English Language Learning and the Development of Cultural Awareness

The spread of English has facilitated its use for intercultural communication (IC) in learning language because language and culture are inseparable. According to Phan Le Ha (2008) stated that we construct identity through language, as language is used about us, by us and for us. Each of us has embedded within us cultural values, and through language we communicate our culture. Moreover, Brown (1994:165) also describes the relation between language and culture as follows: ‘A language is a part of a culture and a culture is a part of a language; so that one cannot separate each other.

From this statement, we know that when we learn language, we will learn about a large diversity of foreign culture too, learning language especially English can shape our mind to think something. That is why it is important to develop awareness and sensitivity toward differences culture to be flexible and tolerant of doing things which might be different to us. Cultural awareness is recognizing and understanding that we have different identity with others.

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Increasing cultural awareness can prepare for effective intercultural learning. Therefore, this essay will explore more about some actions as a pathway in order to respect toward cultural diversity.

First way is motivation. Motivation means that we have to be curious about different culture by showing our interest, confidence, and willingness to adapt cross-culturally. As a language learner we have to take time thinking and participating or understanding different culture. For instance, joining cultural events both in our country and other country or if we do not have much money, we can read a novel and streaming in you tube.

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Without a high motivation, we will not able to spend time and money to learn about it.

Second action is involving our cognitive which deals with our knowledge. It means that we have to understand our own culture first and then understanding cross-cultural issues. After knowing much cultural diversity, it will open our thought and experience to honor with others. For instance, as an educated people we will avoid stereotype like the term “blondes are dumb” or “Asians are good at math”. We have to resist it even positive and negative. By developing our cultural knowledge, we will not believe some stereotypes which might be untrue.

Third is behavior. Behavior deals with our ability to act appropriately in a diversity of cross-cultural situations. For instance, when we interact with differences of other culture, we may not judge it. Differ from us does not mean as wrong. So, we have to be response it in positive way and show flexible in verbal and nonverbal actions.

In conclusion, language is a mirror of a particular culture which cannot be separated. As a language learner, we should be aware of the culturally and show an appropriate ways to communicated, extended, confirmed, constructed, negotiated and reconstituted to accept differences through our cognitive, motivation and behavior. Therefore, when we respect and tolerate to other culture, we have multiple identities by recognizing who we are and with whom we belong.

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English Language Learning and the Development of Cultural Awareness. (2023, Mar 27). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/english-language-learning-and-the-development-of-cultural-awareness-essay

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