SOCIOLINGUISTIC AND INTERCULTURAL ASPECT OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING AT UNDERGRADUATE LEVEL
1 Faculty of Philology and Arts (SERBIA)
2 Faculty of Information technologies (SERBIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN15 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:Nowadays, there are two important issues which are relevant for English Language Studies and Teaching. The first one is the possibility to take part in the process of globalization. English is the major language that defines globalization processes, and the ability to express oneself in English is one of the most prominent skills. The second issue is that (English) language is not a fixed thing, but it rather acts like a living organism. It changes rapidly, so those who learn English have to learn it constantly.
Also, if a person wants to be considered a bilingual speaker, they must have the capability to talk about any subject in any situation. Sometimes, even after many years of studying, learners often have great difficulties in expressing themselves in a language that is not their own. The difficulties are numerous: from problems with pronunciation and idiomatic expressions to the lack of knowledge on which utterances are appropriate in different social situations. Cultural variances often result in misunderstandings between speakers of different native languages and cultures and can cause serious breakdowns in communication.
This paper is an attempt to describe and explain the importance of cultural studies in the English classroom for students of the College of Agriculture and Food Technology in Prokuplje. In order to determine the importance of cultural studies, a specially designed questionnaire survey was conducted among 50 second-year students who had already passed the English Language exam. The students were asked to answer ten questions related to culture and its impact on the acquisition of English as a second language. The data obtained were statistically analyzed and described and the results are presented in this paper. Namely, these results show that students understand and appreciate the importance of cultural studies in the English Language classroom at undergraduate level, even though social sciences (sociolinguistics or culturology) are not their field of study.
Keywords: Sociolinguistics, interculturalism, English language teaching.