Language is the most important component of any culture.
English Language and Western Culture
English as a Foreign Language Course Outline and Final Test
Lecturer: Dr Algirdas Makarevicius Students: English Major, Year 1. The venue of the course: Auditorium (New Campus). Contact hours per week: 3 (2 hours: lecture; 1 hour: tutorial). Course Description This course is about Western culture and its relationship with and influence on the development of the English language. It focuses on origins of Western culture, present-day Western etiquette, Western thinking, Western cultural values and traditions.
Basic terminology: culture, language, linguistics, paralanguage, gender, communication, verbal communication, non-verbal communication, cross-cultural communication, kinesics, postures, proxemics, symbols, tradition, manner, behavior, civilization, Western culture, Western civilization, basic human activities, science, technology, medicine, art, language and cultural identity, non-native speaker, cultural stereotypes, racist language, language and gender, sexism, sexist language, pragmatics, history of English, world Englishes, etiquette, and culture shock.
Basic Topics for Discussion
Introduction to Language and Culture
History and its relationship with culture, language, education and communication. Introduction of basic terms: culture, civilization, linguistics, language, speech and communication. Western culture versus other cultures.
Origins of Western Civilization
An overview: brief history of Western culture. Europe. The Foundational Triad: Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, and Christianity. Ancient Greece - origins of Western culture: Greek philosophy, based on reason and enquiry; the distinguishing characteristics of Western philosophy, and culture.
The Development of Western Civilization
Roman Law - the greatest Roman contribution to Western Culture; republic, constitution, monarchy, democracy, aristocracy. The Augustan Age (Caesar Augustus Gaius Octavius, Cleopatra, and Antony).
Ups and Downs in the Development of Western Culture
Christianity. Dark Ages. Middle Ages. The Renaissance. Enlightenment. The French Revolution. The development of English.
English Language as a Part of Western Culture and as a Tool of Cross-Cultural Communication
The modern world and the global English. Some basic elements of language and communication: gender, verbal/non-verbal communication, paralanguage, kinesics, postures, proxemics and symbols.
World Englishes and the Spread of Western Culture
Modern English and the development of Anglo-Saxon culture in America, Africa, Australia and Oceania.
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, as the sub-discipline of anthropology which studies contemporary societies and cultures.
Language and Cultural Identity
Who is a native speaker? Ethnocentrism. Cultural stereotypes. Linguistic nationalism. Linguistics and cultural imperialism. Bilingualism and biculturalism. Case studies.
Language and Discrimination
Racism and racist language. Language and gender. Sexism and sexist language. Case studies.
Western Traditions and Customs
Celebrations, traditions and customs in Great Britain, America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Islands of the Pacific Ocean.
Norms and effects of etiquette. Traditions, manners and behavior. Business etiquette. Table manners and etiquette. Etiquette and language. Code of conduct. Case studies.
The Culture of Writing and Speaking
Formal and informal communication. Internet communication and international culture of writing.
Coping with culture shock. The basic symptoms of culture shock. Stages most people go through in adjusting to a new culture. Coping strategy for culture shock: survival techniques. Case studies.
Learning Materials: Handouts and web pages.
Please encircle the correct answers (A, B, C, or D) below and also mark them on the examination Answer Sheet. 1. Culture shock is a term used to describe the anxiety and feelings felt by an individual caused by coming into contact with an entirely different environment, such as a different country. It often relates to the inability to assimilate the new culture, causing difficulty in knowing what is appropriate and what is not. Often this is combined with strong disgust, morally or aesthetically, about certain aspects of the foreign culture. The stages most people go through in adjusting to a new culture are: A fright, flight, flow, feel B fun, flight, fight, fit C fright, fling, fail, fix D foul, frank, free, frown
2. The key symptoms of culture shock are A utopian ideas concerning one's previous culture B constant complaints about the climate and food C desire to talk with people who "really make sense” D all above are correct.
3. A massive violent attack on people (ethnic minorities) with simultaneous destruction of their environment (homes, businesses, religious centers, etc.) is called A sexism B phobia C linguistic purification D pogrom.
4. We must begin a formal business letter with a salutation. If we begin it with “Dear Ms Buschenhofen”, we should finish it with A Yours sincerely, B Yours faithfully, C With Best Wishes, D All above are correct.
5. In Roman mythology, Cupid was A the symbol of pain B the god of war C the god of erotic love D the symbol of Roman Empire
6. Discrimination is Athe study of interaction distances and other culturally defined uses of space. Most of us are unaware of the importance of space in communication until we are confronted with someone who uses it differently. For instance, we all have a sense of what is a comfortable interaction distance to a person we are speaking. If he or she gets closer than the distance at which we are comfortable, we usually automatically back up to reestablish our comfort zone. Similarly, if we feel that we are too far away from the person we are talking to, we are likely to close the distance between us. B one of the most important components of culture. It is impossible to understand the deep meanings of another culture without using discrimination. Studies of children show that there is rapid learning of language in the early years of life due to discrimination. Learning a second or third language is even easier in early childhood than later. Learning a second language can be affected by discrimination. Discrimination is referred to as linguistic interference. C a form of racism which has historically been defined as the belief that race is the primary determinant of human capacities, that a certain race is inherently superior or inferior to others, and/or that individuals should be treated differently according to their racial designation. Sometimes racism means beliefs, practices, and institutions that discriminate against people based on their perceived or ascribed race. D a way of putting on certain types of clothing which can change your behavior and the behavior of others towards you. This can be the case with a military uniform, doctor's white lab coat, or a clown's costume. For instance, it is likely that policemen are more assertive and aggressive when they wear their uniforms.
7.The most important holiday in the Western world is A St Valentines Day B Halloween C Christmas D Thanksgiving Day
8. Apartheid Awas the policy and the system of laws implemented and continued by "White" minority governments in South Africa from 1948 to 1990; and by extension any legally sanctioned system of racial segregation. Apartheid was implemented by the law. B was the policy and the systems of laws implemented by the Romans in Roman Empire (by Romulus and Remus) in 500 BC and it had a great influence on Western Culture. Apartheid was marked by its practicality, and the greatest Roman contribution to Western Culture has been Roman law based on apartheid. C was an ancient method of execution, in which the victim was tied or nailed to a large wooden cross (Latin: crux) and left to hang there until dead. It was a common form of execution from the 6th century BC to the 4th century AD, especially among the Persians, Egyptians and Romans. Apartheid has gained notoriety in Christianity as a method used by the Romans to put Jesus to death, and since that time the cross has become the main Christian symbol. D was the policy and the system of laws implemented and continued by the end of World War II. It was related to the beginning of the Cold War which divided Europe in half, with the Eastern half being dominated by the Soviet Union. This severely inhibited cultural exchange between the two parts was called apartheid.
9. Redlining A in the United States was the practice of denying or increasing the cost of services, such as banking or insurance, to residents of certain areas. In the United States, the practice is illegal when the criteria are based on race, religion, or ethnic origin. B comes from the practice of actually marking red lines on a map, which banks would do in order to delineate areas they did not want to lend to. C Both above are correct D Both above are incorrect.
10. Those Americans who emigrated to the United States of America from India at the end of the 20th century are usually called A American Indian migrants; B American Indians; C India’s Americans D Indian Americans.
11. Nazism Ais a political ideology promoting South African racial aspirations and a strong and centrally governed state. The term is most often used in connection with the dictatorship of South African anti-racists from 1948 to 1996 (the "Apartheid"). This ideology was held by the Anti-National South African Nazi Party which was led by its "Spiritual Leader" Nelson Mandela. B is a political ideology promoting Germanic racial aspirations and a strong and centrally governed state. The term is most often used in connection with the dictatorship of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945 (the "Third Reich"). This ideology was held by the National Socialist German Workers Party which was led by its "Führer" Adolf Hitler. C Both above are correct D Both above are incorrect.
12. Xenophobia denotes A love of strangers or of the unknown objects and comes from the Latin words xenos, meaning “native”, “friend”, and phobos, meaning “love” B fear of strangers or of the unknown and comes from the Greek words xenos, meaning "foreigner", "stranger", and phobos, meaning "fear" C both above are correct D both above are incorrect.
13. Social anthropology is the same as A applied anthropology; B cultural anthropology; C visual anthropology; D all above answers are correct.
14. One might state, "Tomorrow I will meet my new doctor; I hope he is friendly.". Nowadays most westerners would think that this sentence is A Non-sexist B Racist C Sexist D Sex-neutral.
15. Neologism refers to A an archaic, old word which is no longer in use B a recently created, or coined, word or phrase C Both above are correct D Both above are incorrect.
16. The Queen's Birthday or Queen's Official Birthday is celebrated as a public holiday A only in UK, the USA, New Zealand and Australia B in several Commonwealth countries C in all Commonwealth countries and in the USA D only in UK.
17. Ethnocentrism is A common only among people belonging to small countries B common among people belonging to large empires C both above are incorrect D both above are correct.
18. Neo-Nazis means the same as A Nazis, only they (Neo-Nazis) are much older than Nazis and they are legal in most Western countries except Sweden and the USA B epistemologists, only they are much younger than Nazis and they are illegal in all Western countries except France and Germany C Both above are correct D Both above are incorrect.
19. Terra nullius is a Latin expression which is used in English and it means A "empty land" or "no man's land" B “empty fiction” or “futile hopes” C Both above are correct D Both above are incorrect.
20. The term ethnic cleansing refers to A various policies of forcibly removing people of another ethnic group B papaphobia, or fear and hatred of the Pope C both above are correct D both above are incorrect.
21. Which sentence contains some elements of a negative ethnic stereotype? A “Jewish people, their families and relatives suffered a lot during the WWII, and we should never forget to pay respect to those who suffered and died.” B “Dear Sir, I would like to apply for a doctor’s position in your hospital”. C “Blacks are good at sports but they are not good at mathematics and physics.” D All of the above.
22. Thanksgiving Day is a public holiday and is celebrated in A all European Union countries, America and Australia B the USA, France and Germany C Both above are correct D Both above are incorrect.
23. Please encircle the correct statement: A Halloween is a holiday celebrated on the night of October 31, usually by children dressing in costumes and going door-to-door collecting candy. It is celebrated in much of the Western world, though most commonly in the United States, Ireland, Scotland and Canada. B Halloween's theme is spooky or scary things particularly involving death, black magic, or mythical monsters. Commonly-associated Halloween characters include ghosts, witches, bats, black cats, goblins, zombies and demons, as well as certain fictional figures like Dracula and Frankenstein's monster. C Both above are correct D Both above are incorrect
24. The sentence “Americans tend to travel abroad less than citizens of other countries” is A neologism B a stereotype C both above are correct D both above are incorrect
25. Thanksgiving Day is the same as A Macy's Day B Turkey Day C T-Day D All above are correct.
26. Valentine's Day falls on February 14, and is the traditional day on which lovers in certain cultures let each other know about their love, commonly by sending Valentine's cards, which are often anonymous. St Valentines Day is now most closely associated with the mutual exchange of love notes in the form of "valentines." Modern Valentine symbols include A the figure of the winged Cupid B the heart-shaped outline C both above are correct D both above are incorrect
27. Much of today's formal Western etiquette originated in A North America, where native folkways dissolved under the unrelenting pressure of successive waves of land-hungry European settlers, who brought their faith and laws with them and established them decisively across the entire continent by the late 19th century. B the culture of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome which was collectively labelled "classical culture" C the French royal court during the 1600-1700's D the British Empire after the Roman Conquest.
28. When in a dark theater, and there is no usher, the gentleman should: A Walk behind the lady B Walk in front of the lady C Wait for an usher D Ask the lady if she would like to walk first or not
29. When in a dark theater and there is an usher, the gentleman should: A Walk in front of the usher B Walk behind the usher C Walk behind his date D Ask his date if she would like to walk first or not.
30. When helping a woman in to a cab or limousine, the gentleman should: A Get in first B Get in last C Let her decide D It depends upon a situation.
31. When walking down a flight of stairs: A The woman should walk in front B The man should walk in front C They should walk side by side D The man should ask the lady if she would like to walk first or not.
32. When walking on the sidewalk along a road: A The man should always walk street side B The man should walk street side only if that's the most imminent danger C It doesn't really matter D The man should always walk on the left side.
33. When getting off a bus A a gentleman should get off first B a lady should get off first C both should try to get off together at the same time D it doesn’t really matter.
34. At a formal dinner, is it acceptable to leave a cell phone on at the table? A Yes, but you should leave the table to answer it B Never, the person you are with should get all the attention C Yes, as long as everyone else has left his or hers on too D It doesn’t matter.
35. When being introduced to a person that is blind, what should you do? A Nothing – wait for the individual to offer their hand B Avoid handshaking but say hello C Touch their shoulder to indicate your presence and initiate a handshake D Say hello and wait for the individual to offer their hand
36. You are talking to a group of four persons. Do you make eye contact with: A each of the four personas, moving your eye contact from one to the other from right to left B just the person to whom you are speaking C the person in the group that you know the best D . If you're addressing them all, look at them, no particular order needed.
37. You are introducing your date to your friends. Whose name do you use first? A Your date – “Mary this is my friend Joe, Joe meet Mary.” B Your friend – Joe this is Mary – Mary meet my friend Joe.” C It' doesn't matter D They should introduce themselves to each other.
38. At a formal dinner: A Children start eating first B Women start eating first, according to the international rule “ladies first” C A person must start eating as soon as he/she is served D Must wait until everyone has been served to begin eating.
39. When you eat vegetables you must A hold a knife in your left hand and fork in your right hand B hold a fork in your left hand and knife in your right hand C hold a fork in your right hand D it depends upon a situation.
40. Foods you can eat with your fingers: A Bread B Sandwiches C Cookies D All of the above.
41. When you leave the table (when the meal is finished), place your serviette / napkin A on the plate B on top of the plate C at the left side of your plate D on the chair.
42. You should A never tuck your serviette / napkin into the collar of your shirt B never use a napkin as a handkerchief C Both above are correct D Both above are incorrect.
43. You can use a serviette / napkin if you need to A wipe your face and nose B clean the cutlery C Both above are correct D Both above are incorrect.
44. If a lady excuses herself from the dinner table, the gentleman should A follow her B ask where she is going C Both above are correct D Both above are incorrect.
45. When eating spaghetti we must A hold a fork in the left hand B hold a fork in the left hand and a knife in the right hand C Both above are incorrect D Both above are correct.
46. To eat pasta, we must use A a fork B a combination of both, a fork and a spoon C Both above are incorrect D Both above are correct.
47. At a formal dinner your cell-phone must be A should either be shut off, or put in a silent/vibrator mode, B should be in your bag or pocket, out of sight. C Both above are incorrect D Both above are correct.
48. At a job interview you must have with you A all certificates and diplomas B a few copies of your CV C both above are incorrect D both above are correct.
49. If a fork is not provided at a formal dinner we must eat spaghetti A with our fingers B by using a spoon C both above are incorrect D both above are correct.
50. At a formal meal, soup, usually the first course shows you off as a savvy diner or someone whose manners could do with polishing. Soup is served either in a wide, shallow dish, or a smaller bowl, resting on an under-plate. We must A sip from the side of the spoon B put the spoon in the mouth and slurp C both above are incorrect D both above are correct.
51. When we eat bouillon we must observe the following rules: A drink it if the cup has a cup holder B eat it with a spoon even if it has a cup holder C both above are incorrect D both above are correct.
52. At a formal meal, just before dessert, the fingerbowl may be brought to you on a doily on a dessert plate. You pick up the bowl and doily and place them on the upper left hand corner of your place setting; and then you A dip your hands in the bowl, wipe your hands and mouth with a napkin B dip fingertips of one hand and then the other in the bowl and wipe discreetly on your napkin C both above are incorrect D both above are correct.
53. At a formal lunch it is OK to A blow your nose B pick your teeth C belch D use a napkin to take the food off of your shirt.
54. At a barbecue party you can eat A chicken and pizza with your fingers B bread with your fingers C both above are incorrect D both above are correct.
55. When drinking coffee or tea it is OK to A blow on drink if it is hot B sip from a coffee spoon or teaspoon to see if it is hot or not C both above are incorrect D both above are correct.
56. At a formal dinner, when soup is served but spoon is not provided we should A dip bread into soup and eat it in small pieces B drink soup directly from the plate C both above are incorrect D both above are correct.
57. What is the correct way to sneeze or cough in public or at table? If you sense a sneeze or cough coming on A cover your nose and mouth with your left hand B cover your nose and mouth with your both hands C stand up quickly, run to the bathroom and cough and sneeze there D all above are incorrect
58. When eating meat, A cut all of your meat up first, and then eat the meat with a fork B cut all of your meat up first, and then eat the meat with a special spoon C each time you cut a small piece with the knife put it into your mouth with a fork D all above are correct.
59. Where do I place my napkin when briefly excusing myself during the meal? A Place your napkin on the chair seat or arm. B Place your napkin on the table. C Both above are correct. D Both above are incorrect.
60. A gentleman should remove his hat A when entering a home, restaurant or theater but he doesn’t need to remove his hat in church. B only entering a classroom or before sitting at dinner table. C Both above are correct. D Both above are incorrect.
61. A lady should remove her hat A always when entering a home, restaurant or theater, except church B always entering a conference room or before sitting at dinner table. C Both above are correct. D Both above are incorrect.
62. Who pays the bill when dining out (social etiquette)? A the gentleman (if he is a real gentleman) B the person who extended the invitation C it doesn’t matter D the lady never pays.
63. We all know that a good business letter supplies all pertinent information in a clear and concise manner. When printing it we should use font A Times New Roman (12 point) or Georgia (11 point), B Times New Roman (14 point) or Veranda (12 point) C Arial Black (11 point) only D Book Antiqua (12 point) or SimSun (11 point).
64. For international communication, in order to avoid ambiguity, the following is the best way of writing the date in a good business letter: A December 11, 2006 B 11-12-2006 C 12-11.2006 D 2006, December, 11
65. We must begin a formal business letter with a salutation. If we begin it with “Dear Madam/Sir”, we should finish it with A Yours sincerely, B Yours faithfully, C With Best Wishes, D All above are correct.
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