Teach English in Shangyunqiao Zhen - Zhuzhou Shi

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Teachers of English language must be sensitive to cultures due to the process of globalization and high demand of English language worldwide. The problem of cultural sensitivity may arise in different countries where English is taught. The issue is that language and culture are closely interconnected. When learning English as a foreign language, students do not think about cultural differences they may experience. If a teacher does not help students understand some particular cultural peculiarities, they may experience serious difficulties in language learning. English teachers should be aware of the basic cultural difference when teaching throughout the world. More problems may arise in the multicultural classrooms. Teachers are responsible not only to deliver information, teach grammar patterns, and vocabulary. They also have to communicate the cultural differences, help students of different cultures cooperate and communicate, which may be difficult in some specific cultural aspects are not explained. Gestures, mimics, and language patterns are the major aspects each English teacher should be aware of when teaching in the multicultural classroom. Gestures and face expressions are the basic means of communication. When people do not know the language each other, they may usually communicate through some gestures. However, teaching English in Bulgaria, for example, a teacher must be aware that nodding local people say “no” while sharing their heads people agree with something. It may be a serious cultural misunderstanding if a teacher does not explain that in England and in other parts of the world nodding means “yes”, while sharing a head means “no”. Shaking hands is not widely spread in Saudi Arabia, while it is a common gesture in western cultures. Lengthy eye contact may be considered as something awkward n western cultures, while it is a common procedure in eastern countries. Knowledge of these cultural differences will not only help teachers and students cooperate while learning English and avoid misunderstanding and confusion, but will also help students in Eastern cultures to understand English language and culture better. Language patterns are also an important aspect an English teacher should be aware of and deliver this idea to students. The examples which may bring confusion and miscommunication are numerous. Thus, a conversation between two Britons about a newsagent where one wants to buy cigarettes, newspaper, and sell a parcel may confuse people from another culture as they do not know that newsagent may receive and sell newspapers and parcels in Great Britain. Another language patterns English teachers should deliver to international students is that it is rarely possible to use word for word translation of English sentences. For example, black coffee or black tea does not mean the color of the drink, as even though the coffee is black, tea is actually red. In both cases, coffee and tea are offered without milk. Such points are obvious for English speaking population, while Asian cultures may be confused. Therefore, apart from teaching English language, the role of an English teacher is to deliver the major language patterns and cultural differences. Cultural learning is an integral part of language learning. The teachers should deliver the main idea of cultures and point to the differences between the local culture and the culture of the English speaking countries as a part of their job. Bibliography Farooq, Muhammad Umar, Abdul Fatah Soomro and Muhammad Umer. “English Language Teaching and Cultural Implications in Saudi Arabia.” International Journal of English Linguistics 8, no. 3 (2018), pp. 177-185. Yang, Zhanli. “Importance of Cultural Background in English Teaching.” International Conference on Education, Language, Art and Intercultural Communication. Atlantis Press: 2014, pp. 303-306.