Seelye*s Seven Goals of Cultural Instruction

Teaching Culture in Context:
Experiences from the
Tajiki Language Classroom
Christopher W. Lemelin
Foreign Service Institute/School of Language Studies
Karim Khodjibaev
Foreign Service Institute/School of Language Studies
Teaching Culture in Context:
Some Background
from Different Pond, Different Fish, no. 10 (March 2004)
What do we
(at FSI/SLS)
mean when we say culture?
Big-C Culture
little-c culture
• Objective culture
• MLA culture (Music,
Literature, Arts)
• “Products” (Standard 2.2 of
Standards for FL Learning)
• Subjective culture
• BBV culture (Behaviors,
Beliefs, Values)
• “Practices” (Standard 2.1 of
Standards for FL Learning)
Foreign Service Institute /
School of Professional and
Area Studies
Foreign Service Institute /
School of Language Studies
Seelye’s Seven Goals of Cultural Instruction
The Sense of Culturally Conditioned Behavior
The Interaction of Language and Social Variables
Conventional Behavior in Common Situations
Cultural Connotations of Words and Phrases
Evaluating Statements about a Society
Researching Another Culture
Attitudes toward Other Cultures
H. Ned Seelye, Teaching Culture (Chicago, IL: National Textbook Company, 1984)
Galloway’s Convention Clusters
Function-determined conventions vs. Context-determined conventions
Stages of a Student’s Cultural Proficiency
(adapted from Bennett, Durocher)
Methods suggested by Omaggio Hadley
• Mini-lecture
• Native Informants
• Audio materials
– interviews, dialogs
• Video materials
– dialogs, staged encounters, film, YouTube
• Role play
Alice Omaggio Hadley, Teaching Language in Context (Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle, 1993)
Integration strategies suggested by Lafayette
(some things to keep in mind)
• Plan cultural activities and integrate them into lesson
(don’t teach culture “on-the-fly”)
• Use target language for cultural learning
(don’t separate culture learning from language learning)
• Use grammar content with cultural context
(use appropriate cultural topic as basis for language practice)
• Teach vocabulary around a cultural context
(use cultural clusters of words, teach connotative meanings)
• Use experiential learning (not “facts only”)
(encourage student curiosity, don’t just say—do it this way)
Robert Lafayette, “Integrating the Teaching of Culture into the FL Classroom” (NECTFL, 1988)

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