Academic journal article Studies in Literature and Language

On Cultivating Senior Middle School Students' Cross-Cultural Awareness in English Classes

Academic journal article Studies in Literature and Language

On Cultivating Senior Middle School Students' Cross-Cultural Awareness in English Classes

Article excerpt

Abstract

Language is not only an important means for people to communicate, but also an important carrier of cultural heritage. But at the present stage of high school English teaching in China, teachers merely put the emphasis on the basic knowledge of English, such as the vocabulary, grammar and so on, while ignoring cultivating cross-cultural awareness. By empirical methods and the analysis of the survey results, the present study analyzes the reasons and points out some ways to cope with the problem.

Key words: Culture; Coss-cultural awareness; High school English teaching

Li, D., Bai, X., & Li, H. (2014). On Cultivating Senior Middle School Students' Cross-Cultural Awareness in English Classes. Studies in Literature and Language, 9(1), 134-139. Available from: http://www.cscanada.net/index.php/sll/article/view/5437 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/5437

INTRODUCTION

Under the circumstances of economic globalization and China's reform and opening up, China exchanges with other countries more frequently, including economic and trade cooperation and cultural exchange. English as the world's most widely used language, its instrumental role in communication is becoming more important than before. In China, people, from primary to university or even at work, keep on learning English. So today, more and more English scholars and English teachers are concerned about English teaching in China. In the process of learning English, students and teachers have a misunderstanding that English learning is only a tool to deal with examinations. High school English teaching is simply in response to the college entrance examination and the lack of teaching of cultural awareness only does harm, instead of benefits, to English learning. The high school is an important stage of training personnel, therefore how to properly instill cross-cultural awareness to students to communicate in a flexible, accurate way to express their own thoughts in English should be the fundamental standpoint of English teaching.

Cross-cultural communication (or intercultural communication) refers to the communication between native and non-native speakers, and also refers to any communication between people whose language and cultural background differ from each other. So it is the communication between people with different cultural backgrounds. With the rapid development of transport and communication means, people of all nationalities from different countries are able to communicate frequently, thus producing a new developing discipline, cross-cultural communication. Language survives on culture. To study culture from the perspective of language education has become a consensus. Cross-cultural communication requires two abilities, language capability and cultural understanding competences. It is because there are more and more communication failures due to cultural conflicts that people think it is particularly important to improve cross-cultural understanding capabilities in foreign language learning.

This paper investigates and analyzes current status of cross-cultural awareness in English teaching and focuses on high school teachers and students' attitude towards cross-cultural awareness cultivation. It expounds on the urgency and importance of cultivating senior middle school student's cross-cultural awareness in English classes. Through discussing definition of cross-cultural communication and the need to improve cross-cultural communication, it puts forward further ways to improve cross-cultural communication. We hope this will help senior middle school students' cross-cultural awareness training, thereby enhancing their abilities to learn foreign languages well.

1. LITERATURE REVIEW

The so-called consciousness is the total reflection of the objective material world in one's brain nervous system. It is the sum of feeling, thinking and other mental processes (Modern Chinese Dictionary, 1981, p.1353). Culture is a product of human consciousness. …

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