In stereotyping perceptions, using proverb in teaching cultural
In language education, there are four basic skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. The fifth skill which is taking a very important part in language education is culture. We have few models according to culture in language education, and those are culture capsules, culture clusters, culture assimilators, culture minidramas, deriving cultural connotations, hypothesis refinement, artifact study, decreasing stereotyping perceptions, using proverb in teaching cultural understanding, and humor as a component of culture: exploring cross-cultural differences.I chose to elaborate culture clusters and using proverb in teaching cultural understanding.Culture clustersEvery nation has different culture clusters, but culture clusters comprise countries which have similarities in their cultures. Each cluster includes history, religion, region, tradition, economic development and a lot of other factors. Culture clusters have 5 different dimensions: 1. Social orientation, 2. Power orientation, 3. Goal orientation, 4. Uncertainty orientation and 5. Time orientation. The first one includes persons who believe in the importance of a person or a group of persons to which he/ she belongs. So, social orientation persons are divided into individualists (the person comes first) and collectivists (the group comes first). The second, power-oriented people are people who believe that hold appropriateness of power and authority differences within hierarchal scales. The power respect means authorities have an initial role in one’s position in a hierarchy. And the power tolerance means authority is viewed based on individual’s personal interest. The third are goal oriented people. People who are oriented to achieve their goals in life. We’ve got two goal oriented types: aggressive goal behaviorists who value material possessions and money and also passive goal behaviorists who value the quality of life and the welfare of others. The fourth one, uncertainty orientation are emotional people who have an emotional response to uncertainty and change. In this group of people, there are two types. The uncertainty acceptance who accepts new changes and opportunities and uncertainty avoidance that is used to the same routine and the same structure and are against changes. And the fifth, time orientation people are people who are adapted to a long – term or short – term outlook on work and life. The long-term adapted people are people which value hard work and dedication in life and work. Whereas short-term people are people which value tradition and social obligations. According to these dimensions Albanians are individualists, so they value the person and tend to achieve something in person not as a group, Albanians are also power respected which means that authorities have an initial role in one’s personal position, with goal-oriented people Albanians are both aggressive goal behaviorists and passive goal behaviorists, as of uncertainty orientation we are uncertainty acceptance because we welcome changes in our lives. We are short – term people which value tradition and social obligations, unfortunately, we are not hard working people.Using proverb in teaching cultural understandingProverbs are simple sayings learned orally and repeated throughout generations which express a truth about a nation and which are taught by their parents or other ancestors. Each culture has its own proverbs. Some proverbs may be similar to different nations. Using proverbs in teaching cultural understandings is a very interesting way of learning the culture. Every student comes into the classroom with a personal knowledge and knowledge acquired from their ancestors. So, using proverbs makes students be more engaged in the learning process and use their own knowledge of history and culture to elaborate these proverbs. Application of proverbs in learning process facilitates students, makes them critical thinkers and enhances them to understand the world around them. Except learning and elaborating proverbs, in-class students can also bring proverbs from their community or proverbs from other regions of the world into the classroom and compare them and try to create their own proverbs as well in order to extend their knowledge of culture and of vocabulary. The teacher can also ask students to find the meaning of Albert Einstein’s proverb for example “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”. This requires questions as: Am I clever? Am I stupid? Must we judge others? Can I do this? Can I do that?… So, proverbs can have multiple applications and multiple meanings. It depends on students’ cultural background how he/she will understand it. By using proverbs in class we as teachers make our students visualize, conceptualize, and understand the meaning of it, so at the same time, students use multiple intelligences which makes them more creative and intelligent.