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Cultural Linguistics Applied

Trends, Directions and Implications

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Edited By Arne Peters and Neele Mundt

This book offers a range of empirically-based case studies in the field of cultural linguistics and neighbouring disciplines such as intercultural pragmatics and language pedagogy. The first section explores intercultural communication and cross-linguistic/cross-cultural investigations in settings such as Brazil, Nigeria, Cameroon, Tanzania, Morocco, France and Canada. The second section focuses on applications of cultural linguistics in the field of foreign language teaching. By drawing on English as a Foreign Language and English as a Second Language contexts, the case studies presented further examine the ramification of cultural linguistics in the language classroom, enabling a better understanding of culture-specific conceptual differences between learners’ first and target language(s).

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Flexibility, complexity, diversity: Teaching for intercultural communication in the ELF-oriented classroom (Christie Heike)

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Christie Heike

Flexibility, complexity, diversity: Teaching for intercultural communication in the ELF-oriented classroom

1.Introduction

One of the major challenges of preparing learners for intercultural communication in English courses aimed at teaching English for use as a lingua franca (ELF) is the great diversity of cultures and linguacultures which learners must be prepared to encounter beyond the classroom:

Given the variety and heterogeneity of English use in such settings, a user or learner of English could not be expected to have a knowledge of all the different cultural contexts of communication they may encounter and even less so the [linguacultures] of the participants in this communication. (Baker 2012: 65)

Equally challenging is the task of helping learners to develop an awareness of the complex and fluid nature of the relationship between culture and language as it has been described in research into intercultural communication in ELF settings (cf. Baker 2009, 2015). This research has shown that cultural differences rarely cause miscommunication in ELF talk (cf. House 1999; Mauranen 2006, 2007; Kaur 2011). Rather, speakers engaged in ELF interaction seem to expend considerable energy to ‘put aside cultural difference and seek out or create common cultural forms and practices that can contribute to shared understanding and successful communicative outcomes’ (Kaur 2016: 149). Instead of assuming that cultural norms and practices they are familiar with will adhere, successful ELF users generally appear to suspend cultural expectations in favour of mediating and negotiating cultural...

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