Toward a Reconceptualization of the Integration of Culture and Language in the Korean EFL Classroom.
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Robert C. Lafayette
Many Korean EFL (English as a Foreign Language) students do not have sufficient opportunity to learn cultural knowledge and information in their classrooms. EFL teachers also tend to ignore the teaching of culture. Even though culture is taught, it simply delivers "fact-only" information rather than cultural awareness by comparing native with target culture. Teaching target cultural knowledge and information should be delivered within the native cultural frame, and teaching of culture must be an integral part of teaching and learning English. For the effective integration of culture in EFL classes apart from conveying simply "fact-only" information, this research advocates the de-emphasizing cultural inequality, "English-only" instruction, linguistic-oriented instruction, and unoism stemming from a single cultural perspective. The research was guided by five questions: For each of the four independent variables (cultural inequality, "English-only" instruction, linguistic-oriented instruction, and unoism) what is the degree of the variable and its relation to integration of culture. For the dependent variable (integration of culture), what is the degree of the variable, and what is the order of priority among independent variables as affect integration of culture. The research methodology was qualitative and quantitative in design. Quantitative data was gathered from 83 Korean EFL teachers and 286 EFL students by questionnaire. Qualitative data was gathered from the free written remarks from teachers and students, interviews with 13 EFL teachers (both native and nonnative speakers), and classroom observations of the 13 EFL teachers who completed the interviews. Findings indicated that three of these independent variables (cultural inequality, "English-only" instruction, and unoism) were significantly and inversely related to integration of culture. However, EFL teachers and students in their qualitative data argued that linguistic-oriented instruction should be de-emphasized in the classrooms. Four pedagogical implications are revealed: (1) intercultural equality from the viewpoint of "currere," as an alternative to cultural inequality; (2) bilingual instruction in EFL classroom as an alternative to "English-only" instruction; (3) integration of culture and language as an alternative to linguistic-oriented instruction; and finally (4) multicultural perspectives based on the cross-cultural understanding as an alternative to unoism. Eleven basic applications are suggested: (1) globalized or localized EFL curriculum, (2) cultural instruction though comparing and contrasting the native culture with the target culture within the native cultural frame, (3) open discussion, (4) literacy, (5) teachers training programs, (6) curriculum for the cultural integration, (7) English texts, (8) creativity, (9) de-centering of the binary opposites, (10) the de-emphasis of the "fact-only" approach, and (11) portfolio assessment.
Roh, Seung Bin, "Toward a Reconceptualization of the Integration of Culture and Language in the Korean EFL Classroom." (2001). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. 313.