Introduction to Applied Chinese Linguistics
LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
THE IMPORTANCE OF CULTURE
In some schools, taking a foreign language class satisfy the so-called
‘non-western requirement’. What do you think is the reason behind this
ISSUES IN TEACHING CULTURE
Teaching culture in a foreign language class is not easy, because
1. The study of culture involves time that many teachers do not feel
they can spare in their overcrowded curriculum.
2. Many teachers are afraid to teach culture because they fear they
don’t know enough about it.
3. The teaching of culture sometimes involves dealing with students
DEFINITIONS FOR CULTURES
What do cultures include:
a. The literature, the fine arts, the history, etc.
b. The patterns of everyday life: the do’s and don’ts of personal
STANDARDS FOR FOREIGN LANGUAGE LEARNING
5 Cs: Communication; Culture; Connections; Comparisons;
Cultures: Gain knowledge and understanding of other cultures
Standard 2.1: Students demonstrate an understanding of the
relationship between the practices and perspectives of the culture
Standard 2.2: Students demonstrate an understanding of the
relationship between the products and perspectives of the cultures
First, the teacher serves as an information source and teaches students
about the culture.
*Stereotyping: do not exaggerate some aspect or characteristic of a
culture or its people.
*triviality: do not present tokens of a culture divorced from the
meaning of their context.
*biased: it is hard not to be biased.
Second, the teacher demonstrates to students how to practice in a
culturally appropriate way.
Example: compare the American way of greeting with the Chinese way
How do American greet?
How do Chinese greet?
What is a culturally appropriate way to greet a professor in the Chinese
culture? (language, gesture, etc.)
Try to integrate culture learning with language learning:
Example: Compare American breakfast with Chinese breakfast…
showing students how to make a ‘rice ball’?
Practice the use of the past, the present, the progressive tense.
Practice the use of ba or bei structure in Chinese.
Third: the teacher guides the student to think about why people behave
the way they do, and the differences between the target culture and his
Why do Chinese always greet with “你吃了吗？”
Confucius thinking about food based on statements in the Analects.
What are the cultural differences that you have observed between
Chinese and English?
How would you teach them in a Chinese language class if you were an
cultivate one’s moral character, put one's house in order, run the the
country well, and peace will prevail on earth
修身养性：cultivate the moral character & nourish the nature
以身作则: set an example by one's own action
正人先正己: sweep before one's own door
严于律己，宽以待人: be severe with oneself and lenient towards
前因后果: cause and effect
a living hell
不即不离: be neither too close nor too distant
半路出家: start midway
无事不登三宝殿: never go to the temple for nothing
不看僧面看佛面: not for the monk's sake, but for the
Anger being fire:
2. Happiness as upward movement
3. Eating out: 下馆子， 吃食堂， 吃大腕
4. Thinking as object manipulation
交流思想， 挖空心思， 抛在脑后
Body parts for people:
高个子，耳目，首脑， 心腹， 老骨头， 手足
Other body-related metonymies
嘴:嘴甜，嘴硬，嘴紧 ，人多嘴杂, 佛口蛇心
Two related notions of face:
面子(miànzi)：public recognition of prestige and reputation
脸(liǎn)：respect from a community (for a person’s inner moral
没脸， 不要脸， 赏脸