Teaching Languages in the Context of Culture
July 15, 2011
Feasting on Russian blinis and borscht (traditional beet soup), taking a tasting tour of a Mexican supermarket, singing karoake in Chinese, visiting a Japanese cultural fair in Santa Cruz and practicing the Jordanian folk dance Dabke are among the many cultural activities offered to students in the Monterey Institute Summer Intensive Language Programs (SILP).
Students enrolled in Arabic, Chinese, French, Japanese, Russian and Spanish watch movies, taste foods, learn about etiquette and customs as a part of their curricula, reflecting the importance of context in language learning. That emphasis on cultural context also means that the Monterey Institute campus is filled with sights, sounds and smells of diverse multicultural activities all summer. Laughter is the universal language, linking all the classes when they come together for joint events such as the popular BBQ potluck and talent show. To follow the many adventures of Monterey Institute summer language students, visit the SILP blog.