Culture and English language teaching: raising awareness

Document Type


Publication details

Sarıgül, E & Ashton-Hay, S 2005, 'Culture and English language teaching: raising awareness', paper presented to New horizons in ELT: 9th International INGED (Turkish English Education Association) Conference, Ankara, Turkey, 2-22 October.

Available for download from the QUT ePrints digital repository at http://eprints.qut.edu.au/12314/


This paper examines the various roles of culture in language teaching with the aim of increasing awareness for English teachers. Graves (2001) claims that culture is receiving increasing attention; Hymes (1972) views it as communicative competence; Larsen-Freeman (2001) as a fifth skill in addition to reading, writing, speaking and listening; and Kramsch (1993) as not just a fifth skill or even an aspect of communicative competence but the underlying dimension of all one knows and does. Regardless of how we perceive culture, the importance of culture in English Language Teaching has never been more important. Raising awareness of aspects of culture such as various pronunciations, translatable and untranslatable words, approaches to culture, who should teach culture, strategies for teaching language and culture, as well as several innovations and new studies involving culture and ELT will be discussed here.