A YEAR OF CELEBRATIONS: RAISING CULTURAL AWARENESS IN CLASS

Koika, Evgenia (2015) A YEAR OF CELEBRATIONS: RAISING CULTURAL AWARENESS IN CLASS. Journal of Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics, 1 (3). ISSN 2303-5528 (In Press)

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Abstract

The multinational nature of the English speaking community as well as the increasing use of English by non –native speakers, as it has become the lingua franca of our era, may lead to the assumption that the English language is not tied to any particular culture. This paper however suggests that teachers should choose a pluralistic approach with the ultimate goal of raising their students’ intercultural communicative competence. Thus, it examines both theoretically and practically, through extensive Needs Analyses, and a posteriori students’ evaluations, the appeal of a cultural awareness approach and the success of its implementation by means of a series of organized events. The Needs Analyses prove that the students are eager to learn more about the countries which they overwhelmingly consider a possible destination for studies and/or job (mainly US, UK, Australia, Canada and to a lesser extent Ireland). Celebrations, sports, local cuisines, as well as music and the film industry are absolutely cherished. Their participation in events including British Tea Parties, Irish Saint Patrick’s Day presentations and distinctive American Thanksgiving and Halloween celebrations prove the merit of the cultural awareness approach in EFL. Thus Clarks’s objective “to learn by doing rather than by being taught” can be applied in conjunction with a modern intercultural communicative approach and a strategy of an English language contextualization. Hence, students embark voluntarily on a learning process, improving not only their language but also their research, organizational and communication skills, while achieving cultural familiarization with all English-speaking people. In order to achieve the aforementioned, the use of computer-based technology is a sine qua non since it offers flexibility and redefines the roles of the teacher and the learners as the teacher assumes the role of the facilitator/guide on the side, leading students to autonomy.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: J-FLTAL
Depositing User: Mr. Eldin Milak
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2015 07:06
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2016 01:30
URI: http://eprints.ibu.edu.ba/id/eprint/2886

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