EIL3110 - English as an international language: Language and culture
6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL
Undergraduate Faculty of Arts
Leader(s): Dr Farzad Sharifian
Clayton First semester 2009 (Day)
This unit examines the complex relationship between language and culture focusing particularly on the multilingual perspective of the students. When students are from a non-English-speaking background they are expected to master much more than a body of information expressed in a different language; they meet, in addition, a whole world of cultural presuppositions. In our diverse cultures we learn to interpret the world differently, to adopt different patterns of thinking and to reflect all of these in our language in a variety of ways. The unit explores how the English language embodies the attitudes and behaviours which reflect its culture, in speech and in writing.
At the completion of this unit it is expected that students, as multilingual speakers, will be able to:
- Understand how English reflects attitudes and behaviours, which are culturally determined in both speech and writing.
- Identify the relationship between culture and knowledge and its realization in language.
- Appreciate how different worldviews are realised in language.
- Have a deeper understanding of the complex relationships between language and culture and how this affects the multilingual speaker.
- Explore how English as a language system can convey and uphold unequal social power relationships.
- Understand the power of the discourse community to shape world views through the various registers and genres associated with particular contexts.
- Understand how the cultural dimension of figurative language might affect multilingual speakers writing in English.
- Identify some of the cultural features within the use of metaphor as a means of social communication.
- Understand some of the cross-cultural influences that have changed ways in which meaning can shape the message in fiction through the voices of the multilingual writer writing in English.
- Identify some of the culture influences that affect the organization of the text, meaning and content and how this applies to a multicultural dimension of English.
- Reflect on their own writing practices within a wide range of functional and creative texts.
- Consider their previous language experience in relation to the culturally determined structures, organization and language choices made in both spoken and written text in English.
Written work: 60%
Oral presentation: 10%
Class participation: 10%
Faculty of Arts second language entry criteria