Learning a language is a great thing; it expands the mind and allows us to create connections with new people.
Language is also the gateway to culture. After all, a language is not learned in isolation, languages are associated with cultures and are often influenced by culture.
So what do we mean by culture?
In relation to this article there are two appropriate definitions:
1. the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.
"20th century popular culture"
2. the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society.
Both are important when learning English. Let's take a closer look.
Culture or the arts are incredibly important to most people. There aren't many people who don't enjoy at least one example of the arts. Whether you enjoy reading the latest novel or are absolutely in love with music. Being able to express ourselves and talk about what we love is essential in order to portray our personalities. That means that learning how to talk about these interests in your new language is incredibly important too.
The culture (or perhaps cultures) of the new language you are learning is an important jigsaw piece in becoming a proficient user. After all, if you don't understand that Brits love to talk about the weather, rate manners and queuing very highly and can't discuss or moan about these things in English...are you really speaking English? I joke but knowing how a culture works is important. For example, it could be that something is taboo in the UK but is not in your country...it's important not to offend.
Learning culture is not something to be scared of. I'm a big believer in learning through content and there is plenty of culture content out there. If you're not sure how to teach yourself culture and don't know where to start, pick your favourite art (book, movie, music, painting) and search "most famous British..." or "most famous English speaking..." or "most famous American...". Sorry if that's a little obvious.
I'll write another article about where you can content to learn more about culture related to Britain (arts and customs). I also offer courses which specifically focus on culture if that's something which could help.
Either way, I hope you're having a good day and I'll see you soon!