Transcultural Learning in Conditions of Bilingual Education in Azerbaijan
Author: Veliyeva, Malahat (Azerbaijan University of Languages, Azerbaijan)
Speaker: Veliyeva, Malahat
Topic: Applied Sociolinguistics
COMELA 2020 General Session
Enter description here. Foreign language education is becoming more and more actual in global education in the XXI century. Bilingual education in Azerbaijan has firm background dating back to the early XX century when Azerbaijani-Russian bilingualism was common throughout the country. After the country gained independence in 1992 the enforced Russian language influence was replaced by the voluntary striving for learning English as an international language, lingua franca for communication with tourists and foreign investors in the oil industry in Azerbaijan.
Another reason for bilingualism in education is the fact that Azerbaijan joined Bologna process in tertiary education and different kinds of student mobility programs such as Erasmus and Tempus provide strong foundation to develop bilingual education in the country.
In the teaching context of Azerbaijan University of Languages, Azerbaijani students whose second language is English are supposed to study Country studies about the culture of Great Britain. Such kind of approach to foreign language education provides learners with opportunity to study the foreign culture that promotes to formation of multicultural, tolerant, humanistic world citizens.
Transcultural learning should definitely be guided by a teacher to provide smooth perception of another culture and prevent potential emotional culture clash which usually experienced by bilinguals who are often unaware of the cultural aspect of the learning.
The benefit from transcultural learning for bilinguals is first of all, encompassing the elements of another culture as all the conflicts, misunderstandings and divergences between people, different social groups appears as a result of a lack of effective communication skills.
The experiments during the classroom debates on social topics with both bilingual and monolingual students in their mother tongue showed that even during the discussions in their mother tongue bilingual students demonstrated more effective communication skills, wider outlook and higher intercultural competency.
Keywords: Transcultural, bilingual, education