Culture and Language Education

Document Type : Research Paper


TES/FL Program, English Institute, Algonquin College Ottawa, Canada


There are different views on the relationship between language and culture. Some consider them as separate entities one being a code-system and the other a system of beliefs and attitudes. Some believe in a cause and effect relationship between the two; and yet others argue for a co-evolutionary mode of interrelation. This paper will subscribe to the Hallidayan co-evolutionary view of the relationship
(cf. Halliday 1991), presenting the view that language and culture are both integrated into a unique socio-semiotic system always interacting with one another for the successful functioning of the system. It will discuss some aspects of this interaction and the implications for ESL/EFL education programs.


Austin, J.L. (1962).How to do things with words.Oxford : OUP.
Bakhtin, M. (2010).The Dialogic imagination: four essays. (translated by Caryl Emerson).Texas: University of Texas Press.
Canale, M., &Swain , M. (1980). ‘Theoretical  bases of communicative approachesto second language teaching and testing’ . Applied Linguistics , 1 (1),  1-48.
Celce-Murcia, M., &Olshtain, Elite (2000).Discourse and context in language teaching.Cambridge :CUP.
Chomsky , N. (1957).Syntactic structures. The Hague: Mouton.
Chomsky, N. (1965).Aspects of theory of syntax.  Cambridge: MA. : MIT Press.
Corbett, John (2011).‘Discourse and intercultural communication’.In  Hyland, Ken &Paltridge,  Brian (eds.)  2011  The Continuum companion to discourse analysis. London: Continuum. pp. 306-320.
Crystal, David (1982). Linguistic controversies : essays in linguistic theory and practice in honour of F.R. Palmer.  London: E. Arnold.
Etmekjian , James (1966). Pattern drills in language teaching. New York, New York University Press.
Frey, Herschel J.  (1968). ‘Audio-lingual teaching and pattern drill’.The Modern Language Journal .52 (6), 349-355.
Geertz, C. (1973).The Interpretation of cultures. New York: Basic Books.
Goffman, E. (1972) .Relations in public.Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Grice, H.P. (1975). ‘Logic and conversation’.  In Cole, P. & Morgan J. (eds.). Syntax and semantics 3: speech acts.pp.41-58. New York: Academic Press.
Gumperz, J. (1982).Discourse strategies.Cambridge : CUP.
Halliday, M.A.K. (1991). ‘The notion of “context” in language education’ .In Le. T., &McCausland , M. (eds.) Language education : international development .  pp. 4-26. Proceedings of the international conference, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Halliday, M.A.K.&Hasan ,  R. (1976).Cohesion in English . London : Longman.
HinkelEli . (1999).‘Objectivity and credibility in L1 and L2 academic writing’  inHinkel, Eli (1999) ed. Culture in second language teaching and learning . Cambridge : CUP. pp 90-108.
Holliday, Adrian  (2010).Understanding intercultural communication : Negotiating a grammar of culture .  London :Routledge.
Hyland, Ken (2005).Metadiscourse : Exploring interaction in writing.London : Continuum.
Hymes, D. (1962). ‘The ethnography of speaking’ .In  Gladwin , T & Sturtevant, W. C. (eds.)Anthropology and human behaviour. The Anthropological Society of  Washington.
Hymes, D. (1972) ‘On communicative competence’ .In  Pride,J.B. & Holes, J. (eds.) Sociolinguistics : Selected readings (pp.269-293) . Harmondsworth, England: Penguin.
Kaplan, R.B. (1966). ‘Cultural thought patterns in intercultural education’ .Language Learning , 16 (1) , 1-20.
Krashen, S.D. & Terrell, T. D. (1983).The Natural Approach : Language Acquisition in the Classroom . Oxford: Pergammon.
Levinson, S. C. (1983).Pragmatics .Cambridge : CUP.
Lyons, J. (1981).Language and linguistics : an introduction. London: CUP.
Lyons, J. (1995).Linguistic semantics : An introduction .  Cambridge : CUP.
Ostler, Shirley E.  (2002). ‘Contrastive rhetoric: an expanding paradigm’  .in John Flowerdew (2002) ed. Academic discourse. London : Pearson Education.  pp 167-181.
Rivers, Wilga M.  (1981). Teaching foreign language skills. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Rose, Kenneth R. (1999).‘Teachers and students learning about requests in Hong Kong’. In Hinkel ,Eli (ed.) Culture in second language teaching and learning.Cambridge :CUP. pp. 167-178.
Sacks,H.,Schegloff, E. Jefferson, G. (1974). ‘A simple systematics for the organization of turning-taking for conversation’ . In Language ,50 (4).  pp. 696-753.
Saussure, FerdinanDe .(1956). Course in general linguistics. (translated into English by Wade Baskin) . New York : Philosophical Library.
Schiffrin, D. (1994).Approaches to discourse .Oxford : Basil Blackwell.
Schmidt, R. W. (1990).‘The role pf consciousness in second language learning’.InAppliedlinguistics  (11) 2. pp.129-158.
Schmidt, R. W. (1993).  ‘Awareness and second language acquisition’ . In Annual review of applied linguistics. 13. pp. 206-226.
Schmidt, R. W.  (2001). ‘Attention’ .In P. Robinson (ed.) Cognition and second language instruction.  pp. 3-32. Cambridge : CUP.
Searle, J.R. (1969).Speech acts. Cambridge: CUP.
Wilkins, D. (1976).Notional syllabuses . Oxford: OUP.
Widdowson, H. G.  (1978).Teaching English as communication . Oxford: OUP.