• 07 Jun

    2016

Cultural understanding, The Gateway to English


In the Cult  Bollywood comedy movie, Namak Halaal, Amitabh Bachchan, desperate for a job, is trying to impress his prospective employer that not only does he speak English well, he is also familiar with the mannerisms and style of English culture. No, I am not suggesting to blindly ape Western culture, but being familiar with it helps us  to  learn how to speak English fluently. Meaning of a word or phrase is linked to its cultural context and if we learn English without understanding the culture in which it operates, we  are likely to attach incorrect meanings to what we hear and may use words or phrases not suitable to the situation.

As much as  language of people is the gateway to their culture, cultural understanding is an important gateway to learn a new language. If we wish to speak English fluently, understanding its culture and adapting our lifestyle and behavior accordingly may help us learn the language effortlessly and quickly.

 

What we Must Do:

Stay in the company of motivated fellow learners. Group learning will sustain our motivation and enthusiasm to learn how to speak English fluently.

Think about English speaking as an opportunity to  exciting new experiences in a new culture.

We should use every opportunity to expose our self to the English language.

Make new friends and become part of social groups and networks which communicate in English. Talking with many people gives us a better sense of what the sound of a word and the use of a phrase is supposed to be. We also understand body language associated with English speaking.