The Importance Of Second Culture

1717 Words7 Pages
Introduction
The “American Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century” considers language to be “the primary vehicle for expressing cultural perspectives” and affirms that “the study of a language provides opportunities for students to develop insights in a culture that are available in no other way” (the language educator, ACTFL, 32) It implies that teaching or learning a second language goes with teaching or learning a second culture. Language acquisition is then implied to be culture acquisition. According to the ACTFL standards, “the true content of the foreign language course is not the grammar and vocabulary of the language, but the cultures expressed through that language.” We are then tempted to raise questions on the cultural identity of fluent bilingual speakers or polyglots. If learning a second language is learning or acquiring a second culture, does proficiency in a second language rhyme with proficiency in a second culture? If this can be answered yes, how do learners manage their first culture in their process to second language and culture proficiency?
With this mobile modern world, people easily cross language barriers. It is much easier to reach proficiency level in many languages in few years. If language goes with culture, that proficiency should normally mean proficiency in second cultures. So, a polyglot who is proficient in four languages should be proficient in four different cultures. If this hypothesis is true, it would be good to
Get Access