen Mendez Garcia and Ryan.2005, P.5) It is clear that, in order to support the intercultural learning process, foreign language teachers need additional knowledge, attitudes, competencies and skills to the ones hitherto thought of as necessary and sufficient for teaching communicative competence in a foreign language. Lies (2005), sharing his research with a considerable group of authors working on foreign Language Teachers and Intercultural competence, shows that how effective could be this topic in the education system. It is already in the national curriculum and in practice at school as I have cited above, a typical example at Swanmore middle school the language teacher always creative developing good cultural knowledge to give an efficient structured lesson.

According to (Byram and Fleming, 1998, P.77) Linking languages learning and cultural studies together is neither easy nor comfortable. It is very educative using the culture to teach a foreign language, where the students are more focused and interested discovering something new and learning new vocabulary words. Sometimes, it could make the students not comfortable in the case of using a complex and difficult terminology this could turn on negative point. We can learn from this and always make sure to choose the appropriate vocabulary to the student level to plan the lesson to keep them focus and achieve in their learning.

The research is being always positive through the bibliography research with more citations. (Byram and Fleming, 1998, P.98) Learning a foreign language implies a degree of intercultural learning: Student may be led to become more aware of their own culture in the process of learning about another and hence may be in a better position to develop intercultural skills. (Jones, 1995P.1) how opportunities can be created, without leaving country, for learners to experience, learn about and explore `Otherness`, where their role is to define what they interpret this otherness to be. It will suggest strategies which help them to make up their own mind about what evidence of way of life, set of beliefs, way of behaving mean to them.

As Byram and Fleming (1998) and Jones (1995) has indicated, this is what I come cross when observing a French lesson "La francophonie" the country was le Burkina Faso where the student was reading a passage about a boy life in a village the poverty was to the extreme, limited food quality and quantity. , no tape water, shops, no transport, the school was to fare and the boy was still attend the school willing to learn. Here the student was affected and concerned. The teacher during the lesson made the point by saying: look you have those opportunities way do not you take them. Always use of target language.

The affective hypothesis is that using culture to teach language always affects learning on positives way, enjoy and achieve a great performance.

It is the view of (Byram.1989, P.139) that, the relationship between language learning and culture experience is mutually supportive in that language learning may well be largely rehearsal-oriented with some communicative teaching techniques shifting the learner towards performance.