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Language And Language: The Development Of Language Teaching And Learning

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Theoretical background
Language is the system by which people express their perceptions of the world using symbols, gestures and sounds that are shared and understood in their specific groups or locations. The way people communicate those ideas is totally influenced by the culture. The concept of culture encompasses all the characteristics that define a specific group in terms of values, traditions, beliefs, history, etc. expressed through language. Culture and language are, therefore, two concepts whose interconnection cannot be denied or neglected, even more when one is learning a new language. Over the years, researchers have concluded that foreign languages are learned considering the grammar structures and/or the linguistic skills that students have to develop to be effective when communicating. However, Widdowson (1978) argued that “Someone knowing a language knows more than how to understand, speak, read and write sentences. He also knows how sentences are used to communicative effect” (p.1). In this sense, the development of cultural understanding in language learning also remains to be essential for the acquisition of it.
Delimiting the notion of culture is an arduous task due to the several definitions that have been proposed
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The way people perceive the world and interact depends on the culture they have been exposed to, so learning a different language implies learning a different culture, and therefore, learning different ways to see the world. This fact is especially important considering communication as one of the main objectives in FL learning. When students have the opportunity to engage in conversations outside the classroom with people from different cultural backgrounds -and they lack awareness of their cultural background - there may be misunderstandings that can lead to
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