Cultural Conceptualisations in Learning English as an L2: Examples from Persian-speaking Learners

Document Type : Original Article


Monash University, Australia


Traditionally, many studies of second language acquisition (SLA) were based on the assumption that learning a new language mainly involves learning a set of grammatical rules, lexical items, and certain new sounds and sound combinations. However, for many second language learners, learning a second language may involve contact and interactions with new systems of conceptualising experience. Many learners bring the conceptual system that they have developed while learning their L1 into the learning of an L2, assuming that every single unit of conceptualisation in their repertoire has an equivalent in the conceptual system associated with the L2. This is never the case. In this paper, I will explicate some cultural conceptualisations that speakers of Persian may bring into the task of learning English as an L2 and discuss some possible implications of this process for intercultural sense making. The chapter begins with a background on the notion of cultural conceptualisation and then moves into the discussion of Persian cultural conceptualisations in L2 learning.