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

ELT Journal (Impact Factor: 0.72). 01/1984; 38(1):14-20. DOI: 10.1093/elt/38.1.14


Two conflicting pedagogical views exist in teaching EFL (English as a foreign language) abroad. One, promoted chiefly by native English speaking teachers, is that English teaching should be done with reference to the socio-cultural norms and values of an English-speaking country, with the purpose of developing bilingual and bicultural individuals. The other, advocated by the host country where Engligh instruction takes place is that the teaching of English should be independent of its nationality -bound cultural context, with a view to creating bilingual yet not necessarily bicultural poeple. This article discusses both positions in the light of cognitive, affective, and cultural data-in particular with a focus on the native English-speaking teacher in the host society. It is then suggested that successful bilinguals should serve as pedagogical models (instead of monolingual and monocultural native English-speakign teachers) and that local and interenational contexts which are familiar and relevant to students' lives should be used (instead of unfamiliar and irrelevant contexts from the English-speaking world).

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    • "The Iranian English learners do really like to be a member of English-conversant Iranians, their imagined community, where they can own and master it as they own their mother tongue (Pishghadam and Sadeghi, 2011a). However, some English learners are likely to have and behave by the foreign language cultural values and norms and acquire a new identity which may lead to loss of their own cultural values, norms and particularly cultural identity (McLeod, 1976;Pishghadam & Navari, 2009;Alptekin & Alptekin, 1984). Considering the fact that language and culture are deeply related to each other and a language and its culture are two inextricably related entities which should be taught together (Leveridge, 2008;Cakir, 2006;Allwright & Bailey, 1991;Byram, 1989;Brown, 2002;Sudartini, 2009), and bearing in mind that language plays a significant role in shaping one's identity (Brown, 2007), and also being mindful of the internal and inter-state conflicts over culture and identity in Asian countries (Croissant & Trinn, 2009), it is worth asking ourselves " How a foreign language can shape our cultural identity? "

    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Theory and Practice in Language Studies
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2002
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