CULTURE AND IDENTITY: TOWARDS REDEFINING REPRESENTATIONAL MATERIAL FOR THEESL/EFL CLASSROOMJournal: Asian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities (Vol.5, No. 2)
Publication Date: 2016-05-15
Authors : Divine Che Neba;
Page : 172-179
Keywords : language awareness; text awareness; cultural awareness; representational material; identity; trans-cultural;
This paper is a re-examination of the concept of language awareness, text awareness and cultural awareness in the ESL/EFL classroom. It deconstructs previous assumptions (Lazar (1993), McRae (2009), Halliday (2004) of commending any representational material in the EFL/ESL classroom by arguing that though such material ignites Learners' imagination and critical abilities, it should be able to define the learner as well. In this light, the work attempts to answer the following question: what literary material for ESL/EFL classrooms? Besides the above query, the paper probes into examining how literature (the bearer of culture and identity) can serve as a catalyst to improving language skills (competence and performance) in the ESL/EFL classroom in cross cultural environment. The argument takes us into investigating the immediate environment of learners, their experiences and educational needs. It as well highlights the reasons for the adoption of a particular literature or culture-based approach to the teaching of English in foreign or second language context. The paper also suggests tasks typical of literature or culture-based models. Thus, introducing cross-cultural texts in ESL/EFL classroom (especially trans-cultural works like Adichie's (2013) Americanah) will help learners not only to ignite their imagination and cultural awareness but will make the language more accommodating and give learners the possibilities of situating and adapting themselves within the individual and global milieu. The language as such, will not be a “foreign language” or colonial tool but will pass for a defining language.
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