The question of culture: EFL teaching in non-English-speaking countries

ELT Journal (Impact Factor: 0.68). 01/1984; 38:14-20. DOI: 10.1093/elt/38.1.14
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Available from: Cem Alptekin, Sep 29, 2015
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    • "Yet a great number of authorities including Alptekin & Alptekin (1984); Smith (1981); Shaw (1981); Jenkins (1998); and Campbell et al. (1982) seem to be no longer satisfied with these terms and the distinctions they draw. They feel it is time to look into the possibility of creating new terms, which would more accurately reflect the present state of English language usage around the world. "
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    ABSTRACT: English language teaching in Iran has usually been considered an EFL model. This position, though common and widespread, seems to need revision in several grounds. Through comparing EFL, ESL and EIL (English as an international language) models based on Smith's (1978) comparative study, the present article reveals that the ELT in Iran no longer follows the EFL tradition. The comparative evaluation makes it clear that in terms of most categories, ELT in Iran shows the characteristics of EIL. Therefore, through characterizing it as a developmental process along a continuum towards EIL, the present study argues for instances of paradigm shift and thus claims that the ELT context in Iran is ripe for revision.
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    ABSTRACT: This study aims to investigate Turkish teachers’ opinions and beliefs on the place of target cultural information in English language teaching, as well as their related practices and applications in EFL classrooms in Turkish higher education context. Particularly, it tries to explore three research questions: (a) How do Turkish teachers of English define culture? (b) What are the EFL teachers’ attitudes towards incorporating cultural information into their teaching? and (c) What role do they allocate to the culture of the target language in their classrooms? Data was collected from 98 randomly selected EFL teachers in the Preparatory (Hazýrlýk) Programs of four universities (Hacettepe University, Middle East Technical University, Ankara University, and Baskent University) in Ankara. A written survey questionnaire, including structured items, a rating scale and a Likerttype attitude scale, together with a follow-up interview were used as the two data collection methods. The analyses were carried out by frequency counts of the predetermined choices in the items and the related responses that were given to questions of the interview. The study shows that teachers mostly define culture in the sociological sense, such as values and beliefs. Their definition of culture in the framework of ELT slightly shifts towards more visible culture, such as food and clothing. The study also reveals teachers’ positive attitudes towards incorporating cultural information in their instruction. Teachers incorporate cultural knowledge to increase the learners’ awareness of other cultures and people for intellectual development, and to improve learners’ communicative competence.
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