Room on the Broom

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TOPIC 4.
VALUING THE KNOWLEDGE OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES AS AN INSTRUMENT OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN PEOPLE AND PEOPLES. INTEREST IN LINGUISTIC DIVERSITY THROUGH THE KNOWLEDGE OF A NEW LANGUAGE AND ITS CULTURE

The main methodological consequence in relation to the development of sociocultural aspects in our FL curriculum is that they must be integrated in the different elements of the FL programming. In fact, in many regards, culture is taught implicitly, embedded in the linguistic activities that students carry out. Sometimes, depending on the age of the students, FL teachers make them aware of the cultural features reflected in the language they are learning.

However, it is the teacher´s task to define which aspects of the English speaking countries may be attractive and appealing to our students. In what follows, we suggest some possibilities:
• Popular traditions and celebrations: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Guy Fawkes….
• Popular songs and tales.
• Names of important people and cities.
• Customs: timetables, typical breakfast, etc.
• Hobbies and leisure activities: popular sports (cricket, baseball, etc…).

The FL teacher may provide these cultural aspects through contextualised activities where the learners feel they are doing something with some purpose; and there are some aspects that facilitate the integration of sociocultural aspects in the FL class, amongst them:
• Familiarity of students with English speaking countries (particularly the USA) and some of their cultural features due to TV, music or the internet influence.
• Many students feel attracted by sociocultural elements of other countries.
• The extraordinary amount of resources available to FL teachers through information and communication technologies.

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