Teach Positive Attitude Toward Another Culture, Not Hate

We, World Language teachers, have the responsibility to teach our students to feel positive about other cultures. We have to move beyond the “cute, quaint and weird” aspect of culture. When students see the quaint and weird, they feel negative about the other culture. They do not want to associate with such people.

We have to emphasize that the world is a “We”, not an “us vs. them”. We should avoid contrasting the cultures to show how we are different; differences do not lead to positive feelings about another culture. We should constantly be asking our students to identify similarities among the L1 and L2 cultures. In each class, we should show pictures of the L2 people doing daily tasks so our students see the many similarities such as our basic need to eat, play, have families, etc. As they see a picture of people on a street in Quito, they realize that they have many similarities with such people.

Our students come into our L2 class with many negative stereotypes from media. For example, they have the movie perception that Colombia is a drug infested violent place. We have to eliminate negative or even hateful feelings toward another culture.

Let our classes be that place that stops negative feelings and even hate toward other cultures.

(A summary of a presentation that I, Harry Tuttle, did on Culture for NYSAFLT.)

Cultural Engagement Levels: Where are Your Students?

My NYSAFLT Oct. 2016 handout

ACTFL’s Cultural Standards

ISTE’s Global Collaboration Standard

Three Levels of Culture

1.
Learning about another country /culture

Some disadvantages

Ethnography improvement

Will your students feel positively about the other culture / community?

2. Communicating with Others

Numerous tools

Issues

Will your students feel positively about the other culture / community?

3. Collaborating on something outside of school to become global citizens

Work together for something to better each community or another community

Various projects

Have your students bettered the lives of others?

Some resources:

90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities ebook with many cultural activitieshttp://bit.ly/90mlact

40+Spanish & ML spontaneous speaking  and cultural activities http://bit.ly/wlspt

Reach ACTFL’s Culture Thru Ethnography & Mobile

First page of my  NECTFL presentation handout:

Good mobile traits

ACTFL’s Culture Standards

ISTE’s Culture Standards

Most students and level of most culture

Facts vs feelings

Stereotypes

Levels of Culture

Ethnography

Learning about another culture
Quantify information

Map

Fact, inference or value for a picture

Lima, Perú

Sports Analysis

One picture

Qualify information

Ethnographic questions
Similarities
Weather and Location
News/TV app

Communicating with another person/people

Text-based
Video chat projects

Interview

Resources:

90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities ebook with many speaking and cultural activities  http://bit.ly/tsmash
45 +Modern Language and Spanish spontaneous speaking activities for beginning students. Game like speaking- 
http://bit.ly.mlcomcult

Modern Language in-depth cultural investigation activities (4 activities in one pack)- http://bit.ly/mlcult

Foreign language formative assessment speaking book: http://bit.ly/impfltfa

Modern Language Proficiency: Can-Do ebook http://bit.ly/tsmash

World Language: Going from Learning About to Communicating With People

A previous blog , briefly described three levels of culture.  This blog expands on the critical difference between the first two levels.

The first level, learning about another country/culture, most often involves learning the facts about the country such as its currency, location, famous landmarks, etc. According to the Iceberg concept of culture, this level contains the mostly easily recognized things in the culture. This level can be devoid of seeing people of the country; the pictures usually focus more on famous monuments, mountain ranges, etc. Also, this level contains a very low emotional response. Students do not end up feeling more positive about the country/culture after learning the facts about the country such the population, the name of the capital, etc. Furthermore, the country view usually comes from an outsider’s view of the country. Often, the teacher or a web-site of someone who visited the country provides the information. Equally important, culture is seen as isolated pieces of information such as learning about the flag, then the currency, etc.

The second level of communicating with a person or persons from the country changes many aspects. Students actually interact with a person or people from the culture. Although students can do email and tweet exchanges, the most common form of communicating is a video chat. The students see what the people of another country look like, what they wear, what they drink,  where they study, etc. The students move from media stereotypes to contact with actual people of that culture. This level helps students to feel more positive about the people of the other culture. For example, when students do a “My Class/ Your Class” video conference, the students see many similarities between the two countries. Likewise, the students hear information from people who realistically know about the culture; the people from that country have an insider’s view. Students from another country can tell their  Saturday activities. In addition, the native speakers integrate aspects of culture; for example, they combine foods with family traditions.

At what level of culture are your students?

There are many cultural activities in the eboook 90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities. For cultural activities that actively involve world language students go to http://bit.ly.mlcomcult and look under culture.