Culture for English Learners

Language is embedded in culture. However, culture is one of subjects that are very important for English learner. For instance, many English idiom, slang, jargon and collocation are difficult to understand for English learner. Unfortunately, many people don’t care about learning culture in Language. People think grammar, listening, speaking, writing etc, is enough for studying English. In fact language and its structure were entirely dependent on the cultural context in which they existed. So if we understand the culture, we know how they speak and we can avoid misunderstanding. This is the one of examples how important of culture in language.
For instance, the culture of Indonesian and western is relatively difference. Western people usually say “good morning” even at 11 am. So when they Indonesian and American meet together, Indonesian people must be confused because in Indonesia 11am is afternoon already. This is one of examples that don’t lead a serious problem. But another misunderstanding may causes a serious problem or even a war. According to Nocon; English Learner must learn the culture of native speaker of its language.

 If you argue that a language can learned without of culture for mere functional or academic purposes, then what you will deal with is the lack ability to function in the language as an outsider at the minimal level and don’t have real appreciation for the people who use the language. Choosing not to learn about the country or countries where a particular language is, history or people, not only robs you of the richness that knowing another language, but also makes it very difficult to appreciate the news or place current events in any meaningful context. So it is very difficult if you learn about the language without knowing its culture.
Another aspect of the important of culture is making you feel more interesting toward its language. When you have knowledge of its culture it can increase your desire of its language. For example, as a Muslim who familiar with its underlying culture or Islamic influence, we feel Arabic is important language to study, while Christian people doesn’t really care about Arabic because they have a lack knowledge of Arabic.
And for another, People can learn how to interact with others, to behave properly in a new society, to appreciate and understand others culture and the way of life by knowing the culture. Besides, by learning the culture, people also will learn the language of people, the politics, and so on. In addition, by learning culture we will behave properly even in speaking or in another interaction.

And for us culture is very important. As an English student we have to deal with translation. This is my experience, when I try to translate I found some idiom that very difficult to understand.
An idiom is generally a colloquial metaphor a term which requires some foundational knowledge, information, or experience, to use only within a culture where parties must have common reference. Idioms are therefore not considered a part of the language, but rather a part of the culture. As cultures are typically localized, idioms are often not useful outside of that local context. However some idioms can be more universally used than others, and they can be easily translated, metaphorical meaning can be more easily deduced. We can see now how important of culture in our study.

Now how should we apply a culture subject in our university? For English language teachers in Indonesia, the problem of teaching language and culture is more complex.  What culture, exactly, should they be teaching in tandem with English language?  Sure, a teacher could pick from the usual American, English, or Australian cultural contexts, but they thinks limiting their selves to the culture of these countries is too narrow.  Can a teacher possibly teach all?  Or maybe a teacher can highlight the parts he or she likes from each culture..?  On the other hand, the teacher could reach into the sources of international English culture, but that might quickly become quite limitless but useful if the teacher can successfully navigate finding sources from and about the world’s various cultures, how English is used in parts of the world, and how English communicates foreign and new culture.

So making culture subject in our university is not easy. We have to bring a real native speaker from American or from another English country. In this paper, I’m going to explain how we deal with cultural problem in English learning. According to my Lecturer Mr. Bukhari daud, If you want to study English faster and properly you have to go to the native country. Since it is quite impossible and needs a lot of payment. We have to make some alternative way.
The thing that we have to do is making a condition like in English country. We can make a special room, which has a real English atmosphere. For having an English atmosphere room, we have to invite the real native speaker. If it possible we may invite many native speaker from different country and see the variety of English culture. Knowing a culture also can motive us to study harder. Beside that learning culture is fun, the more we interest about English culture, the more skill that we have improved.

This is all of my short research. I hope someday we have a cultural subject in our university; actually we have CCU (cross culture understanding) but my suggestion we have to use the native speaker for this subject for making an atmosphere like in English country because we know how important is culture for English learners.
So in conclusion I believe that after we have more understanding about English culture, our English aptitude will be increased in all aspect. Especially In speaking because we will be easier to use an idiomatic, and speak like a real native speaker or perhaps we can also try to use their dialect. Our speaking will be polite because we know how should we speak and avoid the misunderstanding that may create a war. This is really important for every language learner especially if they intend to go abroad.



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