Understanding local language through appreciating culture
ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya (The Freeman) - August 31, 2019 - 12:00am

I always thought that because language is dynamic, it is also struggling for its real place in the hearts and mind of its users. This is very much true in our local languages. That’s because of the many influences, including the strong influence of the information technology; local language has to exert a strong presence in the consciousness of the people. Unlike in countries that, despite the influx and presence of other races in their own countries, have remained proud of their language and continue to use it in their daily communication.

The connection among language and culture is profoundly established. Language is utilized to keep up and pass on culture and social ties. Various thoughts originate from varying language use inside one's way of life and the entire interweaving of these connections begins at one's introduction to the world.

The comprehension of a culture and its people can be improved by the knowledge of their language. Despite the fact that individuals are raised under comparative social foundations or social circumstances yet anyway communicate in various dialects, their reality view might be altogether different. Various considerations are realized by the utilization of various types of language. One is restricted by the language used to express one's thoughts. Various dialects will make various restrictions, consequently a people who offer a culture yet communicate in various dialects, will have diverse world perspectives.

Learning a new language involves the learning of a new culture and consequently teachers of a language are also teachers of culture. The implications of language being completely entwined in culture, in regards for language teaching and language policy are far reaching. Language teachers must instruct their students on the cultural background of language usage, choose culturally appropriate teaching styles, and explore culturally based linguistic differences to promote understanding instead of misconceptions or prejudices.

This is where understanding and appreciating the cultural background of our local languages must be emphasized because otherwise learners are led to believe that such preference of one language over the other has something to do with language superiority, which has no basis at all.

As language and culture are entwined to such a degree thus one can't get by without the other. In this manner it is incomprehensible for one to show language without educating culture. As an educator of language, one must be socially mindful, thoughtful of the students’ way of life, and illuminate students regarding social contrasts, in this manner advancing understanding.

It is perfectly alright to gain different languages as we need to extend our horizon in light of the fact that in this manner we are also learning different cultures.

It is essential that we integrate local context and culture that is dependent on the nature of the local setting. Same systems may not be applicable in all communities. Therefore, how the integration is to be done should be tailored to suit the needs of a particular community. The use of local context and culture can be done following a procedural format where local context and culture can be given more priority in the earlier stages of learning a new language. Slowly, learning of the culture and context of the target language is to be achieved for more comprehensive understanding.

There is always the possibility that many present languages of the world might one day die. And the only possibility of its context and culture to be passed on may be through integration into a dominant language. On top of it all, the use of local context and culture is a necessity.

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