Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Week#10 - Culture in the TESOL Classroom

What role does culture play in the classroom, specifically a TESOL classroom?


Discussion Questions:  The Role of Culture in the TESOL ClassroomAnswers to the questions below will likely vary based on the age and level of students.
In answering, first think about your most likely teaching context.

  • Do you think including culture as part of ELT is important? Why or Why not?
  • Should culture be taught separately or integrated into most lessons?
  • What is "English Culture"? What types of things should be taught as part of English Culture?
    Which aspects of culture should be emphasized - food, arts, holidays, clothing, pop media, values, history, etiquette, etc.?
  • What are the challenges of teaching ‘English’ culture as a non-native English teacher (NNET)?
  • What materials (text, ppt’s, videos,etc) and activities are most effective for teaching culture?
  • Is it appropriate for a teacher to share moral, religious, and/or personal opinions with students or should they remain as neutral as possible? Why or Why not? (e.g. it's not good to be a workaholic, gay marriage should be legal, the U.S. is too militaristic)

  • What kinds of topics would you consider inappropriate for a TESOL classroom?  
    Any specific issues that should be avoided in Korea?
  • As a learner or educator, can you think of examples of when you experienced significant  'culture in the classroom' moments? In which situations were your reactions positive, in which situations were your reactions negative?

Discussion Questions:  The Role of Culture in the TESOL Classroom (part 2)
  • In terms of instructional value and cultural awareness, what are the advantages and disadvantages of having a native English teacher (NET) in a non-native English speaking classroom?
  • Do you think having NET’s in Korean schools and universities is worthwhile?

  • How should NET’s and NNET’s balance the use of L1 and L2 in instruction.  Aside from student level, what other variables should be considered?
  • How much should an out-of-culture teacher adjust to the common teaching style of the local culture?
    How much should a local teacher adjust to the learning styles that ‘out-of-culture’ students are accustomed to?
  • What issues do NET’s have adjusting to Korean educational environments and  learning culture?
    What issues to Korean teachers have adjusting to NET’s teaching styles and approaches?

    What are some specific pieces of advice you would give to each group?

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