Volume 8, Issue 4, July 2020, Page: 174-184
Exploring the Role of Cultural Teaching in EFL College Programs: An Introspective Study
Hamad Aldosari, English Department, Faculty of Languages and Translation, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia
Ismail Alrefai, English Department, Faculty of Languages and Translation, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia
Received: Jul. 24, 2020;       Accepted: Aug. 10, 2020;       Published: Aug. 18, 2020
DOI: 10.11648/j.ijll.20200804.18      View  68      Downloads  56
Culture-embedded teaching is integral to teaching foreign languages. In Saudi higher education, the cultural aspects of the target language is poorly integrated in foreign language education due to rigid doctrinaire ideologies. This study, using a survey research design, aimed to introspect the perceptions of EFL instructors about culture and literature teaching in EFL college programs, particularly in Saudi Arabia. The study also explored the perceptions and attitudes of EFL college English language instructors concerning the integration of culture in English language education programs. Utilizing a descriptive research methodology, the researchers made use of questionnaires and interviews to tap into the perceptions of faculty responsible for teaching English as a foreign language courses in the EFL program of the College of Languages and Translation, King Khalid University. The survey and interviews also examined the EFL teachers’ attitudes towards the integration of literature teaching in English education. The findings showed that EFL instructors were concerned with explicit teaching of cultural issues through literature as an excellent source of culture-laden material for foreign language learning. However, due to meagre literature teaching, the current program is short of presenting adequate culture content integration. Barriers perceived include over-use of indigenous cultural and Islamic themes that interfere with proper teaching of the target language. Findings also revealed that teachers entertained positive attitudes toward integrating culture in language education through using a variety of methods and techniques. Pedagogical implications advocate the importance of integrating culture into foreign language teaching courses, especially in the literature curriculum stream as well as integrating real-life conversational excerpts for teaching culturally-laden content in listening and speaking courses. Suggestions for further research topics on culture integration in ELT are presented eventually.
Culture, Culture Education, Literature Education, Saudi Universities
To cite this article
Hamad Aldosari, Ismail Alrefai, Exploring the Role of Cultural Teaching in EFL College Programs: An Introspective Study, International Journal of Language and Linguistics. Vol. 8, No. 4, 2020, pp. 174-184. doi: 10.11648/j.ijll.20200804.18
Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Citron, J. (1995). Can Cross-Cultural Understanding Aid Second Language Acquisition? Toward a Theory of Ethno-Lingual Relativity. Hispania, 78 (1), 105-113.
Brooks, N. (1969). ‘Teaching Culture in the Foreign Language Classroom’, Foreign Language Annals, 2.3: 304-09.
Brooks, N. (1975). The analysis of foreign and familiar cultures. In Lafayette, R. (ed.). The Culture Revolution in Foreign Language Teaching. Skokie, Illinois: National Textbook Company.
Brooks, N. (2008). Teaching Culture in the Foreign Language Classroom. Foreign Language Annals, 1 (3): 204-217. DOI: 10.1111/j.1944-9720.1968.tb00135.x.
Harumi, I. (2002). A New Framework of Culture Teaching for Teaching English as a Global Language. RELC Journal, 33 (2), 36-57.
Ilieva, R. (2005). A story of texts, culture (s), cultural tool normalisation, and adult ESL learning and teaching. Unpublished Ph. D., Simon Fraser University.
Deters, F. (2009). Identity, agency, and the acquisition of professional language and culture: the case of internationally educated teachers and college professors in Ontario. Unpublished Ph. D. Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto.
Sun, L. (2013). Culture Teaching in Foreign Language Teaching. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 3 (2) pp. 371-375. doi: 10.4304/tpls.3.2.371-375.
Nostrand, H. L. (1967). A Second Culture: New Imperative for American Education. In Michel, J. Foreign Language Teaching. An Anthology. London: Collier-MacMillan.
Lessard-Clouston, M. (1997). Towards an Understanding of Culture in L2/FL Education. In Ronko, K. G. Studies in English, 25, 131-150: Kwansei Gakuin University Press.
Hall, E. T. (1981). The Silent Language. New York: Anchor Books.
Nostrand, H. L. (1974). Empathy for a second culture: Motivations and techniques. In Jarvis, G. A. (ed.). 1974. Responding to New Realities. ACTFL Foreign Language Education Series, vol. 5. Skokie, Illinois: National Textbook.
Seelye, H. (1984). Teaching culture: Strategies for inter-cultural communication. Revised edition. Lincolnwood, IL: National Textbook Company.
Seelye, H. (1974). Teaching culture: Strategies for foreign language educators. Skokie, IL: National Textbook Company.
Kramsch, C. (1993). Context and Culture in Language Learning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Oxford, Rebecca (2001). Integrated Skills in the ESL/EFL Classroom. ERIC Digest. ERIC Digests: ED456670.
Tucker, G. R., and Lambert, W. E. (1972). Sociocultural Aspects of Foreign-Language Study. In J. W. Oller & J. C. Richards (eds.). Focus on the learner (pp. 240-259). Roawly, MA: Newbury House.
Humphrey, D. (1997). Integrating Intercultural Training Material in the ELT Classroom. Proceedings of the conference at Leeds Metropolitan University, 15-16 December 1997.
Valdes, J. M. (1995). Culture bound (2nd ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Lessard-Clouston, M. (1996). Chinese teachers views of culture in their EFL learning and teaching. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 9 (3), 197–224.
Prodromou, L. (1992). What culture? Which culture? Cross-cultural factors in language learning. ELT Journal, 46 (1), 39-50.
Duff, Patricia A.; Uchida, Yuko (1997). The Negotiation of Teachers' Sociocultural Identities and Practices in Postsecondary EFL Classrooms. TESOL Quarterly, 31 (3), 451-86.
Arries, J. F. (1994). ‘Constructing Culture Study Units: A Blueprint and Practical Tools’, Foreign Language Annals 27.4: 523-34.
Bragaw, D. H. (1991). ‘The Global Imperative and its Metalanguage’, Foreign Language Annals, 24.2: 115-23.
Damen, L. (1987). Culture learning: The fifth dimension in the language classroom. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Hadley, A. O. (1993). ‘Teaching for Cultural Understanding’, in A. Hadley (ed.), Teaching Language in Context (Boston: Heinle & Heinle): 357-406.
Mantle-Bromley, C. (1993). Preparing Teachers to Make a Global Difference. Foreign Language Annals, 26.2: 208-16.
Bessmertnyi, A. (1994). Teaching Cultural Literacy to Foreign-Language Students. English Forum, 32: 1.
Amin, N. (1997). Race and the identity of the nonnative ESL teacher. TESOL Quarterly, 31 (4), 580-583.
Kachru, B. B. (ed.) (1992). The Other Tongue: English across Cultures, 2nd edn, Urbana: Illinois University Press.
Kirkpatrick, A., Patkin, J. and Wu, J. (2013) “The Multilingual Teacher and the Multilingual Curriculum: An Asian Example of Intercultural Communication in the New Era,” in F. Sharifian and M. Jamarani (eds) Intercultural Communication in the New Era, London: Routledge, pp. 263–288.
Schneider, E. (2007) Postcolonial English: Varieties around the World, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Schneider, E. (2010) “Developmental Patterns of English: Similar or Different?,” in A. Kirkpatrick (ed.) The Routledge Handbook of World Englishes, London: Routledge, pp. 372–384.
Valdes, J. M. (ed.). (1986). Culture Bound: Bridging the Cultural Gap in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wee, Lionel. (2002). When English is Not a Mother Tongue: Linguistic Ownership and the Eurasian Community in Singapore. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 23: 282-295.
Kachru, B. B. (1985). Standard, Codification and Sociolinguistic Realism: The English Language in the Outer Circle,” in R. Quirk and H. Widdowson (eds) English in the World: Teaching and Learning the Language and Literatures, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 11–30.
Kachru, B. B. (1984). Thealchemy of English: Social and functional power of non-native varieties. In C. Kramarae, M. Schulz, & W. M. O’ Barr (Eds.), Languageandpower (pp. 176–193). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Ting-Toomey, S. and Kurogi, A. (1998), “Facework competence in intercultural conflict: an updated face-negotiation theory”, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 22 (2), pp. 187-225.
Lafayette, Robert C., Schulz. R (eds.). (1975). TheCultural Revolution in Foreign Language Teaching. A Guidefor Building the Modern Curriculum. USA: National Text Book Company.
Byram, M. and Wagner, M. (2018). Making a di erence: language teaching for intercultural and international dialogue.', Foreign language annals, 51 (1). pp. 140-15.
Petersen, A., Bente, G., & Krämer, N. C. (2002). Virtuelle Stellvertreter: Analyse avatar-vermittelter Kommunikationsprozesse. In G. Bente, N. C. Krämer, & A. Petersen (Eds.), Virtuelle Realitäten (pp. 227–253). Göttingen, Germany: Hogrefe.
Coperías-Aguilar, María José (2010). Intercultural Communicative Competence as a Tool for Autonomous Learning. Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses 61: 87-98.
Balboni, P. E & Caon, F. A. (2014). Performance-oriented Model of Intercultural Communicative Competence, Venice. Journal of Intercultural Communication, Issue 35, July 2014
Cushner, K. McClelland, A. & Safford, P. (2014). Human Diversity in Education. 8th ed., McGraw-Hill Education.
Schieffelin, B. B., & Ochs, E. (Eds.). (1986). Studies in the social and cultural foundations of language, No. 3. Language socialization across cultures. Cambridge University Press.
Garret, P. & Baquedano-Lopez, P. (2002). Language Socialization: Reproduction and Continuity, Transformation and Change. Annual Review of Anthropology, 31, pp. 339-361.
Liu, J. (2009). Students' construal of intercultural communication competence and intercultural communication teaching. Intercultural Communication Studies, 18 (2), 92.99.
Liu, S., Volcic, Z. & Gallois, C. (2014). Introducing Intercultural Communication Global Cultures and Contexts. Sage.
Alptekin, C. (2002). Towards intercultural communicative competence in ELT. ELT journal, 56 (1), 57-63.
Arevalo-Guerrero, E. (2009). Assessing the development of learners' intercultural sensitivity and intercultural communicative competence: The intercultural Spanish course. University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Chen, G. M., & Young, P. (2012). Intercultural communication competence. In A. Goodboy & K. Shultz (Eds.), Introduction to communication: Translating scholarship into meaningful practice (pp. 175–188). Dubuque, IA: Kendall-Hunt.
Bhawuk, D. P. S., & Brislin, R. (1992). The measurement of intercultural sensitivity using the concepts of individualism and collectivism. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 16 (4), 413-436.
Paige, R. Michael, ed. (1993). “On the Nature of Intercultural Experiences and Intercultural Education.” In Education for the Intercultural Experience, ed. R. Michael Paige. pp. 1-19. Yarmouth, Maine: Intercultural Press.
Bennett, J. M., & Bennett, M. J. (2003). Developing intercultural sensitivity: An integrated approach to global and domestic diversity. In D. Landis, J. M. Bennett, & M. J. Bennett (Eds.), Handbook of Intercultural Training (3rd ed., pp. 1–10). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Kramsch, C. (1998). Language and culture. Toronto: Oxford University Press.
McLeod, B. (1976). The Relevance of Anthropology to Language Teaching. TESOL Quarterly 10 (2): 211-20.
Cai, M. (2002). Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults. Reflection on Critical Issues. Westport Conn.: Greenwood Press.
Cegala, D. J., McGee, D. S., & McNeilis, K. S. (1996). Components of patients' and doctors' perceptions of communication competence during a primary care medical interview. Health Communication, 8 (1), 1–27.
Crawford, C. L., Omery, A., & Seago, J. A. (2012). The challenges of nurse-physician communication: A review of the evidence. Journal of Nursing Administration, 42 (12), 548–550.
Crawford, T., Candlin, S., & Roger, P. (2015). New perspectives on understanding cultural diversity in nurse-patient communication. Collegian, 24 (1), 63–69.
Delgado, D. A., Ness, S., Ferguson, K., Engstrom, P. L., Gannon, T. M., & Gillett, C. (2013). Cultural competence education for clinical staff measuring the effect of a one-hour class on cultural competence. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 24 (2), 204–213.
Divi, C., Koss, R. G., Schmaltz, S. P., & Loeb, J. M. (2007). Language proficiency and adverse events in US hospitals: A pilot study. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 19 (2), 60–67.
Elderkin-Thompson, V., Silver, R. C., & Waitzkin, H. (2001). When nurses double as interpreters: A study of Spanish-speaking patients in a US primary care setting. Social Science & Medicine, 52 (9), 1343–1358.
Fatahi, N., Mattsson, B., Lundgren, S. M., & Hellström, M. (2010). Nurse radiographers' experiences of communicating with patients who do not speak the native language. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 66 (4), 774–783.
Finke, E. H., Light, J., & Kitko, L. (2008). A systematic review of the effectiveness of nurse communication with patients with complex communication needs with a focus on the use of augmentative and alternative communication. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 17 (16), 2102–2115.
Stephens, K. (1997). Cultural stereotyping and intercultural communication: working with students from the People’s Republic of China in the UK. Language and Education, 11, 113–124.
Uzun, O., & Sevinc, S. (2015). The relationship between cultural sensitivity and perceived stress among nurses working with foreign patients. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 24 (23–24), 3400–3408.
Satu, K. U., Leena, S., Mikko, S., Riitta, S., & Helena, L. K. (2013). Competence areas of nursing students in Europe. Nurse Education Today, 33 (6), 625–632.
Mohammadzadeh, B. (2009). Incorporating multicultural literature in English language teaching curriculum. Paper presented in the proceedings of the World Conference on Educational Sciences, Nicosia, North Cyprus, 4-7 February 2009 -New Trends and Issues in Educational Sciences, published in Procedia -Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol. 1, issue 1, pp. 23-27.
Gall, M., Borg, W. & Gall, J. (1996). Educational research: an introduction (6th ed.). New York, Longman.
Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research & evaluation methods. 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Levine, D. R. and Adelman, M. B. (1993). Beyond Language. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall Regents.
Byrnes, H. (1991). Reflections on the development of cross-cultural communicative competence in the foreign language classroom. In B. Freed (Ed.), Foreign language acquisition research and the classroom (pp. 205–218). Lexington, MA: D. C. Heath and Company.
McGilton, K., Irwin-Robinson, H., Boscart, V., & Spanjevic, L. (2006). Communication enhancement: Nurse and patient satisfaction outcomes in a complex continuing care facility. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 54 (1), 35–44.
Yilmaz, M., Toksoy, S., Direk, Z., Bezirgan, S. & Boylu, M. (2017). Cultural Sensitivity Among Clinical Nurses: A Descriptive Study. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 49 (2), 153–161. doi:
Dirven, R., & Putz, M. (1993). Intercultural communication. Language Teaching, 26, 144–156.
Browse journals by subject