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Numer: 1297
Dział: Języki obce

Shortly about intercultural activities during History and English lessons

My experience as a History and English teacher has led me to believe that culture is a vital part of language learning. We cannot deny that they are linked together in many important ways.
I believe that the more activities that develop learners’ awareness of culture the better.
We as teachers should discuss with them about similarities and differences of culture. What is more, our responsibility is to interest them with this topic. We should offer them areas of interest that they will discover.
There are many definitions of culture. According to one of them it is the shared knowledge and schemes created by a set of people for perceiving, interpreting, expressing, and responding to the social realities around them. In other words, we can say that it refers to customs and achievements of community. Culture is connected not only with art, music, literature but also with style of our everyday life for example, how we spend our spare time, what are our habbits of nutrition, what we like to dress and so on.
It is proper to add that understanding of the lifestyles of people from other countries, and facts connected with their history are good base for better apprehension of them.
We can encourage learners to become more aware of others and through this teach them how to respect culture dissimilarities.
On the other side, since Poland has been in European Union Community, developing the awareness of our own culture and its essence is incredibly important . But learners need be stimulated through various sources, and we as teachers must offer them appropriate activities.
The best source of information is most of all direct communication with people from different cultures. It is the best way of getting know each other , discovering and sharing ideas, finding points of similarity and difference.
Another way of getting information are the Internet, newspapers, television, books, etc.
By giving emphasis to learners’ understanding of other cultures and ability to describe their own, we are developing mutual understanding of each other’ cultures.
Although we generally understand our native culture , we must confess that the understanding is scarce and often unconscious. What is worse we are not very tolerant to other “ foreign cultures”. Simply speaking, we consider them as “ strange and funny”.
Teaching tolerance is important not just because it is politically correct, but because the person who learns to be open to differences will have more opportunities in an many other aspects of life.
In other words, success in today's world depends on being able to understand, appreciate, and work with others.
Tolerance means respecting and learning from others, valuing differences, bridging cultural gaps, rejecting unfair stereotypes, discovering common ground, and creating new bonds. Tolerance, in many ways, is the opposite of prejudice. And it is worth dealing with this problem during classroom activities.

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