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The Cultural Context in Foreign Language Teaching

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Edited By Martin Pütz

The present book is a collection of selected papers held at the 23rd International LAUD Symposium on «The Cultural Context in Communication Across Languages» (26-31 March 1997) in Duisburg, Germany. The papers included in this volume highlight several aspects pertaining to the cultural dimension of foreign language teaching and learning. The topics covered range from theoretical accounts on text, language, and culture through to empirically-based aspects of non-native discourse as well as sociolinguistic and cultural awareness in foreign language teaching. Finally, the volume brings together contributions from a wide variety of languages and cultural settings.
The Cultural Context in Foreign Language Teaching will interest students of educational linguistics and language pedagogy, intercultural communication and discourse analysis.

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Section 2: Lexico-grammatical and conversational issues in non-native discourse 53

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Section 2: Lexico-grammatical and conversational issues in non-native discourse This page intentionally left blank What is behind a word: Cultural scripts Carlos Inchaurralde 1. What is there in a word? When faced with the task of teaching vocabulary to students of a foreign lan- guage, we very often ask ourselves what kind of infonnation we should provide to them. Our ideal goal is to make them use vocabulary in the same way as a proficient native speaker does. However, this is not easy, since the procedure for doing so and, most importantly, the experiential path the learner follows are completely different from those of a native user. Learning a word means learning a complex symbolic structure with many dif- ferent levels. This process goes beyond a simple match fonn-meaning, as has been emphasised by many authors of FLT methodology. Taylor (1990: 1-3), for instance, tells us that knowing a word means knowing all the following aspects: • The frequency of a word, i.e. the degree of probability of finding it in a given text. • The register of the word, i.e. the limitations of its use according to changes of function and situation. • The collocations of the word. Taylor means by this not so much the syn- tactic behaviour as the network of associations with other words, be they syntactic or semantic. • The morphology of the word, i.e. the underlying fonn and its derivations. • The semantics of the word, i.e. denotations, definitions, synonyms, anto- nyms, and other kinds of meaning relations. • The...

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