Theory and Practice in Culture Teaching on the Second-Year Level in French and Spanish


  • H. Ernest Lewald

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      H. Ernest Lewald (Ph.D., University of Minnesota) is a member of the Department of Romance Languages, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee.


ABSTRACT  The constant and new demands on the modern language teacher have brought about support from within the profession for combining language teaching with a systematic presentation of salient aspects of values, beliefs, behavior, and artistic or intellectual expressions of the target culture. Under the assumption that culture presentations and discussions can lead to motivating students to become interested in the target language, pilot classes in French and Spanish on the second-year level were conducted over two consecutive years. One of three class hours was dedicated to culture presentations, ranging from discussing The Silent Language to the use of audio-visual material, such as records, slides concentrating on social situations, and art lectures. Selected poems, short stories, and essays dealing with collective traits or the national psyche were read in the target language and discussed in class. Evaluations conducted at the end of the year showed a marked preference for the culture-oriented course over the traditional sequence.