The need to address culture in EFL/ESL classrooms has been stressed by scholars in the SLA field for decades (see Kramsch, 1993, 2009, 2011; Byram, 1988; Liddicoat & Scarino, 2013). The original intention of working with culture in the English classes as a means to develop language proficiency –sociocultural competence– was expanded, and nowadays, the focus is on the role culture instruction has in developing empathy and respect for other ways of living and in promoting reflection about learners’ own lifestyle –intercultural competence (Byram, 1988, 2008; Deardoff, 2006). This new focus on cultural instruction is reflected in national curriculums around the globe (Lavrenteva & Orland-Barak, 2015). However, in most cases, curricula do not offer clear guidance to teachers on how to address this relevant topic in their classrooms explicitly, which is the case of the Argentinian national guidelines for the teaching of foreign languages (Ministerio de Educación de la República Argentina, 2012) and the Buenos Aires Province curriculum (Dirección General de Cultura y Educación de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, 2011). Moreover, little is known about what Argentinian teachers know about culture instruction, the objectives they perceive as underlying the need to address it, and their actual practice tackling the topic. This case study seeks to fill this gap and collaborate to the EFL field by exploring Argentinian EFL Secondary School teachers’ beliefs about culture and its teaching and the way they address it in their classrooms in Mar del Plata, Argentina, through the use of questionnaires, a follow-up interview, and written class artifacts and following a qualitative content analysis approach. The findings of this research revealed a mismatch between theory and practice when it comes to culture instruction, and the challenges teachers often face when working with it. These findings are expected to inform current EFL teacher practices as well as future teacher preparation through a localized lens.
Sarah Henderson Lee
Date of Degree
Master of Arts (MA)
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Humanities and Social Sciences
Sempé, M. M. (2023). Teaching culture in the Argentinian EFL classroom: Beliefs, practice and challenges [Master’s thesis, Minnesota State University, Mankato]. Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works for Minnesota State University, Mankato. https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/etds/1302/
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