November 10, 2004

What kinds of culture teaching ...

Valette, R.M. (1986). The culture test. In J.M. Valdes, Culture Bound: Bridging the cultural gap in language teaching. New York: Cambridge University Press.

The author asserts that there are four categories of cultural goals in the language classroom:
"developing a greater awareness of and a broader knowledge about the target culture" (p. 181)
"acquiring a command of the etiquette of the target culture" (p. 181)
"understanding differences between the target culture and the students' culture" (p. 181)
"understanding the values of the target culture" (p. 181)

When considering the setting of dual immersion language learning, it would follow that the learning of both languages would have these cultural goals, and that students would be learning these aspects of culture in a comparative process.

Posted by roge0229 at 9:02 AM

definition of culture in language teaching

Valette, R.M. (1986). The culture test. In J.M. Valdes, Culture Bound: Bridging the cultural gap in language teaching. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Author points out that there are two "major components" of culture in the language classroom:
"One [component] is the anthropological or sociological culture: the attitudes, customs, and daily activities of a people, their ways of thinking, their values, their frames of reference. Since language is a direct manifestation of this phase of culture, a society cannot be totally understood or appreciated without a knowledge of its language. The other component of culture is the history of civilization. Traditionally representing the 'culture' element in foreign language teaching, it includes geography, history, and achievements in the sciences, the social sciences, and the arts. This second component forms the framework for the first: it represents the heritage of a people and as such must be appreciated by the students who wish to understand a new target culture" (p. 179).

Posted by roge0229 at 8:50 AM


Benet-Martinez, V.; Leu, J; Lee, F.; Morris, M.W. (2002). Negotiating biculturalism: Cultural frame switching in biculturals with oppositional versus compatible cultural identities. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 33 (5).
Rather than a single-aspect construct, the authors conceptualize culture for bicultural persons as follows:
"Rather than an unmalleable characteristic, cultural meaning systems may be better conceived as a set of tools individuals have available to use in different situations according to their identity dynamics and situational relevance" (p. 512).

Posted by roge0229 at 12:53 AM

biculturalism article

Benet-Martinez, V.; Leu, J; Lee, F.; Morris, M.W. (2002). Negotiating biculturalism: Cultural frame switching in biculturals with oppositional versus compatible cultural identities. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 33 (5).
This study demonstrates that, depending on the degree of "Bilingual Identity Integration" (BII), from low to high, demonstrated low versus high success in reading cultural cues from varying culturally similar and different situations. It may be that people who have integrated dual language capabilities are higher in BII, whereas people who have monolingual language learning experiences have less-developed sense of self as a bicultural being (?).
It makes a statement about the bicultural person's complex view of culture:
"Most important, these biculturals do not perceive the mainstream and ethnic cultures as being mutually exclusive, oppositional, or conflicting" (p. 495).
In contrast, a person with low BII may be characterized as follows:
"Although these individuals also identify with both cultures or think of themselves as biculturals, they are highly aware of the discrepancies between the mainstream and ethnic cultures and see these discrepancies as a source of internal conflict" (p. 495).

Posted by roge0229 at 12:49 AM

October 18, 2004

Etta Hollins on culture in learning

In the Racial and Ethnic Identities in School Practices book, edited by Rosa Hernandez Sheets and Etta Hollins, I found a reference to Hollins' article in Action in Teacher Education journal which was later made into a book, titled: Culture in school learning: Revealing the deep meaning, published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ. I will check into this book further...

Posted by roge0229 at 12:05 AM

October 7, 2004

new book on culture in teaching/learning

Subject: PUBLICATION> Rosa Hernandez Sheets Publishes New Book

AERA member Rosa Hernandez Sheets of Texas Tech University
has recently authored "Diversity Pedagogy: Examining the Role
of Culture in the Teaching-Learning Process."

The book is described as follows:

"The first in its field to demonstrate and explicate the
interconnectedness of culture and cognition to the teaching-learning
process, Diversity Pedagogy: Examining The Role Of Culture In The
Teaching-Learning Process promotes successful services for more
students, especially those from underserved communities. This text
introduces a new theory–diversity pedagogy–constructs explicit
applications to practice by providing examples of real-life classroom
situations throughout, ultimately uniting schooling, culture, and

More information can be obtained from the publisher's website:,1143,71974,00.html

Posted by roge0229 at 1:00 PM

October 5, 2004

CARLA on definition(s)

Here's some information about definitions of culture, per CARLA site:
(I think that we might offer the ones by Hofstede -- an important one in the field -- and Lederach, but then lean toward Damen -- since he specifies the language learning context.)

For the purposes of the Intercultural Studies Project, culture is defined as the shared patterns of behaviors and interactions, cognitive constructs, and affective understanding that are learned through a process of socialization. These shared patterns identify the members of a culture group while also distinguishing those of another group.


Other Definitions of Culture


Banks, J.A., Banks, & McGee, C. A. (1989). Multicultural education. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

"Most social scientists today view culture as consisting primarily of the symbolic, ideational, and intangible aspects of human societies. The essence of a culture is not its artifacts, tools, or other tangible cultural elements but how the members of the group interpret, use, and perceive them. It is the values, symbols, interpretations, and perspectives that distinguish one people from another in modernized societies; it is not material objects and other tangible aspects of human societies. People within a culture usually interpret the meaning of symbols, artifacts, and behaviors in the same or in similar ways."

Damen, L. (1987). Culture Learning: The Fifth Dimension on the Language Classroom. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

"Culture: learned and shared human patterns or models for living; day- to-day living patterns. these patterns and models pervade all aspects of human social interaction. Culture is mankind's primary adaptive mechanism" (p. 367).

Hofstede, G. (1984). National cultures and corporate cultures. In L.A. Samovar & R.E. Porter (Eds.), Communication Between Cultures. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

"Culture is the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one category of people from another." (p. 51).

Kluckhohn, C., & Kelly, W.H. (1945). The concept of culture. In R. Linton (Ed.). The Science of Man in the World Culture. New York. (pp. 78-105).

"By culture we mean all those historically created designs for living, explicit and implicit, rational, irrational, and nonrational, which exist at any given time as potential guides for the behavior of men."

Kroeber, A.L., & Kluckhohn, C. (1952). Culture: A critical review of concepts and definitions. Harvard University Peabody Museum of American Archeology and Ethnology Papers 47.

" Culture consists of patterns, explicit and implicit, of and for behavior acquired and transmitted by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievements of human groups, including their embodiments in artifacts; the essential core of culture consists of traditional (i.e. historically derived and selected) ideas and especially their attached values; culture systems may, on the one hand, be considered as products of action, and on the other as conditioning elements of further action."

Lederach, J.P. (1995). Preparing for peace: Conflict transformation across cultures. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press.

"Culture is the shared knowledge and schemes created by a set of people for perceiving, interpreting, expressing, and responding to the social realities around them" (p. 9).

Linton, R. (1945). The Cultural Background of Personality. New York.

"A culture is a configuration of learned behaviors and results of behavior whose component elements are shared and transmitted by the members of a particular society" (p. 32).

Parson, T. (1949). Essays in Sociological Theory. Glencoe, IL.

"Culture...consists in those patterns relative to behavior and the products of human action which may be inherited, that is, passed on from generation to generation independently of the biological genes" (p. 8).

Useem, J., & Useem, R. (1963). Human Organizations, 22(3).

"Culture has been defined in a number of ways, but most simply, as the learned and shared behavior of a community of interacting human beings" (p. 169).

Posted by roge0229 at 6:12 PM