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(Inter)cultural Competence: Voices from Turkish FL Contexts Serkan GERİDÖNMEZ

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Presentation on theme: "(Inter)cultural Competence: Voices from Turkish FL Contexts Serkan GERİDÖNMEZ"— Presentation transcript:

1 (Inter)cultural Competence: Voices from Turkish FL Contexts Serkan GERİDÖNMEZ

2 2 Culture and Language Teaching  Sercu (2005) “Learning a foreign language means getting into a world that often has a different culture than your own”  Council of Europe (1997) “Foreign language teaching can no longer be regarded as mainly a linguistic task. Teachers are now required to teach intercultural communicative competence”

3 3 Culture and Language Teaching in Europe  Establishing a common framework across Europe  Teachers’ and students’ ideas about the integration of culture into foreign language classrooms across Europe  Sercu (2005): FL teachers in Belgium, Bulgaria, Poland, Greece, Spain and Sweden  Byram and Risager (1999): EFL Danish and British Teachers

4 4 The Aim of the Study  To collect data about the ideas of people from different backgrounds on the use of culture in foreign language teaching in Turkey  To provide some insights for possible future implementations of more intense culture integration in foreign language contexts in Turkey

5 5 The Subjects of the Study (Teachers)  13 Teachers of English (University Level)  6 Teachers of German (University Level)  7 Teachers of French (University Level)  11 Teachers of English (High School Level)  Total: 37 teachers

6 6 The Subjects of the Study (Students)  22 Prospective teachers of English  11 Prospective teachers of German  22 Prospective teachers of French  20 EFL students (Intensive English Program at university level)  Total 75 Students

7 7 Total Number of Subjects 37 Teachers + 75 Students= 112 subjects (in 8 different groups)

8 8 Methodology  Questionnaire developed by the researcher inspired by Sercu (2005) and Byram and Risager (1999)  An overall analysis of items in percentages for all of the subjects  Comparison of the results among and within groups for possible differences and similarities  Administered in Turkish  5-point Likert scale + Multiple Choice

9 9 The Number of Visits to Other Countries 51.7 % never been abroad (majority being students) Order for teachers (from more to less) 1.Teachers of German (University Level) 2.Teachers of French (University Level) 3.Teachers of English (University Level) 4.Teachers of English (High School Level) Quite low percentage (54,5 % never been abroad) for high school level EFL teachers

10 10 The Number of Visits to Other Countries Order for Students (from more to less) 1.Prospective Teachers of French 2.Prospective Teachers of German 3.Prospective Teachers of English 4.EFL Students (IEP) Extremely low percentages for prospective English teachers and university level EFL students Higher percentages for prospective German and French teachers

11 11 Interaction with Foreigners: Frequency and the Channels used The order of frequency (from more to less) 1.Sometimes 33 % 2.Rarely % Often 21.4 % 4.Always 10.7 % 5.Never 5.3 % * relatively more contacts with foreigners by teachers than students; the groups with the most frequent contacts being German and French teachers and least being High School EFL Teachers

12 12 Interaction with Foreigners: Frequency and the Channels used The Channels Used (From most popular to least) 1.Face to face 77,6 % 2. 63,3 % 3.Telephone 25,8 % 4.Snail mail 8,9 % Lower percentage for High School EFL Teachers in face to face communication and through

13 13 The Activities done to Encourage Interaction with Other Cultures and their People in Foreign Language Classrooms  International Student Exchange Programs 60,7 %  Opportunities for interaction with foreigners in schools 58,8 %  Extra cultural information by teachers 50,8 %  Texts about other cultures 50 %  Nothing is done 11.6 % * Relatively low percentages by EFL students and high school EFL teachers and higher percentages for extra cultural information by teachers of German and French

14 14 The Reasons of Communication Problems with Foreigners  Lack of Vocabulary Knowledge 61,6 %  Lack of Cultural Information 34,8 %  Lack of Grammar Knowledge 3,5 % * High percentage for lack of vocabulary knowledge by university level EFL students and High school EFL teachers and Teachers of French

15 15 The Reasons for the Increasing Demands for Learning about Other Cultures  Globalization 65,1 %  EU integration 60,7 %  International student exchange programs 59,8 %  More opportunities to go abroad 53,5 %  No increase in demand 4,4 % * Relatively lower percentages for prospective English teachers and EFL students and relatively higher for German and French group

16 16 The Reasons for not Integrating Culture Teaching in Foreign Language Teaching  Teacher’s lack of cultural knowledge 58,9 %  No time left due to grammar teaching 56,2 %  Teachers believe unnecessary 45,5 %  Students believe unnecessary 35,7 %  Negative attitudes by students 34,8 %  Appropriate materials unavailable 22,3 % No difference between teachers and students Quite high percentage for “No time is left due to grammar teaching” by High School EFL teachers

17 17 The Reasons for Integrating Culture Teaching in Foreign Language Teaching  Positive effect on second language development 70,5 %  More effective communication with foreigners 61,6 %  Preparing students for multicultural environments 57,1 %  Impossibility of teaching language without teaching culture 41 %  More tolerance towards other cultures 33,9 %  Teaching involuntarily due to presence in syllabi17,8 % Higher percentages for more effective communication with foreigners and second language development Relatively higher percentages for all items by teachers of German and French Relatively lower percentages for all items by High School EFL teachers

18 18 The Foreign Culture Related Topics that should be Taught in Foreign Language Classrooms 1.Cultural Differences 88,3 % 2.Tourism 83 % 3.Art 79.4 % 4.Social Values 76,7 % 5.Geography 75,8 % 6.Educational Systems 75 % 7.Foods and Drinks 74,1 % 8.Daily Life 73,2 % 9.National holidays 66,9 % 10.Festivals 66,9 % 11.Body Languages 66 % 12.Successes in Science 64,2 % 13.Stereotypical Citizens 60,7 % 14.Moral Values 60,7 % 15.History 55,3 % 16.Religious Holidays 47,3 % 17.Political Systems 42,8 %

19 19 The Foreign Culture Related Topics that should be Taught in Foreign Language Classrooms  Less support for all items in general by EFL students, prospective English teachers and High School EFL Teachers  Quite great support by German and French group for all topics  More support by teachers than students for “Food and drink”, “Body languages” and “Stereotypical citizens”  More support by students than teachers for “Tourism”, “Art” “Educational systems” and “Success in science”

20 20 General Statements about the Integration of Culture into Foreign Language Teaching  Statements mostly agreed on by the subjects 1.Importance of teaching culture (Statement 1 / 69,5 %) 2.Presence of cultural information in textbooks (Statement 3 / 70,5 %) 3.Motivation-promoting effect of learning about target cultures (Statement 4 / 76,7 %) 4.Lack of cultural information as the reason of communication breakdowns (Statement 5 / 66,9 %)

21 21 General Statements about the Integration of Culture into Foreign Language Teaching  Statements mostly agreed on by the subjects 5.Facilitative effect of cultural information in fostering communication (Statement 10 / 81,1 %) 6.Necessity of the inclusion of cultural information in foreign language teaching syllabi (Statement 12 / 67,7 %) 7.Necessity that foreign language teachers should display positive attitude towards target culture (s) (Statement 13 / 71,4 %)

22 22 General Statements about the Integration of Culture into Foreign Language Teaching  Statements mostly agreed on by the subjects 8.Teachers’ role to prepare students for multicultural contexts (Statement 14 / 82 %) 9. Necessity of teachers to have a good command of target culture (Statement 15 / 68,7 %) 10. Prejudice reducing effect of learning about other cultures (Statement 16 /76,7 %)

23 23 General Statements about the Integration of Culture into Foreign Language Teaching  Statements with relatively higher disagreement 1.Native speakers’ being more successful FL teachers (Statement 7 / 42,2 % - Undecided 20, 5%) 2.Possibility of teaching language without teaching culture (Statement 11 / 49,9 %) 3.Presence of texts from native cultures in text books (Statement 17 / 57,1 %)

24 24 General Statements about the Integration of Culture into Foreign Language Teaching  Statements with inconsistent distributions 1.Necessity for language teacher to have been abroad (Statement 2 / Disagreement 33 % - Undecided 12,5 % and agreement 51,7 %) 2.Necessity of going to target language country for effective learning (Statement 6 / Disagreement 29,4 % - Undecided 14,2 % and agreement 56,2 %)

25 25 General Statements about the Integration of Culture into Foreign Language Teaching  Statements with inconsistent distributions 3.Necessity of culture teaching as out-of-clas activities (Statement 8 / Disagreement 21,3 % - Undecided 39,2 % and agreement 41 %) 4.Using target culture names in examples given in the foreign language classroom (Statement 9 / Disagreement 22,2 % - Undecided 24,1 % and agreement 49,9 %)

26 26 Conclusion  Mostly supportive approach toward the integration of culture by all subjects  Limited contact with other cultures except all university level teachers  The higher frequency of contacts leading to more positive attitudes toward the integration of culture in FL classrooms  Availability of activities to promote intercultural communication in second language classrooms  Importance of vocabulary knowledge in intercultural communication more than cultural information

27 27 Conclusion  Integration of culture mostly for communication and language development purposes  Ignoring culture mostly for technical and procedural limitations  Reluctance for some topics in second language classrooms  Increasing demand for intercultural information

28 28 Conclusion  More cautious groups: High School EFL teachers, prospective English teachers and EFL IEP students  More supportive groups: University level EFL, German and French teachers and prospective German and French teachers


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