Including cultural perspectives—The “why”

Robert Ponterio, SUNY Cortland & FLTEACH
Bill Heller, Perry NY School District
NECTFL 2009; New York
April 16, 2009

I. Introduction

What are we doing here?


II. Culture is not “the other”; Culture IS communication.

a. Culture & Communication can't be separated

We are interested in culture as closely integrated w/communication and represented through authentic materials, be they products or practices (artifacts or behaviors).

National Standards Executive Summary fom ACTFL (5Cs)

ACTFL/NCATE Program Standards for the Preparation of Foreign Language Teachers

3 Ps : Products, Practices, Perspectives (Triangle)

i. Why do they do this? Where does it come from? What does it mean?

ii. Culture as a system: Does one cultural Perspective relate to another? Are there many Perspectives interconnected with the Perspectives of other Products and Practices? IOW Might the culture be a complete system rather than a collection of isolated artifacts and behaviors?

b. What kind of culture Ps (products and practices) show up in your classroom?

Re-integrating culture into language lessons (WITH communication): It's not always easy.
The fact that culture is a separate standard doesn't mean it should be a separate lesson.

c. Examples, lots of examples...

i. Big "C" culture is culture too.

ii. Weather from my point of view....

iii. Numbers in real life:

iv. Names

d. Finding the culture hook - activity

i. Sample skits w/o attention to culture (What's wrong here? Communication doesn't work if the grammar is right but the culture is wrong.)

ii. Lots of real-life examples

iii. Your turn :

  1. Take a linguistic structure, a game, an activity, something you already do to present grammar.
  2. Is there a cultural perspective, a cultural hook that can take it up a notch? IOW highlight the meaning behind a related cultural component as a part of the activity.


III. Background on the 3 Ps

a. Mini-lesson on the 3Ps: culture triangle

b. Moving from Products & Practices to the Perspective.

c. Why do they do this? What does it mean? Where does it come from?


IV. Culture begins at home

a. US kids and their culture sensitivity

b. US cultural syllabus - Activity (5 topics)

c. Thinking about our own culture

d. Human universals vs. cultural relativity (maternal instinct, war, food, education, health care, etc. - We all do these things, just not quite in the same ways.)


V. How do we get the perspective information?

a. Brainstorm

b. Sample sources


VI. Manos a la obra:

a. Graphic organizers

b. NYS Syllabus topics

c. Sample lessons: demonstrations: (When you get home: We hope that you will be ready to draft a learning scenario that tackles a Product or Practice that you like to incude in your curriculum and help your students begin to get at possible Perspectives underlying it. )


VII. Questions? Comments?