International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Keep the Fish Alive in the Water Foreign Language Education and Cultural Understanding in Global Context
Han Liu

Abstract
As globalization becomes increasingly profound, the world is facing more challenges caused by ineffective and inaccurate communications among nation states and peoples. Language is the major vehicle to transmit the values of a certain culture in very subtle way. The relationship of language and culture is like that of fish and water, neither can exist without the other. This paper addresses issues and solutionsof foreign language education in college setting in the United States. It asserts that, in addition to traditional approaches to expose foreign language learners to foreign cultures, such as hosting native speakers or traveling to the foreign land, language educators in the 21st century should take full advantage of the online open learning resources (especially videos) that greatly help keep the fish (the foreign language) alive in the water (the culture from which the language was originated) and enhance student language proficiency and cross culture understanding.

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