Pedagogical Strategies to Facilitate College Students’ Culture Learning in China

By Qingxin Jiang.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 23, 2015 $US5.00

Models of culture learning proposed by Harnvey and Hoopes stress that the ultimate outcome of culture learning (and teaching), which entails value clashes, is ultimately oriented in culture interaction, of which culture experience is inseparable. Yet the classroom-based western culture teaching and learning in China’s colleges leaves students at a socio-cultural distance due to the limited room to experience and practice the culture. Accordingly, it brings about difficulty in learners’ cognition, affect, attitude, and critical thinking. To facilitate students’ culture interaction and experience, pedagogical strategies should by all means strive for bridging the socio-cultural distance in order to facilitate students’ culture learning. For this purpose, the author did empirical action researches in the 4-year teaching of western culture to over 350 college undergraduates in RUC. By drawing on the teaching-research experiences, this paper proposes such pragmatic strategies as: appropriately using audio-visual material; encouraging teamwork; conducting in-depth topic (content)-based seminars; ensuring regular reflective essay writing; encouraging and guiding thematic field researches; engaging in intercultural interaction and cultural participation. The teacher-researcher’s 4-year teaching-research experiences and students’ performance and survey via questionnaires and interviews have proved these strategies helpful in facilitating learners’ culture sensitivity and understanding of alien cultures, as well as in improving their empathic acceptance and bringing out their critical thinking in cultural analysis.

Keywords: Culture Learning, Pedagogical Strategies, Socio-Cultural Distance

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, Volume 10, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.1-11. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 23, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 426.499KB)).

Dr. Qingxin Jiang

Associate Professor, School of Foreign Languages, Renmin University of China, Beijing, China