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A Contrastive Study On Culturally-loaded Words & Expressions And Developing EFL Learners' Intercultural Communicative Competence

Posted on:2008-05-15Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:Y Y WuFull Text:PDF
GTID:2155360215971813Subject:Curriculum and pedagogy
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The study of intercultural communication, born in America in the1960's, pays close attention to cultural differences ranging from lexical level to pragmatic failure, nonverbal communication, rituals and customs, beliefs, and values. At home, the interest in the study of intercultural communication is mainly limited to the circle of language teaching with the most attention on the improvement of intercultural communicative competence.Hu Wenzhong, the domestic representative of this field, along with other scholars, began to introduce the foreign studies on intercultural communication into China in the 1980s. Since then many Chinese scholars and foreign language teachers have been working in this field and have tried to apply the findings in their research to FLT. The old grammar-based, teacher-centered, and text-focused way of teaching is being replaced by the new topic-based, student-centered, and competence-oriented approach. However, most teachers still put their attention mainly on the development of students' linguistic competence, such as pronunciation, structures. The typical teaching model is: read and explain new words, analyze text and deal with exercises. The consequence of such teaching method is that students soon feel tired of English, which greatly hinders their English proficiency. The current situation of college English teaching in China cannot meet the social needs of personnel capable of intercultural communication in the new century. Therefore, the college English teaching should aim to cultivate students' consciousness and enhance their intercultural communicative competence. Teachers and students should be aware of the importance of culture and realize second language learning is virtually second culture learning.This dissertation makes a contrastive study on cultural differences between America and China. This dissertation consists of six chapters.Chapter I serves as an introduction, which gives the goal and the importance of this study, and the basic organization of this dissertation.Chapter II defines culture, and examines the characteristics of culture and the relationship between language and culture. It even defines culturally-loaded words & expressions, classifies them and defines intercultural communicative competence and gives the components of it.Chapter III, the core of this dissertation, focuses on cultural similarities and differences in English and Chinese cultures. The study explicates the importance of teaching and learning culture especially the contrastive analysis of culturally-loaded words & expressions.Chapter IV investigates the status of Contemporary Students'Intercultural Communicative Competence. The findings indicate that there are many unexpected problems in the understanding and learning of English culturally-loaded words & expressions among Chinese college students. They do not truly master the cultural connotation load in these words & expressions and tend to confuse them with their Chinese equivalents. This phenomenon results from two factors. One is that English teachers do not pay due attention to the introduction of cultural differences in vocabulary in their teaching practice, and the other is that the students themselves have not developed effective learning methods.Chapter V makes several suggestions according to the investigations in the former chapter. It includes how to develop students'intercultural communicative competence, and how to lead the contrastive methods into English teaching especially the teaching of culturally-loaded words & expressions.Chapter VI is a conclusion, which summarizes the dissertation and gives the limitations.
Keywords/Search Tags:culture, culturally-loaded words & expressions, contrastive study, intercultural communicative competence
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