Tuesday, September 25, 2012

InterculturalCom: Language & Culture: Cultural Literacy (U5-P3) [VID] fa12

This is a clip that I edited and posted on YouTube. I use this clip in my Intercultural Communication course to introduce students to the idea of cultural literacy and the role it plays in intercultural communication. 

E.D. Hirsch: education scholar who proposed the idea of cultural literacy. The idea was first introduced in the book Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know.

Cultural Literacy: All U.S. American students should have a commonly shared set of knowledge.

Rationale: Better communication and thus better relations. 
  • People w/o a shared cultural literacy have less effective communication. (Heterophily).
  • People w/ a shared cultural literacy more effective, efficient communication. (Homophily)

Additional rationale: Many business leaders find young graduates lack good communication skills.

Examples of Things All Americans Should Know 
  • 1492 
  • 1776 
  • Achilles
  • Adam & Eve
  • Adams, John
  • Aesop's Fables
  • Ahab, Captain
  • Alamo
  • Alcott, Louisa May
  • Ali, Muhammad Allah
  • Allen, Woody
  • All roads lead to Rome

This is a somewhat representative sample of his list of 500+.

Video: Billy Joel - We Didn't Start the Fire - lyrics

You may also want to see the official music video for the song.

Your task: You are in China and have to teach
An American Culture/English Language class. What would you do?

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See more about me at my web site WilliamHartPhD.com.

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