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The impact of culture on social, linguistic and culture interactions By: David Aguayo EDUC 604 Prof: E. Lugo.

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Presentation on theme: "The impact of culture on social, linguistic and culture interactions By: David Aguayo EDUC 604 Prof: E. Lugo."— Presentation transcript:

1 The impact of culture on social, linguistic and culture interactions By: David Aguayo EDUC 604 Prof: E. Lugo

2 Objectives After discussing these concepts the participants will be able to: – Understand the dimensions of culture. – Understand the relationship between culture and social interactions. – Understand the relationship between culture and linguistic interactions. – Relate to the cultural symbols of their own cultures.

3 Introduction This presentation aims to discuss the impact that culture has on social, linguistic and culture interactions. Being teachers of the English language, this is a matter of importance to us because language and culture influence each other. Being Spanish the first language of most of our students we should learn strategies to help them acquire not only the linguistic aspects of the English language but also the cultural aspects of it, giving them a more complete experience in the classroom.

4 Definition of culture: Culture can be defined as a way of life. No matter where people live, their behaviors and thoughts follow and are generally based on their own cultures. Culture establishes a context of cognitive and affective behavior for each person. It influences individual estimation and attitudes, and can also have an effect on practical aspects of life such as hobbies.

5 The dimensions of culture Ideas, customs, tools, art and skills that characterize a group of people in a given period of time. Beliefs, values and material objects that create our way of life.

6 Habits + Traditions= Culture Culture is also a matter of habit, and it is habit that becomes tradition and tradition that gives rise to culture. Local people begin with habitual actions and go on to create common stereotypes. Stereotypes assign group characteristics to individual purely on the basis of their cultural membership. The cultural stereotypes affect how people think, speak, act, and interact with one another.

7 Culture and communication: inseparable. Culture dictates: – Who talks to whom – About what – How the communication proceeds

8 Culture and communication: inseparable (cont.) Culture determines: – How people encode messages – The meanings people have for messages – The conditions and circumstances under which various messages may or may not be sent, noticed, or interpreted.

9 Culture as the foundation of communication Without culture: – We cannot understand the lives and motivations of others. – We cannot connect with the concerns and interests of others. Culture is inherent in our being and a powerful human tool to develop our society, add to our knowledge, and establish the relationships between people. However, culture is fragile. The traits of culture are constantly changing and easily lost. If we do not value it, we will lose it eventually.

10 What is Linguistics? Linguistics is the scientific study of language. It is a foundational discipline in the sense that it bridges the social sciences, the natural sciences, and the humanities. Linguists focuses on describing and explaining language. Importance: We need to understand the structures and functions of languages which play a part in our social activities in order for there to be a successful use of language.

11 Structure of language Language is a system of symbols and rules that is used for meaningful communication. In many ways the structure of language reflects the structure of how our minds process the world.

12 Why is important for teachers to understand patterns of sound in language? Understanding a language should first involve understanding its patterns of sound. All languages have definite patterns in the sounds that the speaker uses. We have to understand: – how those sounds are combined to form symbols – and how those symbols are organized into meaningful sentences.

13 How can the structure of language be learned? One of the reasons why some people have difficulty learning another language is often related to language structures. (English – Chinese) The structure of a language can be learned because human beings have a natural and inherent competence to acquire languages. According to language acquisition theory: – Language learners usually need a transformational period when they are learning a new language. They must apply and compare the structures of their mother tongue to the new language in order to understand its patterns.

14 Functions of language The functions of language can be separated in seven areas, included: 1. Instrumental function: Used to cause certain events to happen. 2. Regulatory function: Used to control events (Commands) 3. Representational function: Used to make statements, explain or report.

15 Functions of language (cont.) 4. Interactive function: knowledge of slang, jargon, jokes, folklore, politeness, and formality expectations in social exchange. 5. Personal function: Used to express feelings emotions, and personality. 6. Heuristic function: Used to acquire knowledge and to learn. 7. Imaginative function: Used to create tales, write a novel, poetry, tongue twisters, and etc.

16 Language affects culture Language is formed to present our ideas or concepts; these can change depending on which cultural elements are dominant at any given moment. Whenever language expands, the culture changes.

17 Language affects culture (cont.) Language has infinite flexibility – the meaning of a word can be changed, and then a new symbolism is created. the English word Nice now generally means pleasing, agreeable, polite, and kind. But, in 15 th century Nice meant foolish, reckless, and even wicked.

18 Language affects culture (cont.) The culture of the United States is made up of many different cultures and languages. Each of these individual cultures is impacting on, shaping, and redefining the American culture. Many new words are being added to normal American daily speech. People accept and understand them because these adaptations have already become a part of the local culture and blended into peoples lives.

19 Culture affects language Culture not only changes peoples values and habits, but also affects peoples language and behaviors. Cultural knowledge is crucial in achieving linguistic proficiency, and the culture of a society can be changed depending upon the language used.

20 Culture affects language (cont.) Some old words remain even when they are no longer used. New words emerge as they become identified with particular cultural activities. The slang words used by our parents were very likely different from those we use today.

21 Culture affects language (cont.) Different eras often have differing pop languages. – These languages are mostly likely to be influenced by TV programs, politics or music, and little by little they create their own cultural trend. – Examples of this can be seen with the Beatles and most recently in Hop Pop music.

22 What is Society? A system of social interaction that includes culture and social organization. Members of a society have a common culture though there may be great diversity within it.

23 Social Interactions Social interaction is made possible, in large measure, by the existence of cultural symbols. Social Exchange – Interactions are determined by rewards or punishments. – If the reward for an interaction exceeds the punishment, a potential for social profit exists and the interaction is likely to occur.

24 Cultural Symbols Visible, physical manifestations of organizations and indicators of cultural life. Symbols take on important meanings in organizations; meanings that are defined by cultural and social conventions and interactions. Things that can be experienced with the senses and used by culture members to make meaning.

25 Cultural Symbols (cont.) Symbols are noticed through sight, sound, touch, and smell. – Cultural songs – Flags – Mottos – Food – Instruments – Animals

26 Cultural Symbols (cont.) What are some of the symbols of your culture? – Singing of the Coquí and the Coquí itself – Pasteles – Bomba y Plena, Danza – The nickname Boricua – Sayings: Yo soy boricua, pa que tú lo sepas. – Songs that make you identify with your culture: Harris Hymn Why is this song so accepted in the Puerto Rican culture?

27 Cultural Symbols (cont.) Symbolic Interactions rests on three primary premises. – First, that human beings act towards things on the basis of the meanings those things have for them. – Second, that such meanings arise out of the interaction of the individual with others. – Third, that an interpretive process is used by the person in each instance in which he must deal with things in his environment.

28 Cultures impact on social interactions It is culture that makes us feel aware of ourselves as a distinct social unit. Its culture that will determine the goals and norms that we share. How we see ourselves and the common goals and norms that we share will determine the way in which we interact and communicate with each other.

29 Conclusion Culture has great impact on the way we interact, on our language, our tone and in our way of living in society. Though both, social interactions and language, have different main components, without culture, then language and social interactions could not be complete. Culture leads us to the understanding of the lives and motivations of others. Culture leads us to connect to the concerns and interests of others.

30 References Blumer, H. (1996) SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM AS DEFINED BY HERBERT BLUMER Condon, E. C. (1973). Introduction to Cross Cultural Communication. New Brunswick, NJ: Rogers University Press Kramsch, C. (1998). Language and Culture, OUP: Oxford Lado, R. (1957). Linguistics across Cultures. Ann Arbor:University of Michigan Press. Lu, M. (1998). Language learning in social and cultural contexts. Eric Digest. Retrieved October 11, 2006 from

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