Language And Language Learners : An Integral Part Of Foreign Language Learning

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Introduction Learning a language is about not only grammar, vocabulary or pronunciation. It is also a process of achieving the ability to communicate with people from other cultures, and the best way to improve that is to learn about culture and traditions of other countries. The knowledge of the conventions, customs, beliefs, and systems of meaning of another country, is indisputably an integral part of foreign language learning, and some researchers have seen it as their goal to incorporate the teaching of culture into the foreign language curriculum. Language reflects the cultural values of the society in which it is spoken; this is why second language learners need to be aware of culturally appropriate ways to address people, make requests, agree or disagree and express gratitude, especially since their own customary behavior and intonation may be perceived differently by members of differing cultures. It is essential to understand that in order to become a successful communicator; the language being used must parallel culturally appropriate behavior. In the last two decades, there has been a resurgence of interest in the study of language in relation to society, which has led to a shift of focus from behaviourism and positivism to constructivism to critical theory (Benson and Voller). Yet, according to Dimitrios Thanasoulas, “there are still some deeply ingrained beliefs as to the nature of language learning and teaching—beliefs that determine methodology as well as
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