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Teacher’s perceptions and experiences of developing intercultural awareness in English language instruction and EFL coursebooks for the second cycle of primary school

Ana Ilić (2017) Teacher’s perceptions and experiences of developing intercultural awareness in English language instruction and EFL coursebooks for the second cycle of primary school. MSc thesis.

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    In teaching and learning English as a foreign language in the 2nd cycle of primary school the cultural elements should be integral in planning foreign language instruction and the main aim of the foreign language learning should be developing intercultural awareness. Cultural activities should be included systematically and constantly, since they are proven to have a positive effect on different areas that are important for successful language learning. With intercultural awareness pupils develop the ability to communicate successfully, to understand their own culture better, to evaluate and refine generalization about target culture, to have positive attitudes toward foreign people and to accept the cultural diversity in the world. However, in order to achieve the desired effects, it is particularly important that the foreign language teachers have the right attitude towards cultural elements, are aware of the advantages of including culture and developing intercultural awareness in the lessons and at the same time have sufficient knowledge and adequate materials for the effective development of intercultural awareness. Providing adequate cultural elements within the coursebooks developed for foreign language teaching is crucial for the development of the intercultural awareness. The results of the quantitative research, which was attended by 100 Slovenian teachers of English as a foreign language in the 2nd cycle of primary schools, showed that teachers are aware of the cultural positive impact on pupils' language development and perceive a teacher’s role in developing intercultural awareness as important, however it was concluded that they include cultural elements in language learning rarely, only teachers of the 6th grade often. The research demonstrated that cultural elements are not as frequently included as they should be in most of the coursebooks. Furthermore, the obtained data showed that teachers in general use different procedures for teaching culture. Teachers find many limitations to cultural elements in coursebooks (contents are not authentic and are without context, coursebooks do not include different English dialects, do not reflect pupils' own culture, and do not promote cultural relativism), as a result, they are selecting additional diverse sources of cultural elements. The data also showed that teachers generally often face with restrictions while including culture in the classroom, mainly when introducing and explaining the target culture, developing and measuring pupils’ progression in intercultural awareness in when teaching a complex system of cultural beliefs, morals, customs, attitudes and behaviours of target culture speakers. Moreover, the results also showed that teachers in general do not include culture at the beginning of foreign language learning, however they all encourage reflection and comparison between the target culture and pupils’ culture. The results also showed that teachers in general rate their knowledge and skills for effective teaching cultural elements and developing intercultural awareness as medium, but not without shortcomings and want additional professional training in this field. To sum up, according to teachers, characteristics of cultural elements in coursebooks do not contribute to the development of the pupils’ intercultural awareness.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: teaching English as a foreign language, 2nd cycle of Slovene primary schools, culture, intercultural awareness, cultural elements in EFL coursebooks and in foreign language classroom, teacher's role
    Number of Pages: 91
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Mateja Dagarin FojkarMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11521865)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 4437
    Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2017 11:13
    Last Modified: 24 Apr 2017 11:13
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/4437

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