The Importance of Understanding Culture When Learning a New Language

Posted By : Aubrey Mead , on Nov, 2015


Anyone that has ever attempted to learn a new language understands just how difficult this process can be. Companies like Rosetta Stone have made millions of dollars attempting to teach individuals the ins and outs of a new language. And, they’re certainly not the only company out there attempting to do this.

While the courses and lessons that these companies offer can certainly be useful in learning a language, they’re also missing something. That something is culture.

In order to truly master a language, an understanding of culture is essential. And, in order to understand culture, one must see the social interactions and behaviors of individuals within that culture. Through programs like an ESL school, students are able to both learn the fundamentals of a language while living among people that interact with the very language that they are trying to learn on a daily basis.

Let’s take a deeper look into why understanding culture is important when learning a new language:

It Allows You to See the Complete Interaction

Learning a new language isn’t simply about learning how to speak in a certain tongue. It’s also about understanding how and when native people use the words within that language. When you’re put in social situations that encourage you to learn about culture, it enables you to quickly develop a conscious understanding of how people within that language interact with one another.

It Increases Your Comfort Level

There are so many things that run through an individual’s head when they finally attempt to speak to a native person in the language that they have learned. You ask questions like, “Am I going to offend them?” or “How loud or soft am I supposed to speak?”

While a teacher can tell you the answers to these questions, the only way to become comfortable with those answers is to actually see other people interacting in the language that you’re attempting to learn.

The Final Word

At the end of the day, an understanding of culture is not only an important part of learning a new language, it is essential. When an understanding of culture is combined with a constant view of interactions between native speakers, the language learning process can be sped up significantly. An ESL school that emphasizes culture and social interactions like the New Jersey English Center can be a great choice for non-English speaking individuals.

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