Abstract： Intercultural communication has become a necessary phenomenon, we should introduce some cultural background knowledge in English teaching. This essay is aimed at discussing the cultural differences in school education between China and Western countries in three aspects-the different forms of school education, the different roles of teachers in school education, the different goals of school education.
Key words: cultural difference, school education, English teaching
Nowadays intercultural communication has become a necessary phenomenon, but students' cross-cultural communication ability is poor, in order to improve students’ communicative competence, it is necessary to introduce some cultural background knowledge in English teaching. Education is an important constituting component of cultural system, which regarded as the most common cultural reflection. School education is a relative concept with social education, which specifically refers to the educatee who accepts a variety of educational activities in school, and it is an important part of the education system. In English teaching we can introduce cultural differences in school education in the following three aspects:
1. The different forms of school education
Western education is attempted which ask students to experience and find the difficulties firstly, then resolve the difficulty in accumulating experience, and finally get the own research results. Chinese education is an indoctrination education, firstly informs the adult experience to students, allows students to operate with successful experience step by step and learn experience under the guidance.
2. The different roles of teachers in school education
In western the role of teacher is mainly the guider, teachers and students are always the friends. They explore problems together, teachers enable students to solve their questions by finding the information in library and make their own judgments; they usually encourage students to speak actively in the classroom and don’t affect students’ independent thinking as much as possible. Western teachers often think about the problem-how to make students feel happy and learn actively. In China classroom usually belongs to teachers who stand on the platform and give their lectures; students listen carefully and take notes seriously. Students usually believe the answers given by the textbook and teachers; obviously it is lacked of close communication, and causes students to be passive recipients.
3. The different goals of school education
Western education emphasizes on creating students' ability; focus on the flexible application of knowledge; on the basis of the basic requirements; allow students have more free choice. Western education is aimed at application, grade is only a reference, and student result is often the comprehensive assessment. For example, if student isn’t interested in physics, chemistry or biology and feels difficult to learn; he can only select some basic courses or his interested courses. If he only chooses physics, chemistry or biology, he can also achieve high school graduation’ requirements, get into top universities, and also have many other opportunities to be the "elite".
Chinese education emphasizes the consolidation, inculcation and the proficiency of knowledge, which pays much attention to the accuracy and depth. Taking math for example, Chinese education uses exercise tactics; teachers allow students to repeat the exercise until reach the proficient situation. Chinese education is also the elite education, which requires students learn all subjects roundly, if one subject can not be learned well may cause a fatal impact of their future. Like the college entrance examination which is the real test for students’ whole life, they may easily miss colleges only because of the failure in this exam.
In English teaching, by the introduction of cultural differences in school education, students can learn more cultural background knowledge, which can help them understanding English language effectively and quickly, and also make English learning more interesting.
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