Cultural Dimension in the Method Books of Panorama 1, Alter Ego A1 and L’Atelier


Ondokuz Mayıs Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, vol.39, no.2, pp.81-100, 2020 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier


In our world, where globalism has turned into a village, people can communicate easily with a mutual language or languages. Therefore, it is getting important to know a foreign language or languages. The raising of communication between people thanks to the information and communication technologies, the raising of travelling all around the world, the raising of cooperation among societies, institutions and foundations make it a must for people to know a foreign language. Also, in terms of the social life and professional of people, it is important to know a foreign language or languages. In line with these developments, how to teach and learn a foreign language more effectively is subjected to be a topic for method and technique experts and educationalists. It is seen that there are intense studies i this respect in the branches such as education, linguistics, the information and communication technologies. In most of the advanced countries school curriculums, teaching foreign languages are given much importance. In some countries, foreign language teaching starts in kindergarten, and it goes on at the end of the university level. Even, these countries give students 2 or more foreign languages until the end of high school. In these countries, oral and written based interaction and realizations of mutual actions are showed as aims of the curriculum. When this situation is examined in terms of Turkey, despite all the developments, the problems carry on foreign languages and the desired success has not yet been reached. The reasons behind this failure can be listed in many ways. Some of them: foreign language education policies, the followed approaches, techniques and approaches, the applied materials, or documents together with the tasks inside and outside classrooms. In Turkey, a considerable amount of the teachers working in state schools follow and implement grammar-translation method. The lessons are carried out mostly applying grammar, reading comprehension and translation. Listening comprehension, verbal production, written expressions have been neglected. In fact, it should be in a way which emphasizes the 4 basic language skills and the usages of theses with a sociocultural context. The acquisition of communication and mutual action skills in the target language can only be possible via the development of the active activities and tasks. In this framework, the usage of cultural documents can be inevitable. The use of the target language effectively in the daily life, the identification the culture of that language, and in particular, the relationship language and culture are vital in terms of language learners. Without knowing the culture of the target language and the relationship of language and culture, it is difficult for learners to use the target language. For this reason, from the communicative approach, the cultural dimension in language teaching has gained importance in modern approaches. Communicative approach, task based approach, and action oriented approach can be listed as the approaches which emphasize cultural dimension. In the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, published in 2000 and presenting mutual criterion in foreign language teaching, cultural dimension teaching has been highlighted. It is stressed that leaners who are seen as social actors should use the language within a sociocultural contexts. In this vein, learners are required to know the target culture and others and develop intercultural communicative competence. Despite all developments in the information and communication technologies, foreign language method books still hold importance. In particular, the method books carry importance in schools and language courses as materials. However, in parallel with the development of information and communication technologies and their facilities, authentic materials hold importance together with the produced materials and documents for language teaching. These documents present more elements based on sociocultural dimensions and offer more. Whereas traditional method books present the literary texts as cultural documents, today’s method books offer an advertisement, a celebration, a poem or song namely every kinds of materials. Besides, whereas traditional approaches try to level up the learners ‘intellectuals with cultural documents, modern method books want learners to reflect their language what they acquired from cultural knowledge. Together with this aim, the aforementioned method books give a place to the live culture of the target language. Modern method books not only present cultural documents in unites in the books, but also they give a place a chapter in each unites under the headings of culture or civilization.
A l’époque actuelle, dans l’enseignement/apprentissage de langue étrangère, l’objectif primordial est l’acquisition de quatre compétences langagières de base. Cependant, la connaissance des composantes linguistiques comme le vocabulaire, la grammaire et la phonétique, et surtout la connaissance culturelle sont indispensables pour pouvoir utiliser la langue cible d’une façon effective. Notre recherche est une analyse de document des types de recherche qualitative. D’abord nous avons traité théoriquement l’importance de la culture dans l’enseignement/apprentissage de langue étrangère, puis pour voir la place et le rôle de la dimension culturelle en pratique nous avons choisi trois manuels de méthode publiés en dernier quart de siècle : Panorama 1, Alter Ego A1 et L’Atelier A1. Dans ces manuels, nous avons étudié et évalué les parties de civilisation ou culture, les documents culturels et les thèmes de ces documents culturels. Dans ce cadre nous avons abordé les documents en deux dimensions : les visuels et les textuels. Et en plus nous avons analysé leurs utilisations selon les compétences langagières et les composantes linguistiques. Au cours de cette étude, nous avons traité aussi les éléments culturels en termes de la culture française, la culture francophone et le multiculturalisme. Dans notre recherche nous avons constaté que la dimension culturelle continue à conserver sa place de l’approche communicative à l’approche actionnelle. Alors que pour l’approche communicative l’objectif est plutôt de faire connaître la culture de la langue cible, pour l’approche actionnelle l’objectif primordial est de présenter l’effet de la culture à l’usage de la langue.