DEVELOPING SOCIO-CULTURAL COMPETENCE USING MULTIMEDIA IN LANGUAGE EDUCATION
Socio-cultural context of education has changed greatly in the 21st century. A variety of different socio-cultural aspects must always be taken into consideration in order to understand properly what is said during communication. It is very important to know, to study, to understand cultural heritage of the country and the people of the language you are studying to learn more about national identity, traditions and customs. Socio-cultural contexts can differ from one culture to the next making communication difficult for the newcomers and thus making communication ineffective.
Language and culture are closely tied and no language can be spoken or understood out of socially inherited practical skills, ideas and cultural aspects. Developing an understanding of general and special cultural aspects and a skills to implicate all mentioned above will enable communicators who were not raised in a particular culture to use the language more easily and to fully comprehend speeches and texts. Any culture implies languages, social memory, peculiarities of human behavior. Sometimes culture can be interpreted through competence. Today we can talk about communicative, information and other cultural competences. We can touch upon main components of socio-cultural competence: social and contextual factors, stylistic and cultural aspects and non-verbal communicative factors.
The idea of teaching socio-cultural competence using multimedia is fairly recent. Moreover we are to mention the infinite possibilities of multimedia teaching materials that would enable communicators to understand the importance of this topic and to implement it during their studies. Multimedia can integrate sound, colors, graphics, video and pictures.
Our teaching materials consist of multiple html pages connected by hyperlinks enabling to make modeling structure of materials. Dreamweaver and Hot Potatoes were used to create html pages. Using Hot Potatoes we variegate traditional matching exercises.
The teaching materials consist of several parts, taking into consideration history, geography, general and special socio-cultural aspects of different countries and other peculiarities of language and socio-country studying. Modules are combined thematically containing different historical and socio-cultural information.
The workflow with each module is as follows: introduction (containing general information about the course enabling the learners to understand the goals of the course and its structure); doing the test simultaneously with listening; working with the main information part of the module (listening, reading and inserting); doing matching, filling-in-the gap, multiple choice exercises, doing final test, training lexical material of the whole module (true or false, filling-in the gaps exercises); work with additional audio-video materials on the topic; overall control.
Presented teaching materials are located in media library and can be also autonomously worked with. It provides individualization and differentiation of teaching, developing socio-cultural competence and gaining better understanding of different cultural contexts and encouraging learners to develop proper outlook on communication and language learning.