(SKKN mới NHẤT) cross cultural factors affecting do luong 3 high school students’english reading copprehension problems and solusions

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1 CHAPTER INTRODUCTION 1.1 Rationale of the study Along with the development of Applied Linguistics and Psycholinguistics, the American scholar, Goodman [13] negated the traditional reading theory and posed a “psycholinguistic reading model”, which considers that reading is not the process of passive decoding and reading literally any more Rather it is the process of active “guessing – confirming” and interaction between the readers and the reading contents In English learning, the linguistic knowledge elements play a vital role in RC, mastering linguistic knowledge of phonetics, vocabulary and grammar is helpful to decode the word symbols However, in the process of reading, many Vietnamese students already possess the above knowledge but they still cannot comprehend the texts completely because the meanings of words are acquired in a certain circumstance of culture “Every stage of comprehension involves reader’s background knowledge of culture (Anderson, [3, pg 14:369]).” Language is the carrier of culture, people's words and deeds reflect certain cultural connotation consciously or unconsciously Every social communication possesses its own certain thought pattern, value, custom, and way of life Therefore, if a Vietnamese student does not know about the English culture, such as histories, values, mode of thinking, customs, religion and life style, he may fail to understand the exact meaning of the texts so understanding the cultural content of what one reads is a crucial factor in RC From my personal observation and professional experience as a teacher of English at DL3 high school for six years, I have realized that, in spite of its importance, the cultural content is not really concerned by both students and teachers while studying reading lessons in textbooks The cultural knowledge remains unexplored and neglected in English reading learning and teaching process in this school That is why the great efforts made by teachers to improve the quality of English reading lessons can not help to meet the teaching goals and students have much trouble in comprehending of the reading texts in spite of achieving linguistic elements This can be seen that the marks in reading tests of almost DL3 high school students are rather low and many of them seem not to be interested in learning English reading lessons This has given rise to the question, “How can DL3 teachers improve the quality of reading lessons and help the students to get exact comprehension of reading texts?” And the following answer can be heard, “To teach reading texts in incorporation with the cultural knowledge.” But how can this be done? This issue has brought the researcher a great desire to conduct a research study to try to answer this question “ Crosscultural factors affecting Do luong high school students’english reading copprehension: Problems and solusions” The researcher conducts action research in order to examine cross-cultural factors that cause barriers in English RC for TIEU LUAN MOI download : skknchat@gmail.com students at DL3 high school as well as to give some suggestions for incorporating the cultural knowledge into reading lessons With this study, the researcher hopes to help students at DL3 high school to have a better RC skill 1.2 Scope of the study As mentioned above, to improve students’ RC in the classrooms at DL3 high school depends on many different factors Because of the limited time, it is impossible to cover all of these in this study The scope of this thesis is limited to a research on cross-cultural factors causing barriers in RC lessons in DL3 high school From these barriers, the internal and external causes are analyzed to give some suggestions for reducing them in order to improve students’ RC The study was conducted on the students of grade 10, 11, 12 at DL3 high school with the textbook “Tiếng Anh 10”, “Tiếng Anh 11”, and “Tiếng Anh 12” 1.3 Aims of the study The study aims at improving the students’ RC skills and cross-cultural background knowledge at DL3 high school To complete the overall aim, the following specific ones must be obtained: - Investigating the attitudes of students at DL3 high schools towards the importance of culture in English RC - Finding out the cross-cultural factors in students’ English RC process at DL3 high schools - Discovering students’ cross-cultural barriers to English RC in the classrooms, and suggest some solutions to reduce and eliminate them in order to achieve the exact comprehension 1.4 Research questions of the study This study is implemented to find answers to the following research questions What are typical cross cultural factors causing barriers in English RC at DL3 high school? What are the causes of these barriers? What are some suggestions for solutions? 1.5 Research methods of the study In order to get the goals of the study, this study is conducted action research that employs both quantitative and qualitative approaches to collect data With this action research, the quantitative analyses are through the process of data collected from pre-test and post-test, pre-questionnaire and post-questionnaire In addition, the qualitative approach is employed to deal with the data gathered from follow-up interviews that are made to help the researcher interpret the questionnaire data TIEU LUAN MOI download : skknchat@gmail.com more accurately to collect exact information and evidence for the study The combination of these data collection methods will help the author achieve the aims of the study All comments, remarks, suggestions, and conclusions provided in the study are based on the results of the data analysis 1.6 Significance of the study Even though cross-cultural factors in English RC are necessary for most English learners, it is surprising that there is not much investigation into these This research provides an insight into cross-cultural factors that cause barriers in English RC that most of the Vietnamese students who are studying English encounter * Theoretical aspect: It is hopefully expected that this study would make a small contribution to help teachers and students realize the essential role of the crosscultural background knowledge in their reading lessons More importantly, the findings of the study are believed to identify cross-cultural barriers from crosscultural elements From this, to give some suggestions for solutions * Practical aspect: with the results of the study, it is hoped that teachers and students would find the best ways to incorporate cross-cultural knowledge in their reading lessons TIEU LUAN MOI download : skknchat@gmail.com CHAPTER 2: THEORETICAL BACKGROUND 2.1 RC skills and their position in English language teaching 2.1.1 What is reading? In our daily life, we spend time reading books, newspapers, novels or stories because we find them interesting and useful When reading, we understand the texts, we analyze and find its meaning, give out meaningful conclusion But no one can define exactly what reading is This question attracts much attention and researchers have defined reading in various ideas According to Goodman [13, pg.135]: “Reading is a psycholinguistics process by which the reader, a language user, reconstructs, as best as he can, a message which has been encoded by a writer as a graphic display” Goodman thought that this act of reconstruction is viewed as “a cyclical process of sampling, predicting, testing and confirming.” One more definition of reading is offered by Allen [2] and Vallete [44 pg.249] They thought that: “reading is developmental process” We learn reading not only to know how to read, to master the symbols, the language, grammar, etc used in the text but also to understand the ideas, the information expressed in that text or to develop the ability reconstructing its contents in our own words In short, from these opinions above, it is clear that no one can give all the ideas and features of what reading is Each definition reflects what reading means as seen from the scholar’s own view However, all definitions reveal their common feature that is the nature of reading Moreover, the definition “reading is understanding of the author’s thought” seem to be preferable We- the readers read the author’s mind not the author’s words 2.1.2 What is RC? RC plays an important part in learning a foreign language RC can be understood as the ability to get the required information from the text as efficiently as possible In the reading process, there are three elements appearing: the text being read, the background knowledge of the reader and the contextual aspects relevant for interpreting the text Swain [41, pg:1] stated that: “When we say a student is good at comprehension we mean that he can read accurately and efficiently, so as to get the maximum information a text with the minimum of understanding” In the same view, Richard [36, p.9] claims that: “RC is best described as an understanding between the author and the reader” Sharing these ideas, Grellet [14] takes the point that “RC or understanding a written text means extracting the required information from it as effectively as possible” These above opinions are not exactly the same, but they all show that reading is much more than just pronouncing words correctly or simply knowing TIEU LUAN MOI download : skknchat@gmail.com what the author intends It is a process in which the readers (as they read) can recognize the graphic form and understand the relation between the writing and the meaning In the other words, after reading, students can find the way to bettering their grammar, words, pronunciation and can understand the content of the text and use it in their real life as effectively as possible Therefore, it is important for us to understand what RC is For the teachers who teach reading, a profound understanding about the nature of RC may help them find out the students’ difficulties of learning reading 2.1.3 The position of RC skills in English language teaching and learning Learning a foreign language is a process which requires learners to integrate many language skills Learners of a second or foreign language may rarely find chances to communicate with native speakers orally, but they can read different texts in different subjects with varying degrees of detail and difficulty It is generally accepted nowadays that reading is a key skill for most students learning a foreign language and that it should, therefore, take place along side the development of oral ability in the school program From time to time, reading itself has proved its importance in daily life as well as in teaching and learning a foreign language And from our experience in real life, we find reading quite important Its importance is also confirmed by many linguistics It is obvious that reading is a means by which further learning takes place Reading is, in addition, an important way of expanding the students’ receptive knowledge of a language, and in terms of classroom activities, it is an effective way of stimulating students to talk, write and listen Being well informed by reading, learners can have stable background knowledge, wide vocabulary and much information so that they will feel self- confident to share opinions and communicate with others Moreover, listening will be easier if learners listen to the topic they have read because when listening, learners have to face up with many new words of a certain topic Only by reading can they enrich their vocabulary so that they will not be stuck with new words, and they can understand the listening easily In short, RC plays a vital role in teaching and learning a foreign language 2.2 The relationship between culture and language 2.2.1 Definitions of culture The concept of `culture` is something that everybody implicitly understands but nobody can define precisely A lot of time can be spent on trying to give a precise definition of the word According to some eminent scholars define the term “culture” as follows: According to Hinkel [16] the popular definition of “culture” refers only to that part of culture that is visible and easily discussed This can include the TIEU LUAN MOI download : skknchat@gmail.com folklore, the literature, the arts, the architecture, styles of dress, cuisine, customs, festivals, traditions, and the history of a particular people Peck [35] refers to culture as; culture is all the accepted and patterned ways of behaving of a given people It is the facet of human life learned by people as a result of belonging to some particular group; it is that part of learned behaving shared with others For Goodenough ([12, pg 258-259]), culture…consists of standards for deciding what is, standards for deciding what can be, standards for deciding how one feels about it, standards for deciding what to about it, and standards for deciding how to go about doing it Clearly, culture is a ubiquitous force, forging our identities and our relationships with other things and individuals 2.2.2 Language and culture Language is the product of culture One important instrument of cultural expression is language Language is a part of culture and plays a very important role in it Without language, culture would not be possible On the other hand, language is influenced and shaped by culture; it reflects culture The relationship between language and culture is deeply rooted Language is used to maintain and convey culture and cultural ties “Culture is in language, and language is loaded with culture” (Agar, [1, pg 28]) Brown [4] puts that culture is a “deeply ingrained part of our being and language is the most visible and available feature of culture” The thought and behaving of a society is the aggregate of the thought and behaving of individuals, which itself is shaped by culture; thus on a very practical level culture is the force that makes communication between individuals through language possible “Culture and language are so tightly related that may be regarded as parts of the same thing Obviously, no language can survive in isolation and no civilization can be built up without language Cultural changes tend to occur along with changes in language; the two proceed reinforcing each other” (Krishnawamy, [26]) In other words we can conclude that language and culture are intricately interwoven to one another and cannot be separated 2.2.3 The role of culture in language teaching and learning Linguistic competence alone is not enough for learners of a language to be competent in that language (Krasner, [25]) Language is rooted in culture and culture is reflected and passed on by language from one generation to the next From this, one can see that learning a new language involves the learning of a new culture Consequently, teachers of a language are also teachers of culture (Byram [5]) As Holmes [20, pg 275]:) points out, “Learning another language usually involves a great deal more than learning the literal meaning of the words, how to put them together, how to pronounce them We need to know what they mean in the cultural context in which they are normally used And that involves some TIEU LUAN MOI download : skknchat@gmail.com understanding of the cultural and social norms of their users” Culture and teaching language cannot be separated, thus culture must be recognized as an important area in language learning and teaching If languages are taught without their cultures, students are only the strangers who aren’t familiar with the target languages It is important to mention that cultural elements of the target language should be taught carefully To emphasize the importance of culture in learning and teaching foreign languages Eli Hinkel [16] has said,” Applied linguists and language teachers have become increasingly aware that the second or foreign language can rarely be learnt, or taught, without addressing the culture of the community in which it is used This can be with the idea that culture plays an important role in teaching and learning language.” From these above ideas of culture, it can be said that cultural content is a key to effective teaching and learning a second or foreign language Necessarily, students cannot master the language unless they have mastered the cultural contexts in which the language occurs It is actually hard for language learners to communicate well without knowledge of culture such as codes of behaviors, and different beliefs, etc The facts have shown that some breakdowns in communication between inter-collators have been caused just by cultural misunderstandings For example, when an Asian communicates with an American or Westerner, they take no care of eye contact unless they know direct eye contact is considered as conveying honesty in English cultures What would happen if someone knew the expressions of greetings very well but, with an inadequate knowledge of culture, he didn’t know how to response “how are you?” , or even how to shake hands in business? It is easy to fail in learning English if learners are not provided with cultural values Therefore, teaching and learning language, separated from knowing culture, can not be done properly As a result, this is the reason why we can come to the conclusion that teaching and learning language are more than teaching and learning a system of syntax and lexicon 2.3 The cross-cultural background knowledge of and the English RC 2.3.1 The role of the cross-cultural background knowledge in English RC Foreign language learners are generally less proficient in the cross-cultural background information during their reading processes It is assumed that there is a high degree of relationship between reader’s prior background knowledge and the text Schema theory, a psycholinguistic model, emphasizes that RC is an interactive process between the reader’s previous background knowledge and the text According to the theory, EFL readers’ RC is not only due to how easy or difficult a text is for them but more depends on the level of readers’ recall from their culturally familiar background knowledge and from the contextual clues about cultural origins (Carrell, [6]) TIEU LUAN MOI download : skknchat@gmail.com For a long time, in Vietnam, English teaching has just focused on the language forms such as phonetics, vocabulary and grammar and ignored the effect of background knowledge of culture As the carrier of culture, the cultural background of language is rather extensive Lacking of the necessary cultural background may hinder people from comprehending language For instance, when the president Reagan took up his post, an American wrote to a Vietnamese teacher: “the United States has gone from peanuts to popcorn” The syntax of this sentence is very simple However, the Vietnamese teacher did not understand the sentence at that time until her friend explained to her that former president Jimmy Carter owned a big peanut farm while the present president Reagan is an actor and people eat popcorn while they watch TV She suddenly realized the real humorous meaning of this sentence From this case, we can see that to comprehend the language, not only depends on the comprehension of vocabulary and grammatical structures, but also depends on the comprehension of relevant background knowledge of culture 2.3.2 Cross-cultural factors in English RC The differences of cross-cultural background in English RC can be classified as the following aspects * Historical Culture Historical culture refers to the culture that is formed by the developing process of certain history and social heritage which varies between nations at often times In the process of cross-cultural reading, we often meet the comprehension barriers that are caused by such differences of historical cultures * Regional Culture Regional culture, here, refers to the culture that can be shaped by natural conditions and geographical environment of an area These effects on culture may lend themselves to creating comprehension barriers to Vietnamese students of English reading For example, Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art lovelier and more temperate This poem is a part of Shakespeare’s sonnet 18 He compared the lover to a summer’s day, which is difficult for Vietnamese students to understand Only knowing some relevant geographical knowledge, can they get real understanding of this sonnet As Britain is a high latitude country, the average summer temperature is about 20 degrees and the daytime is very long, from about o’clock in the morning to about 10 o’clock at night Therefore, the summer in Britain is pleasantly cool and delightful It is obviously different from the hot summer of most regions in Vietnam, especially, in the north of Vietnam, where the hot summer is very hard to endure and causes people to feel unhappy *Social Culture TIEU LUAN MOI download : skknchat@gmail.com Language is an important component of culture, the existence and development of language are influenced by society, and the social phenomenon and vocabulary of a certain historical periods reflect the objective history of society Such vocabulary may confuse foreign readers 2.4 Cross-cultural teaching and learning in foreign language instruction In learning English, especially in learning reading, students are required with not only the knowledge of language system but also the understanding of the culture carried in the target language If not, misunderstanding caused by cultural barriers may occur So the most effective way to avoid this misunderstanding is that teachers should motivate the students’ curiosity and sensitivity over the crosscultural knowledge in the classroom 2.4.1 When should the study of culture begin? Should culture be postponed until students can study it in the target language? Will special emphasis upon culture be wasteful of precious class time? Should cultural materials be postponed until students have greater maturity and greater language competence? Ideally, the study of culture should begin on the very first day of class and should continue every day The concept of culture should be communicated to students in the earliest phases of their instruction in order to lessen their difficulties in mastering the language, and help them communicate effectively 2.4.2 The principles for culture teaching Like teaching other aspects in foreign language instruction, culture teaching requires systematic development of its teaching principles Principles for culture teaching are mentioned in a number of studies and Kramsch’s [23] list may be considered one of the most noticeable Her principles of teaching culture led to a new way of looking at the teaching of language and culture These include: - Establishing a sphere of inter-culture, which means that teaching culture is not transferring information between cultures but a foreign culture should be put in relation with one’s own The intercultural approach includes a reflection on both cultures - Teaching culture as an interpersonal process, which means replacing the teaching of facts and behaviors by the teaching of a process that helps to understand others - Teaching culture as difference, which means considering the multi-cultures and multi-ethnicity of modern societies and looking at various factors like age, gender, regional origin, ethnic background, and social class In other words, cultures should not be seen as monolithic - Crossing disciplinary boundaries, which means linking the teaching of culture to other disciplines like anthropology, sociology and semiology TIEU LUAN MOI download : skknchat@gmail.com 10 Kramsch [35] concludes that: “These lines of thought lay the ground for a much richer understanding of culture than heretofore envisaged by the majority of language teachers” Other approaches, such as the theme-based approach, the problem-oriented approach, the skill-centered approach, may be classified as the comparative approach to the teaching of culture as they deal with an element of comparison during the teaching The theme-based approach is based around certain themes which are seen as typical of a culture, for example: family, education, religion, honor, ceremony…Though mono-cultural by nature, it tries to show the relationships and values in a given culture and encourage students to compare it with the other However, it is sometimes supposed that the theme-based approach provides learners with a segmented view of the target culture It might be difficult for them to see individual people and understand social processes and values from this perspective and could lead to stereotyping The problem-oriented approach is aimed at getting learners interested in the other culture and encourages them to some research on their own According to Seelye [38, pg 47]:), the teacher plays a very important role in defining the problem that interests learners He claims that the more precise a problem is, the easier it is for a learner to reach the desired outcome The result of student research should be a report, either written or presented orally The skill-centered approach differs from the above-mentioned approaches in the sense that it is more practical and might be useful for those who need to live within the target-language community By developing learners’ skills which are needed for managing the issues involved in miscommunication between cultures, the skill-centered approach emphasizes their similarities as well as differences 2.5 Culture-based activities The aim of culture-based activities is to increase students’ awareness and to develop their curiosity towards the target culture and their own, helping them make comparisons among cultures These comparisons are not meant to underestimate any of the cultures being analysed, but to enrich students’ experience and to make them aware that although some cultural elements are being globalized, there is still diversity among cultures This diversity should then be understood and respected Culture-based activities are derived from language material being taught and learnt and constitutes a minor but important part of the language lessons Cultural information may be introduced to students through different activities such as cultural aside, cultural capsule, quiz, culture assimilator, critical incidents and student research As teaching culture is not the primary objective in English classes in Vietnam and it is aimed at developing students’ cross-cultural awareness, the activities selected in this study are supposed to help integrate culture into reading teaching TIEU LUAN MOI download : skknchat@gmail.com 34 For example: English Rice Vietnamese Lúa English Gạo Cơm Noodle Vietnamese Chá o Bún Canh Miến phở Mỳ tôm - One English word has many Vietnamese equivalent meanings which are different, even opposite English Vietnamese Expect Kỳ vọng (positive meaning) Dự kiến (negative meaning) - The storm is expected to hit Thanh Hoa (negative meaning) - He is expected to get the first prize (positive meaning) English Dress Vietnamese Mặc(áo Đeo (kính) Đi (dép) Đội (mũ) ) - One Vietnamese word has many English equivalent meanings Vietnamese English Vietnamese English Khán giả Viewer Audience Spectator Vấn đề Trouble Problem Matter issue * The numbers of equivalents of English and Vietnamese are the same There is one equivalent word in Vietnamese to an English word, but the meaning extent of two words are not exactly the same One reason may be is that the meaning extent of English vocabulary is larger than that of Vietnamese vocabulary For instance: - “Morning” in English refers to time section from midnight (zero hour) to twelve o’clock in twenty-four hours’ system, but in Vietnamese, morning refers to the time section from dawn to noon Another situation is that the meaning extent of English vocabulary is smaller than that of Vietnamese vocabulary For instance: TIEU LUAN MOI download : skknchat@gmail.com 35 In English culture, “family” usually refers to the family of two generations including parents and children, even refers to the family of a couple, which does not want children However, in Vietnamese, the “family” often refers to the family of three generations including grandparents, parents and children; sometimes it even refers to the family of four generations * One English word has one Vietnamese equivalent translation but different meaning English Problem(negative meaning only) Vietnamese Vấn đề (both positive and negative meaning) English On the other hand (showing contrast) Vietnamese Mặt khác (additional idea) * English words can find the equivalent in Vietnamese but these two kinds of cultures give each word different cultural association within society For example, the red color, in English culture, red stands for danger, but in Vietnamese, red for victory and fortune The blue color, in English, means depression or sorrow such as “in a blue mode” “a blue outlook” but in Vietnamese blue implies hope In short, for students who are learning English, it is essential that know not only the conceptual meaning of vocabularies, but also the cultural information the vocabularies have with them and otherwise serious misunderstanding can occur in comprehension of the text meaning Grammar Cross-cultural barriers not only exist in the abundant vocabulary, but also exist in the aspect of grammar English is language governed by strict rules and regulations However, Vietnamese grammar is very flexible The typical cross-cultural barriers can be seen clearly in comparing the English passive voice and the English tenses with the Vietnamese equivalents In English, the passive sentence, itself does not convey the negative or positive meaning This causes barriers for Vietnamese students when they want to comprehend a reading text containing a lot of passive sentences They not know how to interpret the sentence towards negative form “bị” or positive form “được” if they not understand the certain context as well as cultural senses hidden inside that context TIEU LUAN MOI download : skknchat@gmail.com 36 Pragmatics ` In term of pragmatics, the meaning of the sentence is often implied inside the unwritten one This is the contextual meaning, that depends a lot on the readers’ background knowledge In English, although the word and its meaning are almost the same, the sentence that is composed of the vocabulary expresses different meaning This is very hard for Vietnamese students to understand For example, He is a professional She is a professional From the angle of language, the two sentences above describe a person who is engaged in a kind of specific profession Actually, from the perspectives of region, sex, profession and society, the first sentence means that he is a professional boxer, but the later may mean that she is a prostitute Vietnamese students often meet comprehension barriers while reading English proverbs because the proverbs contain abundant connotations of culture For instance; an Englishman’s home is his castle; A woman, a dog and a walnut tree, the more you beat them, the better they be In the first proverb, according to English culture, everyone’s home is sacred and cannot be infringed In ancient Britain, even the police could not enter one’s house to make an arrest In the second proverb, we know that in ancient Britain, a woman’s status was very low, such that they were considered to be tractable just like a dog But how the walnut tree be such an integrated part of this proverb? It is because there was a superstition in ancient Britain People considered that if they beat the trunk of the walnut tree in spring, the tree would bear many more walnuts in that year Texts are another aspect of cultural phenomenon There are many differences between the texts of English and Vietnamese Firstly, in English, as texts are influenced by thought patterns, there are logic and coherence relationships between the sentences and paragraphs, such as the sentences that express time relationship, space relationship, comparison and diversion, inference and conclusion Secondly, language forms (including the using of repeat, synonym and the parallel structures), the means of connection (such as substitution, ellipsis and anaphora) and logic arrangement combine together to influence the structures of texts, and these three aspects are different from Vietnamese Take metaphor for examples: as quiet as a mouse, in English, people use a mouse to compare with silence On the contrary, in Vietnamese, people use as quiet as a rice to express the same meaning Vietnamese culture is an example of subjectivity while English speaking countries have objectivity In Vietnamese culture , the ego is at the center of universe When reading, the reader knows where the speaker is In English TIEU LUAN MOI download : skknchat@gmail.com 37 speaking culture, the ego is among other things in the universe When reading, not care or know where the writer is - Anh tắm sông - Họ chèo thuyền sông Dưới sông/trên sông: On the river - Đi lên bộ/ Đi xuống sở Đi lên /Đi xuống : Go to From what has been discussed above, cross-cultural barriers conceal many aspects of language Understanding the social culture of English language is helpful for comprehending English texts The more Vietnamese students understand English culture, the less comprehension barriers they will meet in English reading 5.1.2 The causes of the cross-cultural barriers The external causes To explain the cultural barriers appearing in vocabulary, language determinism in Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis (cited in Brown [4]) pointed out that language shapes or influence our thinking in different way to some extents The strong version in the constructive analysis hypothesis also showed that we are prisoners of our language we can only think and imagine what our language allows The constructive analysis hypothesis claimed that the principal barriers to second language acquisition are the interference of first language system with second language system These causes are seen clearly in the difference of regional culture that can be shaped by natural conditions and geographical environment of an area These effects on culture may lend themselves to creating comprehension barriers to English reading For example: Vietnamese does not eat much bread everyday so have only word “bánh mỳ” while the western have many names to call it or the Eskimo have 12 words to call “snow” because they are familiar with it The internal causes Besides the external causes including reader’s vocabulary and the knowledge of grammar and cross-cultural background, this study will also examine the internal causes This includes thought pattern and value as the two most essential ones * Thought patterns: Every foreign language learners naturally and easily apply their habits of mother language to foreign language mechanically Sometimes it works but sometimes it does not, because of the differences between mother language and foreign language The habits here refer to the thought patterns The TIEU LUAN MOI download : skknchat@gmail.com 38 differences of thought patterns are the main reason of causing cross-cultural barriers Formal logic thought and dialectical thought: English emphasizes formal logic thought, for example, the structure of sentence is inflexion In other words, they use every kind of connecting approaches to complete the grammatical form, while the Vietnamese focuses on dialectical thought, the expressive form of language is guided by meaning, and the sentence is loose These two different thought patterns between English and Vietnamese influence the connection of the text * Values: Some experts considered that in the view of philosophy, value is a very common concept It includes economy, politics, morality, art, religion, science, culture and even the common connotation and essence of gains and losses, kindness and evil, beauty and ugliness, pros and cons in every field of daily life Different cultures have different values There are many differences of value concepts between English and Vietnamese culturally based countries These differences cause varied thought patterns, standards of morality and behaviors * Individualism and collectivism: Individualism is the idea that the rights and freedom of the individual are the most important in the society The interests of the individual are considered to be more important than the interests of the group It is the outcome of historical development and traditional culture of the West On the contrary, Vietnamese emphasize collectivism The interests of the collectivism are considered to be more important than the interest of the individual They cherish the complete and stable family, maintain harmony and avoid confrontations Individualism is a legal right and freedom in English culture, which cannot be infringed by others So, there are plentiful English words contain the prefix of ego and self, such as ego analysis, egocentric, ego ideal, egoism, egoist, ego psychology; self-control, self-confidence, self-esteem, self-made, self-reliance, self-respect In conclusion, as language and culture combine together, Vietnamese students meet cross-cultural barriers of every aspect in the process of English reading Obviously, fundamental to text comprehension is the reader’s ability to master the language knowledge and understand the culture of the language 5.1 Some implications for a better RC Basing on the findings from the data analysis, the researcher would like to provide some suggestions as follows to bridge cultural gaps and improve the teaching and learning of RC skills in classrooms 5.2.1 To students As language and culture combine together, Vietnamese students meet crosscultural barriers of every aspect in the process of English reading Obviously, TIEU LUAN MOI download : skknchat@gmail.com 39 fundamental to text comprehension is the reader’s ability to master the language knowledge and understand the culture of the language The improvement of this ability is the main approach for reducing and even eliminating the cross-cultural barriers in the process of reading Here are some suggestions about how to deal with the difficulties in reading Firstly, to be successful in learning English, Students’ attitudes towards English need to be changed They should consider English as important as other subjects in the curriculum and appreciate the role of culture in studying English Most Vietnamese learners of English hold the view that the aim of English mainly lies in “passing an exam” When they are learning English, they usually focus on mastering of language knowledge and basic skills which are usually tested in exams As a result, though some English learners may have mastered the whole grammatical system, large vocabulary and standard pronunciation, they find it hard to follow a native speaker, can not speak fluently but read slowly or write with many mistakes The lack of cultural knowledge and neglect of cultural differences usually result in an inappropriate expression Secondly, Learners should raise their awareness of the importance of cultures in learning RC skills Not only linguistic units but also cultural knowledge convey the real meaning of the text Thirdly, Students’ role is no longer passive recipients As a foreign language learner, they can explore the cultural knowledge by themselves from different courses They should feel free to express their own ideas, to put questions to the teachers or to show their disagreement with their teachers He should not only learn the knowledge of language, but also try his best to contact the social and cultural aspects of English speaking countries and learn the background knowledge of literature, history, geography, local condition and customs He should use every means to enlarge his points of view Only in these ways, can he get better understanding of the differences between English culture and Vietnamese culture so as to eliminate the comprehension barriers of cross-culture communication and improve overall abilities in English reading 5.2.2 To the teachers Since cultural factors in English classroom have become a heated topic, cultural teaching becomes an important part is second language teaching Teachers should not only pass on knowledge of language but also enhance teaching of relative cultural background knowledge Knowledge of cultural background is also important Otherwise, misunderstanding and displeasure are inevitably aroused It seems to be teachers’ role that they must own certain basic understandings about language and culture When the awareness of culture is raised, teachers will be TIEU LUAN MOI download : skknchat@gmail.com 40 able to plan, create and adapt materials for effective reading class Language knowledge is various, but the teachers’ task is to bring it to the students and help them master it From the findings, the researcher suggests some possible ways for teachers to eliminate the difficulties as well as cross-cultural barriers in RC - To establish and strengthen the cultural sense Teachers should choose famous works and literary pieces of English culture as the reading materials as much as possible Many such works and literary pieces can be of high quality in terms of spiritual culture The more they learn from reading actual reading, they in English, it is hoped that the more that Vietnamese students of English reading will improve their reading abilities We should consciously combine the language teaching and cultural elements, such as to input the proper cultural knowledge while teaching Moreover, teachers should encourage and lead students to read more about the history, geography, local affair and customs of English culture In every stage and aspect of language learning, teachers should encourage students to discover cultural phenomenon and cultural connotation and often compare English and Chinese cultures and find out their differences to strengthen the sensitivity to the culture of the target language - To design specialized questions in plan for reading lessons containing crosscultural factors Questioning can be divided into three stages: (1) pre-reading The questions of this stage are the leading questions to stimulate students’ cultural knowledge of their mother language and interest in different cultures (2) while-reading Put forward one or two important questions before their reading and let them read with questions After their reading, teachers should put forward the analytical questions to stimulate students to analyze, synthesize and generalize the phenomenon of the different culture (3) post-reading Compare the cultures of mother language and English and put forward some subjective questions Teachers should lead students to rethink and discuss some questions of culture in the process of discussion Teachers should also encourage students to try their best to use the target language In this way, students will get deeper understanding of English culture - To design supplementary activities for developing students’ cross-cultural awareness in Vietnam As teaching culture is not the main purpose of teaching English in Vietnamese high schools, even when cross-cultural issues appeal a lot to teachers and students of English: there may be no timetable left for cultural classes In such cases, supplementary activities may be included in pre-, while- or post-teaching of the reading skills or they may serve as extra-curricular activities There is a great variety of activities for teaching culture in English classes, such as cultural aside, slice-of-life activity, culture assimilator, audio-motor unit, micrologue, drama, TIEU LUAN MOI download : skknchat@gmail.com 41 web quest, , the activities selected in this study are supposed to help integrate culture into language teaching Based on the objectives of teaching English in high schools, supplementary activities for culture teaching in reading lessons may fall into the following three groups: 5.3 To the textbook compilers It is highly recommended for the textbook compilers who have high expectations from teachers of English, to provide teachers more opportunities to improve their students’ cross-cultural awareness To meet this demand, teachers must be allowed to design a specialised plan for the reading lesson containing cross-cultural elements to help students to overcome cross-cultural barriers They can adapt the textbooks in order to be suitable to their own students’ levels Besides this, teacher’s books guide the teachers how to select the correct cultural context In conclusion, from the cultural perspective, I have identified the limited cultural background knowledge, learning attitudes and teaching style as the major factors which cause cross-cultural barriers in English RC classrooms within the Vietnam high school context It is also pointed out that to improve the teaching and learning of reading English, English teachers should gain a deeper understanding of undercurrent cultural conflicts and be able to show the differences and similarities among cultures TIEU LUAN MOI download : skknchat@gmail.com 42 CHAPTER CONCLUSION 6.1 Summary of the study This study has mentioned the relationship between language and culture, the cross-cultural factors in RC lessons, barriers caused by these factors and ways to solve these problems at DL3 high school Based on the instrumentation as tests, survey questionnaire and follow-up interviews, some important findings have been discovered From the data analysis, firstly, this study has argued that culture and language are inseparable part and therefore culture is relevant to the teaching and learning of a second language Language and culture are intertwined to such an extent that one cannot survive without the other It is impossible for one to teach language without teaching culture Secondly, almost all the students and teachers are aware of the important role of cross-cultural factors in RC lessons However, it also points out that the cultural difference gives rise to cultural problems To solve these problems is to make the situation better This study gives some suggestions for students, teacher as well as the textbook compilers In more detail to find solutions for these cross-cultural problems culture must be entirely integrated as a central component of reading learning English teachers should identify key cultural items in every aspect of the reading lesson that they teach and then incorporate them usefully into a lesson or a syllabus while teaching reading by giving supplementary activities for developing students’ crosscultural awareness In fact, getting over cultural difficulties has been considered to be of great help to the teaching and learning of RC skills With this study, the researcher hopes that it will make a small contribution to better the current situation of teaching and learning reading at DL3 high school 6.2 Conclusion In conclusion, the study has centered on cross-cultural elements in English reading teaching and learning with an effort to provide an understanding of crossculture in English language education for students at DL3 high school This thesis has shown a significant relationship between culrural background knowledge and English RC After providing background on cross-culture in the classroom and the pedagogical literature, the cross-cultural barriers were found out based on the analysis of the cross-cultural factors It was argued that the solutions for these problems are that the teaching of culture should become an integral part of foreign language instruction Teachers as well as learners should raise their awareness of the importance of the target language culture Cultural awareness should become an essential part of foreign language education Using the activities which stimulates cultural awareness will keep learners motivated and generate positive learning attitudes Only in this way, can we get better understanding of the differences among cultures so as to eliminate the comprehension barriers of crossculture communication and improve our overall abilities in English reading This leads to better language competence TIEU LUAN MOI download : skknchat@gmail.com 43 REFERENCES Agar, M (1994) Language Shock: Understanding Conversation New York the Culture of Allen, W.P (1977) Selecting reading material for foreign language students Rockville, Mt: English Language Survice Anderson RC (1997) Frame Works for Comprehending Discourse [J] American Educational Research Journal, (Pg 14: 369) Brown, H.D (1986) Learning a Second Language In Culture Bound Joyce Merrill Valdes (Ed) Cambridge University Press Byram, M (1997) Teaching and Assessing Intercultural Communicative Competence, Clevedon, Multilingual matters LTD Carrell, P.L (1984) Schema theory and ESL reading: Oxford: Oxford University Press Chastain, K (1988), Developing Second Language Skills Theory and Practice, Orlando, Florida: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishers Chamot,U.A (2004), “Issue in Language Learning Strategy Research and Teaching”, Electronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching’’ Vol.1, No.1, (Pg.14-26) Creswell, J W (2005) Educational research, planning, conducting and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research, Prentice Hall, New Jersey, 10 Ferrance, E (2000) Action Research Providence, RI: Brown University 11 Galloway, D (1985), Motivating the Difficult to Teach, Addision-Weslley Publication 12 Goodenough, W H (1963) Cooperation in Change New York: Russell Sage Foundation 13.Goodman, K.S, (1982) Reading a psycholinguistics guessing game In H Singer & B 14.Grellet, F (1981) Developing reading skills Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 15.Harmer, H (1989) The Practice of English language teaching Harlow: longman 16.Hinkle E.(1999) Culture in second Language Teaching and Learning Cambridge University Press 17.Hoàng Văn Vân (2006) Tiếng Anh 10, Nhà Xuất Giáo dục, Hà Nội TIEU LUAN MOI download : skknchat@gmail.com 44 18.Hoàng Văn Vân (2007), Tiếng Anh 11, Nhà Xuất Giáo dục, Hà Nội 19.Hoàng Văn Vân (2008), Tiếng Anh 12, Nhà Xuất Giáo dục, Hà Nội 20.Holmes, J (2001) An Introduction to Sociolinguistics (2nd edition) London: Longman 21.Jiang,W.( 2000) The Relationship between Cultureand Language ELT Journal 54/4 (Pg:328-334) 22.Kemmis, S and McTaggart eds (1988) The Action Research Planner, third edition Victoria: Deakin University 23.Kramsch, C (1993) Context and Culture in Language Teaching Oxford University Press 24.Kramsch, C (1998) Language and Culture Oxford: Oxford University Press 25.Krasner, I (1999), The role of culture in language teaching Dialogue on Language Instruction, 13(1-2), (Pg.79-88.) 26.Krishnawamy, Verma.N, Nagarajan.S.K (1992) Modern Applied Linguistics Macmillan India Limited 27.Mill, G.E (2003) Action Research: A Guide for the Teacher Researcher Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall 28.Nguyễn Văn Do, (2007) Language culture and society Nhà xuất Đại học Quốc gia, Hà Nội 29.Nguyễn Thùy Dương (2007) “How to cope with cultural obstacles to speaking English in the classroom?” Unpublished MA Dissertation, Đại học quốc gia Hà Nội 30.Nguyễn Quang (1983) Intercultural communication Nhà xuất Đại học Quốc gia, Hà Nội 31.Nostrand, H L (1974), Empathy for a Second Culture, Motivations and Techniques, Illinois: National Textbbok.3rd Edition,Lincolnwood, IL: National Textbook Company TIEU LUAN MOI download : skknchat@gmail.com SỞ GIÁO DỤC VÀ ĐÀO TẠO NGHỆ AN TRƯỜNG THPT ĐÔ LƯƠNG  TEACHING EXPERIENCE TOPIC: CROSS-CULTURAL FACTORS AFFECTING DO LUONG HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS’ ENGLISH READING COMPREHENSION: PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS Mơn: Anh văn Nhóm tác giả: Vương Trần Lê Nguyễn Tất Long Tổ: Ngữ Văn- Tiếng Anh ĐT: 0916668548- 0915715111 Đô Lương, tháng 12 năm 2021 TIEU LUAN MOI download : skknchat@gmail.com TEACHING EXPERIENCE TOPIC: CROSS-CULTURAL FACTORS AFFECTING DO LUONG HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS’ ENGLISH READING COMPREHENSION: PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS Môn: Anh văn Đô Lương, tháng 12 năm 2021 TIEU LUAN MOI download : skknchat@gmail.com TABLES OF CONTENTS Contents CHAPTER INTRODUCTION 1.1 Rationale of the study 1.2 Scope of the study 1.3 Aims of the study 1.4 Research questions of the study 1.5 Research methods of the study 1.6 Significance the study CHAPTER 2: THEORETICAL BACKGROUND 2.1 Reading comprehension skills and their position in English language teaching 2.1.1 What is reading? 2.1.2 What is reading comprehension? 2.1.3 The position of reading comprehension skills in English language teaching and learning 2.2 The relationship between culture and language 2.2.1 Definitions of culture: 2.2.2 Language and culture: 2.2.3 The role of culture in language teaching and learning 2.3 the cross- cultrural background knowledge of and English reading comprehension 2.3.1.The role of cross-cultural background knowledge in English reading comprehension 2.3.2 Cross-Cultural factors in English reading comprehension 2.4 Cross-cultural factor teaching and learning in foreign language instruction 2.4.2 The principles for culture teaching 2.5 Culture-based activities 2.5.1 Cultural aside Pages 1 2 2 4 4 5 6 7 9 10 11 2.5.2 Culture capsule 11 2.5.3.Quiz 11 2.5.4.Cultural assimilator 12 2.5.5 Critical incidents 13 2.5.6 Student research 13 CHAPTER THE STUDY 15 TIEU LUAN MOI download : skknchat@gmail.com 3.1 The setting of the study The syllabus 3.2 The participants 3.3 The research methods 3.3.1 The rationale for the use of action research 3.4 The instruments of data collection 3.4.1 The tests 3.4.2 The questionnaire 3.4.3 The interviews 3.5 The procedures CHAPTER 4: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 4.1 The test results 4.2 The questionnaire results 4.3 The interview results CHAPTER 5: FINDINGS AND SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR SOLUTIONS 5.1 Findings 5.1.1 Linguistic barriers in relation to cross-culture in the English Vocabulary Grammar Pragmatics 5.1.2.The causes of the cross-cultural barriers The external causes The internal causes 5.1 Some implications for a better reading comprehension skill 5.2.1 To students 5.2.2 To the teachers 5.3 To the textbook compilers CHAPTER CONCLUSION 6.1 Summary of the study 6.2 Conclusion REFERENCES 15 15 15 16 16 18 18 19 19 19 21 21 25 30 32 32 32 32 34 35 36 36 36 37 37 38 40 41 41 41 42 TIEU LUAN MOI download : skknchat@gmail.com ... Conclusion REFERENCES 15 15 15 16 16 18 18 19 19 19 21 21 25 30 32 32 32 32 34 35 36 36 36 37 37 38 40 41 41 41 42 TIEU LUAN MOI download : skknchat@gmail.com ... of and English reading comprehension 2 .3. 1.The role of cross- cultural background knowledge in English reading comprehension 2 .3. 2 Cross- Cultural factors in English reading comprehension 2.4 Cross- cultural. .. 2021 TIEU LUAN MOI download : skknchat@gmail.com TEACHING EXPERIENCE TOPIC: CROSS- CULTURAL FACTORS AFFECTING DO LUONG HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS’ ENGLISH READING COMPREHENSION: PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS Môn:
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