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Wed, 30 Jul 2014 06:44:53 EDT by admin, 91082 views
University of Debrecen
Education paper by Rácz, Edit (all papers)
On the Cultural Aspect of Teaching Hungarian as a Foreign Language
As culture, the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group, (Webster, p. 314) is transmitted through language, it should be taught accordingly. Consequently, teaching a foreign language is inseparable from incorporating the teaching of the culture of the target community into the curriculum.
Language use does not only mean linguistically correct use of discourse, it is also of importance that language be used in a culturally correct way. To this end, the cultural competence of the foreign language learner should be developed from the first day of instruction. This is even more so if the foreign language is taught in the host country, and the language learner needs to communicate with native speakers from the very beginning.
Hungarian as a foreign language is no exception in this respect. In my talk, based on my experience of teaching foreign students at the University of Debrecen for several years, I would like to argue that language and culture are intertwined. This is manifested in my coursebook for beginners: Hungarian Language and Culture. After a brief overview of the structure and the language content of the book, I will discuss how the cultural literacy of students coming from a variety of cultures can be developed in a way that helps them master Hungarian as a second language and its culturally correct use. I will demonstrate how various aspects of Hungarian culture are presented in the coursebook.
Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster Inc., 1987.
Rácz, Edit. Hungarian Language and Culture – A Coursebook for Beginners. Debrecen: Debrecen University Press, 2012.
Brief Professional Bio:
I earned my first MA degree in Hungarian and English studies at the University of Debrecen, and twelve years later my second MA in General and Applied Linguistics at the same university. After a period of nine years as head teacher in a local secondary school, I became a language instructor at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration (University of Debrecen), which meant a major shift in my teaching career, and thereafter a focus on business English. In order to improve my professional knowledge in economics, I earned my third (MSc) degree in Business Administration. Since the beginning of my career, I have been teaching Hungarian as a foreign language at Debrecen Summer School and in the past decade at my faculty. My professional fields of interest include Hungarian and English as foreign languages, both for general and specific purposes. I have taught a wide range of courses: Business English, Business Hungarian, Business Communication, Translation, Hungarian as a second language. I have written several coursebooks; the first was a video workbook published by Debrecen Summer School in 1991, then an ESP coursebook (Basic and Intermediate Level English in Commerce, 1998). I co-authered a Business Hungarian coursebook and workbook for intermediate learners (Magyar Üzleti Nyelvkönyv and Munkafüzet a Magyar Üzleti Nyelvkönyvhöz, 2004, 2005). I wrote a chapter in a teaching material sponsored by the British Council (Communicating in a Changing Europe,2004). My most recent textbook is Hungarian Language and Culture – a coursebook for beginners published in 2012.