Teaching Japanese Culture through Language

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TAKAKO AIKAWA: So I believe language teaching needs to take place together with that culture of that language. And whenever we teach some, like linguistics, patterns-- for instance, even like greetings, OK? The linguistics forms are very simple, but Japanese people always bow. So whenever we teach some grammar patterns, we also teach, say, body language. And also like whenever we introduce honorific, we have to introduce the society, I mean the hierarchical kind of structure of the Japanese society. We need to introduce students the concept that we have to show respect toward the elderly.

So every linguistic aspect involves a cultural understanding. So whenever possible, we introduce culture together with language. Also textbook has so-called culture note. So each lesson has culture note to introduce one aspect of the Japanese culture. For instance, Japanese housing, Japanese food, how to take off shoes, something like this.

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