CE  Vol.6 No.12 , July 2015
Developing Cultural Awareness: The Text-Driven Approach as Evidence of a Good Language Teaching Practice
ABSTRACT
The present article reports a descriptive and explanatory case study, whose objective was to identify and describe to what extend students develop cultural awareness through activities designed under the principles of the Text-Driven Approach (TDA). This approach, presented by Brian Tomlinson, answers the question of how a second language can be learned or acquired in the most effective way in the classroom, and also aims to design interesting materials for students which lead them to think, reflect, and communicate. The research deals with developing cultural awareness in Elementary English students in the Modern Languages Degree at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Basically, the research development comprised 3 stages. The first one consisted of the identification of the problem, which was intended to figure out if students develop cultural awareness in their English classes; the second stage was intended to design a set of activities following the TDA principles. Said design became the core of the pedagogical intervention to give answers to the problem found. The third stage was featured by the implementation of the activities in two different classrooms for a period of three months. During such implementation of the activities, data were collected by using 3 important instruments: the observation sheets, which were helpful in order to gather information about observable students’ behaviors (what students do). The second instrument was a questionnaire, in which students had the opportunity to express what they thought and learned during the implementation of the activities (what students say they do) and finally, we count on artifacts from students (what students really do), regarding the activities designed in order to develop cultural awareness; such artifacts were found by means of the teacher’s guide, the document in which the activities were presented. Therefore, the same phenomenon was observed from 3 different perspectives obtaining a triangulation, a technique, which was considered the most appropriate to do the analysis of the data. The information collected led researchers to 4 important categories through which answers were given to the research question: knowledge (savoir), socio-cultural competence (savoir fare), attitude (savoir être), understanding ‘’the other’’. Such categories allowed researchers to classify the information gathered and obtain the preliminary findings, which showed that the activities designed definitely developed cultural awareness to some extend in Elementary English students.

Cite this paper
Cardona, L. , Rico, C. and Sarmiento, S. (2015) Developing Cultural Awareness: The Text-Driven Approach as Evidence of a Good Language Teaching Practice. Creative Education, 6, 1360-1385. doi: 10.4236/ce.2015.612137.
References
[1]   Bourdieu, P. (1994). Outline of a Theory of Practice. New York: Cambridge University Press.

[2]   Byram, M. (1989). Cultural Studies in Foreign Language Education. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters Ltd.

[3]   Byram, M. (1997). Teaching and Assessing Intercultural Communicative Competence. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.

[4]   Byram, M., Nichols, A., & Stevens, D. (2001). Review of Developing Intercultural Competence in Practice.
http://linguistlist.org/issues/12/12-3004.html

[5]   Byram, M. (2003). Intercultural Competence. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing.
http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/autobiography/source/aie_en/aie_context_concepts_and_theories_en.pdf

[6]   Corbett, J. (2003). An Intercultural Approach to English Language Teaching. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.

[7]   Council of Europe (CEFR) (2001). Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment. New York: Cambridge University Press.

[8]   Hall, B. (2006). Social Movement Learning: Theorizing a Canadian Tradition. In T. Fenwick, T. Nesbit, & B. Spencer (Eds.), Contexts of Adult Education: Canadian Perspectives (pp. 230-238). Toronto: Thompson Educational Publishers.

[9]   Izadpanah, S. (2011) The Review Study: The Place of Culture in English Language Teaching. US-China Foreign Language, 9, 109-116.

[10]   Jæger, K. (2001). The Intercultural Speaker and Present-Day Requirements Regarding Linguistic and Cultural Competence.
http://inet.dpb.dpu.dk/infodok/sprogforum/Espr19/Jager.pdf

[11]   Kramsch, C. J. (1987). Foreign Language Textbooks’ Construction of Foreign Reality. The Canadian Modern Language Review, 44, 95-119.

[12]   Kirkeby, C. (2008). The Importance of Language-Learning.
http://www.classbrain.com/artteensb/publish/importance_foreign_language.shtml

[13]   Lafraya, S. (2011). Intercultural Learning in Non-Formal Education: Theoretical Frameworks and Starting Points.
http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/youth/Source/Resources/PR_material/2012_Compendium_
Intercultural_Learning_text_en.pdf


[14]   Quappe, S., & Cantatore, G. (2005). What Is Cultural Awareness, Anyway? How Do I Build It?
http://www.culturosity.com/articles/whatisculturalawareness.htm

[15]   Rico Troncoso, C. (2011). Principled Language Materials for the Development of Intercultural Communicative Competence. PhD Research Thesis, Leeds, UK: Leeds Met University.

[16]   Risager, K. (1998). Language Teaching and the Process of European Integration. In M. Byram, & M. Fleming (Eds.), Language Learning in Intercultural Perspective: Approaches through Drama and Ethnography (pp. 242-254). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[17]   Tomalin, B., & Stempleski, S. (1993). Cultural Awareness. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press. In Álvarez, J., & Bonilla, X. (2009). Addressing Culture in the EFL Classroom: A Dialogic Proposal.
http://www.scielo.org.co/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1657-07902009000200011

[18]   Tomlinson, B. (2000). Materials for Cultural Awareness: Combining Language, Literature and Culture in the Mind.

[19]   Tomlinson, B. (2003). Developing Principled Frameworks for Materials Development. In B. Tomlinson (Ed.), Developing Materials for Language Teaching (pp. 107-129). London UK, Continuum. (Quoted in Rico Troncoso, C. (2011). Principled Language Materials for the Development of Intercultural Communicative Competence. PhD Research Thesis, Leeds, UK: Leeds Met University.)

 
 
Top