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Durham e-Theses
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Language and culture in Chinese as a foreign language: the development of textbooks and their cultural content

Guo, Yannan (1997) Language and culture in Chinese as a foreign language: the development of textbooks and their cultural content. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis focuses on the issue of cultural content in foreign language learning materials. In it I first surveyed the studies on the issues concerning cultural and language learning: the relationship of language and culture, language use and language learning, the influence of culture on language learning and intercultural competence, and the implications of cultural learning for the general aims of foreign language education. These studies form a theoretic framework for the issue of language and cultural learning. On the basis of this framework I carried out an examination on the two sets of learning materials for Learning Chinese as a Foreign Language, which I have used for teaching for a few years, from the point of view of intercultural competence development. The survey shows that the process of language learning involves both cognitive development and affective development, therefore in the learning both of the aspects have to be addressed adequately if the aims of language learning shall include producing an intercultural competence rather than merely acquiring language skills, which is far from enough for cross-cultural communication and for real understanding of the target language. The analysis of the learning materials is developed after a survey of criteria for evaluating the cultural dimension of textbooks. The analysis indicates that although the importance of culture to understanding meanings and, to some degree, for the understanding of the perspectives of the native has been recognized in both of the coursebooks, yet the role of culture in the affective development of the learner does not seem to have been fully appreciated, particularly in one of the coursebooks, without which it is not conceivable that learners would observe the world from the native's perspectives and appreciate the differences between their own culture and the target culture. The analysis also suggests that more efforts are needed, particularly in one of the courses, to create better chance for learners to understand the relationship between social behaviours and social roles and social environment.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1997
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Oct 2012 11:45

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