The relation between language, culture and thought: the classical question - Thinking back: relevance to intercultural communication

5 important questions on The relation between language, culture and thought: the classical question - Thinking back: relevance to intercultural communication

What does the review of the historical and current debate on the interrelationship between language, thought and culture show?

There is a connection between language, culture and thought, although how they are connected and what role cognition plays in the mix are controversial.
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For what does the debate have direct implications?

For the field of intercultural communication in approaches to language and culture learning and the rationale behind the search for culture-specific ways of communication.
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How should you learn language and culture?

It makes sense to take culture as an essential and integrated component of language learning and to rely on language as a means of understanding culture and developing intercultural understanding.
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Which three approaches are reviewed?

  1. culture-as-content
  2. integrated language-and-culture
  3. intercultural approaches
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Which issues need to be raised with regard to culture-specific ways of communication?

  • attributing differences and variations in ways of communication to cultural values may be convenient at some times or convincing at other times, but this approach carries with it the risk of stereotyping and essentialism
  • how language and culture influence each other and in which direction are still matters of disagreement
  • the problematic and changing conceptualisations of culture
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