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ABSTRACT If language is part of culture, there is also a sense in which culture is a component of language. When going abroad to learn or practice a foreign language, students should have some awareness of the target society's ethnography. If they adopt the role of ‘foreign tourist,’ they may be treated as outsiders, whereas a basic acquaintance with proxemics, kinesics, and sociology will help them play a more profitable role. The move from one society to another may not simply be horizontal, but may also involve diagonal change from one class or status to another, without the subject's realizing it. Some familiarity with elicitation techniques, especially in distinguishing implicit background information from the surface messages in which it is embedded, can help in learning how a language is used.