Developing Students' English Language Skills and Cultural Awareness by Means of Food Topics

Developing Students' English Language Skills and Cultural Awareness by Means of Food Topics

Mihaela Badea (Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti, Romania) and Diana Presada (Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti, Romania)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0341-5.ch007
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Abstract

The chapter tackles the topic of food in teaching English as a second language from different instructional perspectives, which include an integrated approach to skill-development, vocabulary acquisition as well as to American and British culture and civilization. The major purpose is to suggest various classroom activities based on topics related to food that can be used by ESL teachers in their classes. Consequently, the focus is on the strategies conducing to the development of receptive and productive language skills, practice of lexical items and enhancement of cultural awareness. Various theoretical elements regarding the teaching process lie at the basis of practical activities proposed by the chapter.
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Improving Language Skills And Vocabulary

Due to the fact that food topics are highly motivating in English classes, teachers can develop both students’ language competence and performance in communicative contexts that involve various activities that aim at combining receptive and productive skills, as well as at increasing students’ ability to interact. As stated by CEFR (2011, p. 14), “as processes, reception and production (oral and/or written) are obviously primary, since both are required for interaction” and are taught according to an integrated approach. In other words, it is essential to conceive classroom activities in which language skills are practiced in conjunction with each other. Furthermore, designing an integrated syllabus that inter-relates skills, functions, grammar and vocabulary will enable students to become proficient language users as it “seeks to provide for mutual reinforcement” (Richards & Schmidt, 2010, p. 288) of its different components.

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