miércoles, 12 de noviembre de 2008

Relationship between civilization, culture and language. How can this affect us as future teachers?

This essay has the objective to show you how are Civilization, Culture and Language related and how can this affect us as future English teachers.

First of all, I am going to give some definitions about each topic and then I am going to make the relationship between those themes.

Civilization it is an organized culture in its social, political and economical area. In this way, civilization includes the social development of a country. All those definitions or characteristics tell us that civilization it is a "complex society" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilization). This means that each society has its own beliefs and manners that show us how are they.

When people talk about Culture, they automatically tend to relate this concept with civilization. Sometimes the word Culture is used as a synonym of Civilization, but it is important to say that those words are related but they have not the same meaning, so they are not synonyms.
I can say that Culture is the life style of a group of people and this include all their costumes, manners, knowledge, behavior, beliefs and language.

When I think about Language, I always relate it with the way of communication that everybody uses. Language includes all the "visual, auditory and tactile symbols" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language). Each person has his/her own way to communicate, especially if he or she is incapacitated. For example, if someone is deaf, he or she will use a different way to communicate, such as “the signal language”.

After all those definitions, and thinking about the relationship between Civilization and Language, I would like to say that the social development of a country that we can find in a civilization really affects the language, because if we do not have any development, how can we have a good use of the language?

About the relationship that exists between Culture and Language, I want to say that the cultural development of a group of people involves language development. For example, if I live in very poor conditions and I have not had opportunities to study, probably I will have a really poor vocabulary and use of the language, so it will be really difficult to create any relationship with different people, because you will not know how to say something. This happens because people from poor places have a different use of the language than people from rich places. This means that the development of a group of people affects all the sociocultural relationships and obviously affects the language development. When I think about Language, I immediately relate it with the cultural identity of a country. In summary culture is expressed by language.

If think about all those aspects, but related with teaching, especially with English classes, I can see that all those things really affect teaching, because English, is a language, and in this case, it is a foreign language for us. So I wonder, what would happen if you want to teach English but to poor people? I think that it would be difficult, because they are involved in an unprivileged environment, so their cultural and economical development it is not good, and probably they will not have money to buy some things that could be necessary to study.

As I said before, cultural development affects language development that involves sociocultural relationships. We as future teachers, we should pay attention to those aspects, because obviously this affects language development, and I think that this should not be an impediment to learn a second language, and in this case, English.

Another important aspect is that human being is a social person who is always learning by imitating other people; they imitate their manners and everything that is in their environment so we should be careful in this aspect because if someone has bad manners this will not be useful for the rest of the people.

In summary, I want to say that civilization it is not the same as culture, but civilization it is an organized culture; that is why both themes are really related. As they are related, they can really affect language development. I can also say that in poor conditions it is really difficult to teach something if you do not have enough tools to teach, you should look for them, in order to make a good job, teaching English.