Language and cultural values: the ethnolinguistic pathways model

Bert Peeters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is important for non-native speakers to acquire as soon as possible a relative awareness of the cultural values and the communicative norms which prevail in the language community of their speech partners. Immersion is usually the means recommended to achieve that end, as it is through immersion in a foreign culture that differences with one’s own culture come to the fore. The hypothesis on which this paper is built is that judicious exploitation of selected resources of a foreign language in the (advanced) foreign language classroom is likely to facilitate subsequent immersion: five ethnolinguistic pathways, which may appeal to researchers as well, will be defined to help with the discovery and/or increased understanding of the values upheld by those who have acquired the foreign language from birth. The aim of the “ethnolinguistic pathways model” is to illustrate how the study of communicative behaviours, phrases, key words and productive syntactic patterns can lead to the discovery of putative cultural values which are then to become the subject of further investigation leading to either the confirmation or rejection of their assumed status; and also how, through detailed study of communicative behaviour, phrases, key words and productive syntactic patterns, cultural values typically associated with a particular linguistic community can be further corroborated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-73
Number of pages15
JournalFULGOR : Flinders University Languages Group Online Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • cultural values
  • communicative norms
  • ethnolinguistic pathways
  • communicative behaviours
  • syntactic patterns
  • immersion
  • foreign language
  • classroom


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