Teachers’ Willingness and Preparedness to Deal with Foreign Cultural Issues in the Classroom
19 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2013
Date Written: 1994
As language and culture are inseparably interwoven native speakers reflect their own culture in their speech and writing. For this reason, some language teaching theorists stress the need to teach the target culture to non-native speakers not only because the transmission of this culture breaks down isolation but also gives life and meaning to the foreign language. On the contrary, other language teaching theorists fear that learning the target culture may result in undermining the non-native speakers’ identity or lead to psychological problems such as frustration and feelings of inferiority. This study, therefore, provides the ground on which course designers can make decisions about the inclusion of culture in the EFL curriculum. The purposes of the study were: (1) to determine EFL teachers’ willingness and preparedness to deal with foreign cultures in the classroom, (2) to determine whether a significant difference exists between the mean scores of rural and urban teachers with respect to their willingness to deal with foreign cultures, and (3) to investigate the relationship between EFL teachers’ willingness to deal with foreign cultures and their own cultural awareness.
Subjects for the study were 200 EFL teachers randomly drawn from secondary school EFL teachers in Menoufia and Qena (100 per governorate). Data for the study were gathered by means of a questionnaire which was designed by the researcher and comprised 30 statements of willingness and preparedness (15 items for each). Statistical analysis of the data was carried out through descriptive statistics, the t-test and Pearson product moment correlation coefficient.
Results of the study indicated that: (1) EFL teachers were neither willing nor prepared to deal with foreign cultures in the classroom, (2) there was no statistically significant difference between rural and urban teachers with respect to their willingness to deal with foreign cultures in the classroom, and (3) there was a statistically significant relationship between teachers’ willingness to deal with foreign cultures and their own cultural awareness (r= 0.62, p<0.05). Based upon the results of the study, the researcher suggested a framework for dealing with foreign cultures. Within the limits of this framework, recommendations were made and directions for future research were suggested.
Keywords: Foreign Culture; Teaching Foreign Culture; English as a Foreign Lannguage
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