An NSM-based cultural dictionary of Australian English: from theory to practice [article]

Lauren Sadow, University, The Australian National, University, The Australian National
2019
This thesis is a 'thesis by creative project' consisting of a cultural dictionary of Australian English, and an exegesis which details the theoretical basis and decisions made throughout the creative process of this project. The project aims to produce a resource for ESL teachers on teaching the invisible culture of Australian English to migrants, using the Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM) (e.g. Wierzbicka, 2006) as a theoretical and methodological basis. The resource takes the form of an
more » ... s the form of an encyclopaedic dictionary focussing on Australian values, attitudes, and interactional norms, in response to the need for education resources describing the cultural ethos embodied in Australian English (Sadow, 2014). Best practice for teaching intercultural communicative competence and related skills is to use a method for teaching which encourages students to reflect on their experience and analyse it from an insider perspective (Tomlinson and Masuhara, 2013). This thesis takes the position and demonstrates that an NSM-based descriptive method can meet these practical requirements by providing a framework for describing both cultural semantics and cultural scripts. In response to teacher needs for a pedagogical tool, I created Standard Translatable English (STE) - a derivative of NSM specifically designed for language pedagogy. The exegesis part of this project, therefore, reports on the development of STE and the process, rationale, and results of creating a cultural dictionary using STE as a descriptive method. I also discuss the theoretical grounding of teaching invisible culture, the best-practice requirements for creating teaching materials and dictionaries, my methods for conducting user needs research, and the results, and the ultimate design choices which have resulted in a finished product, including supplementary materials to ensure that teachers are well prepared to use an NSM-based approach in pedagogical contexts. The main body of this project, however, is the cultural dictionary - The Australian Dictionary of I [...]
doi:10.25911/5d514809475cb fatcat:m6swppc7ozcdti5bm3tjlwbagu