Wednesday, 25 July 2012
Reading #3: Making Culture Happen in the English Language Classroom by Barry Tomalin
Tomalin looks at the issue of culture and how it fits into English language teaching. I agree with him that culture shouldn't be a separate unit in a textbook or in a course, but it should be part of the activities that you do every day. I also think that teaching culture can begin even in a true beginners class. For example, my students are new immigrants in Canada, and they are interested in learning about Canadian culture because Canada is their new home. They want to know how to communicate with others and they want to learn about "current events" in Canadian culture. They want to know about the new impaired driving laws and why many Canadians are supportive of these new laws. Of course, students need to develop critical thinking skills as well. I wish that Tomalin had provided more answers about how to integrate culture into the textbooks and every day lessons though.