Author: Hussein A. Ahmed1
1Nawroze University, College of Languages, Duhok, Iraq
Abstract: Learning a foreign language goes well beyond the mere task of assembling lexical items in grammatically accurate sentences. It rather involves learning to communicate with others in the sense that language and communication necessitate engagement with culture. Regarding the need to investigate the role of teachers in developing students’ cultural awareness in the different contexts of foreign language teaching, the current study endeavours to carry out a comparison between the role of teachers of College of Arts, College of Education and College of Basic Education in developing their students’ cultural awareness. To be more specific, it aims to investigate teachers’ opinions of the role of culture in teaching and learning a foreign language. The study is designed in the light of one main null hypothesis, and two subhypotheses derived from it. To prove the validity of these hypotheses, a sample of English-asa-Foreign-Language teachers of conversation, reading comprehension, poetry, novel and drama at the departments of English of the aforementioned colleges has been chosen. The sample comprised 32 teachers: 14 from College of Arts, 10 from College of Education and 8 from College of Basic Education; 19 males and 13 females; 16 teachers of linguistics and 16 teachers of literature. The results show that Male Teachers, and Teachers of Linguistics prioritise expanding the linguistic dimension over the (inter)cultural one and teaching linguistic competence more than intercultural competence; a point that is also emphasized by Teachers of College of Basic Education. In the same vein, the latter teachers, and Female Teachers think that an emphasis of foreign cultures can contribute to students’ loss of cultural identity. Finally, the study further reveals that Teachers of Literature accentuate that culture teaching increases the students’ already existing stereotypes of other peoples and cultures.
Key words: culture, Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, cultural awareness, intercultural competence, third culture, identity
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International Journal of Social Sciences & Educational Studies
ISSN 2409-1294 (Print), June 2014, Vol.1, No.4