Macbeth's Hamartia Essay

4283 words - 18 pages

ISSN 1799-2591 Theory and Practice in Language Studies, Vol. 3, No. 6, pp. 963-967, June 2013 © 2013 ACADEMY PUBLISHER Manufactured in Finland. doi:10.4304/tpls.3.6.963-967

Discussion on the Relationship between Language and Culture
Hebei United University, Tangshan, China
Abstract—This paper discusses three cultural issues about English language teaching and learning and culture. The first issue touches upon the problem of Chinese English learners naming after English ones; the second probes into the debate if non-native English learners should use Anglo-American rhetoric structure in academic writing; the third debate is about if non-verbal language should be taught in English as a ...view middle of the document...

The debate focuses on the different people’s ideas on the phenomenon (if they argue for or against the adoption of English names among Chinese people) rather than how their English names were produced. There are those who strongly resist or disagree with the adoption for several major reasons. One reason is that they believe that adopting English names means ‘losing their own (Chinese) identity’ (Edwards, 2006). A person’s name is very much a part of who s/he is. Our names reflect our sense of identity, who we are in relation to the world around us. This identity can be social identity, socio-cultural identity, cultural identity and ethnic identity (Norton, 2000). It can be roughly inferred that to change a Chinese identity seems to change any sort of identity above (Kiang, Harter & Whitesell, 2007). Another reason that they reject English names is that they believe adopting English names is the result of linguistic imperialism. Linguistic imperialism is defined as ‘ideologies, structures, and practices which are used to legitimate, effectuate, and reproduce an unequal division of power and resources’ (Kramsch, 1998). The resources can be both material and symbolic and language and education are typical symbolic resources (Norton, 2000). The fact is that English, the global language, is being learned by more than 1 billion people in the world as a second language or foreign language. Besides, the scientific and technological resources in English dominantly occupy the world market. China, a country with the largest population learning English as a foreign language, shows a more salient unbalance. With the highly out-of-balance global and national environment, the practice of adopting English names seems inevitable. This out-of-balance may result in any change in terms of cultural factors including name changing. Therefore, name changing can be the product of linguistic imperialism in the sense. There are others who regard this as a manifestation of social improvement in China because they believe Chinese people are becoming more open to the world. One of my friends insists that adopting English names should indicate that Chinese people are seeing the world in a new or international perspective rather than in a ‘pure’ Chinese way. In today’s society, a person is expected to take on new identities through life, dropping some, changing others, and take on new ones (Gee, 2006). Furthermore, for the Chinese students, the adoption of an English name is undoubtedly ‘investment’ in the target language and in a learner’s own identity, an identity which is constantly changing across time and space. The notion of investment conceives of the language learner as having a complex social history and multiple desires. The notion presupposes that when language learners speak, they are not only exchanging information with target language speakers, but they are constantly organizing and reorganizing a sense of who they are and how they relate to the social world...

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