Author: Alfred Ndhlovu1
1University of Zimbabwe, Department of Modern Languages, Harare, Zimbabwe
Abstract: It is without doubt, that most contemporary methods of language teaching are based on the Communicative language Teaching (CLT) model. The principle that these methods share is that language can only be considered meaningful when it is not taught separately from its context, which is the context of the target language speakers. In other words, second and foreign language teachers are encouraged to pursue methods of instruction that seek to simultaneously improve not only the linguistic knowledge of the L2/foreign language learners (such as vocabulary and grammar) but also their learning of the “appropriate” contextual meaning of this knowledge. To mention a few, these methods include the integrated content and language learning instruction (ICLI), theme based language instruction (TBI), Task based instruction (TBI) and the integrated language and culture Instruction (ILCI). The last method of instruction which is the central subject of discussion in this study is not commonly addressed by most researchers despite its growing popularity in most foreign language teaching classrooms. It is mainly related to the theme based language instruction since it advocates for the teaching of language in tandem with topics in culture and civilisation and realises the importance of both culture (as content) and language (as a medium of communication). This study unpacks this method, looking at its benefits and limitations when it comes to its application to the foreign language classroom. The major concern of this study therefore, is pedagogical implications of this method in actual foreign language teaching. To illustrate this, the study gives insights into learning of German in Zimbabwe, with the University of Zimbabwe as a close example. The underlying position in this study is that, while the integrated language and culture Instruction (ILCI) method is a very attractive method on paper, there are a number of obstacles that can censor its practical application. These include (among others), complications arising from language learning material (mainly textbooks) and institutional course structure that maintains language and culture as two parallel structures.
Keywords: Integrated Language and Culture Instruction, Foreign language pedagogy in Zimbabwe
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International Journal of Social Sciences & Educational Studies
ISSN 2520-0968 (Online), ISSN 2409-1294 (Print), December 2017, Vol.4, No.3