To most people, second language acquisition is a lengthy and exhausting/strenuous process. A general approach taken by most learners is to learn vocabulary and memorize grammar rules. They contend that language speaks for itself and the meaning of language lies in the language itself. In my opinion, a language goes beyond its literal/unvarnished/plain/original meanings and delivers different messages as situations change.
The cultural context and background of a language have a bearing on the forming of a language. There is no distinction between acquiring a language and acquiring a culture.
The first reason to support the above contention/claim/assertion/protest is that culture influences the evolution and formation of a language. Learning a culture can help learners understand many aspects of a language, wording, syntax/sentence structure, and so forth. For example, word order, the order in which words appear in sentences, differs from language to language. In some languages, object normally comes ahead of the subject, as opposed to/rather than the word order in the English language. It mirrors/reflects the disparity/discrepancy in ways of seeing things and ways of thinking between people who speak different languages. Learning a culture can draw the attention of learners to these differences and therefore lead them to use a foreign language appropriately.
To What Degree Might Different Languages Shape In Their Speakers Different Concepts Of Themselves And The World? What Are The Implications Of Such Differences For Knowledge? The difference in languages can cause different perceptions of various cultures leading to distinctions or possible clashes. When I lived in France I faced some of the problems a language barrier can cause. The most common and ...
Familiarity with a culture is also known as the prerequisite/precondition of communication with native speakers. Effective communication relies not only on wording, pronunciation and sentence construction but also on physical gesture, body language and facial expressions. In fact, non-verbal messages sometimes tell people more than verbal messages do. For example, silence in the English-speaking country might indicate the agreement of the speaker on something, but in some Asian countries, silence might convey/deliver/pass on/communicate/ a message to the contrary, disagreement or even resentment/hatred. There is no denying that by learning the cultural dimensions/perspective of a language, language learners can make themselves acquainted with the skills and habits involved in cross-cultural communication.
Although the importance of studying the cultural aspect of language is indisputable,
Indisputable as (though) the importance of studying the cultural aspect of language,
it should not be over-emphasized. For most learners, especially for those at an elementary level, the cultural elements of a language are remote and incomprehensible/perplexing/beyond understanding. Intrusion of these messages will create confusion. Learners will flounder when the progress toward success is little and the situation appears to be unmanageable/uncontrollable. Language acquisition requires a high commitment of time and effort, so new learners are advised to concentrate on the language itself at the first stage.
From what has been discussed, one can make it clear that culture is an element that determines the difference between languages. Failing to recognize this would impede language learning. However, for new learners, acquiring a culture is less practical, for it requires great effort and produces little outcome.