Exploring the perceptions of Kurdish EFL university students towards culture as the fifth language skill

Omar Fouad Ghafor

Abstract


Culture has been defined and viewed in different ways. These differences are due to its involvement with various facets of human life. Some of these definitions and viewpoints are related to the process of teaching/learning a language and understanding the habits of the native speakers of the language. In this regard, many linguists consider it the fifth language skill alongside the other four traditional skills that help language learners to master the language better. This paper addresses this issue by exploring the perceptions of Kurdish EFL university students concerning the role of English culture in learning the language. The researcher attempts to achieve this aim by providing a theoretical background about culture and culture as the fifth language skill and utilizing a questionnaire to a sample of senior undergraduate students selected for this purpose. The findings of the study show that cultural awareness has an essential role in the process of English language learning. Hence, culture should always be integrated with the process because it is an inseparable part of language teaching/learning. Teaching culture is as crucial as teaching other aspects and skills of the language.


Keywords


cultural competence; language skills; fifth language skill; shared traditions; social practices; cultural values; cultural awareness

Full Text:

PDF

References


Byram, M. (1997). Cultural studies and foreign language teaching. In S. Bassnett (Ed.), Studying British cultures: An introduction (pp. 53-65). Routledge.

Byram, M., & Flemming, M. (1998). Language learning from an intercultural perspective. Cambridge University Press.

Byram, M., & Morgan, C. (1994). Teaching and learning language and culture. Multilingual Matters.

Byram, M., & Risager, K. (1999). Language teachers, politics and cultures. Multilingual Matters.

Cates, K. (2004). Becoming a global teacher: Ten steps to an international classroom. The Language Teacher, 28(7), 31–35.

Chiu, C. Y., & Hong, Y. Y. (2006). Social psychology of culture. Psychology Press.

Choudhury, R. U. (2014). The role of culture in teaching and learning of English as a foreign language. Express, an International Journal of Multi-Disciplinary Research, 1(4), 1-20.

Cohen, A. B. (2009). Many forms of culture. American Psychologist, 64(3), 194–204.

Damen, L. (1997). Culture learning: The fifth dimension in the language classroom. Addison-Wesley.

Fiske, A. P. (2002). Using individualism and collectivism to compare cultures--A critique of the validity and measurement of the constructs: Comment on Oyserman et al. (2002). Psychological Bulletin, 128(1), 78-88.

Hong, S. (2008). The role of heritage students in incorporating culture into language teaching. South Asia Language Pedagogy and Technology, 1, 1-10.

Horwitz, E. K. (1988). The beliefs about language learning of beginning university foreign language students. The Modern Language Journal, 72(3), 283-294.

Kramsch, C. (1993). Context and culture in language teaching. Oxford University Press.

Kroeber, A. L., & Kluckhohn, C. K. (1952). Culture: A critical review of concepts and definitions. Harvard University Press.

Lehman, D. R., Chiu, C. Y., & Schaller, M. (2004). Psychology and culture. Annual Review of Psychology, 55, 689–714.

LeVine, R. A. (1984). Properties of culture: An ethnographic view. Cambridge University Press.

Likert, R. (1932). A technique for the measurement of attitudes. The Science Press.

McDevitt, B. (2004). Negotiating the syllabus: A win-win syllabus. ELT Journal, 58(1), 3-9.

Mills, N. (2013). Action research: Bridging theory and practice. Academic Exchange Quarterly: Second Language Acquisition & Pedagogy, 17(1), 95-100.

Mirza, N. A. (2017). 5th skill in English language learning and teaching: A Pakistani perspective. (Doctoral), University of Exeter, Exeter.

Neff, P., & Rucynski, J. J. (2013). Tasks for integrating language and culture teaching. English Teaching Forum, 51(2), 12-23.

Oxford, R. L. (1989). Language learning strategies: What every teacher should know. Heinle & Heinle Publishers.

Tomalin, B. (2008). Culture: The fifth language skill. Retrieved from https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/culture-fifth-language-skill

Tran, H. T. (2010). Teaching culture in the EFL/ESL classroom [Paper presentation]. The Annual Meeting of the Los Angeles Regional California Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Fullerton, California, U. S. A.

Triandis, H. C. (2007). Culture and psychology: A history of the study of their relationships. In S. K. Cohen (Ed.), Handbook of cultural psychology (pp. 59–76). Guilford Press.

Tseng, Y. H. (2002). A lesson in culture. ELT Journal, 56(1), 11-21.

Vernier, S., Barbuzza, S., Del Giusti, S., & del Moral, G. (2008). The five language skills in the EFL classroom. Nueva Revista de Lenguas Extranjeras, 10, 263-291.

Ziesing, M. (2001). Cultural literacy and language fluency. In a collection of academic papers [Paper presentation]. Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Bangkok, Thailand.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.24815/siele.v7i1.15813

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Print ISSN: 2355-2794, Online ISSN: 2461-0275

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.