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We recommend demonstrating the influence of society and culture on a particular language at

the outset. Social and cultural contexts of human life shape language to a great extent. Languages

express the cultural legacy and social experience of a people. They serve as a conduit of knowledge

about lives that is transmitted from generation to generation. The bond between a language and the

culture which produced it cannot be neglected if we wish to understand the language fully and to use

it proficiently. A clear understanding of this accumulative-transmissive function of language, elicited

through vivid, real-life, language-specific examples, will reinforce students’ motivation to master

SCC and SLC competencies.

3. Definition of SCC and SLC

The practical mastering of SCC and SLC needs to begin with a consensus on what is meant by

these terms, We recommend starting with an overview of existing literature on SCC an SLC.. More

specifically, we recommend starting with language-specific definitions of SCC and SLC. For this

reason, in the Russian Workbooks, we focus exclusively on research relevant to this topic conducted

by Russian linguists.

SCC has been defined as the possession of sufficient background knowledge (BK) and

capability to activate this relevant BK in the process of culturally appropriate communication.

Background knowledge is generally defined as a body of knowledge that is shared by native-speakers

of a particular language. This common knowledge facilitates the ability of individuals to communicate,

work, and live together. BK unites a community and is a distinguishing characteristic of a national


Sociolinguistic competence has been defined by Russian linguists as mastery over broad range

of modern Russian language use evident in distinguishable spheres and in delineable social groups.


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