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Culture Matters: Implementation of the cultural component of the English 5 course plan in textbooks and by upper secondary-school teachers in Uppsala
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to investigate how the cultural component, described in the communication content of the course plan, is implemented in textbooks written for English 5. Furthermore, we aim to discover to what extent practising upper secondary-school teachers in Uppsala use textbooks for English 5, as well as to ascertain how teachers teach the cultural component specified in the course plan.

The methods used are quantitative and qualitative text analysis of textbooks used in English 5, as well as qualitative interviews with upper secondary-school teachers in Uppsala who teach English 5.

The results are that the spread of English is portrayed in the textbooks through the mentioning of different English-speaking countries, through the inclusion of authors of different nationality and, to some extent, through informative texts. Concerning the aspects of culture that are featured in the textbooks it can be said that the culture-specific content is not very frequent and that it focuses on living conditions and traditions, but also mentions historical events and attitudes. The portrayal of culture is often implicitly present in short-stories and novel extracts rather than being presented in informative texts where the cultural descriptions are the main focus. The general Western culture emerges as norm in the textbooks and non-Western countries and minorities are described as different from the norm, often as exotic, traditional and uniform.

Concerning the use of textbooks by teachers, the interviewees use them to a small extent to implement some of the content of communication, but only ever as a complement to their other materials. The cultural component can be seen as being interpreted in three ways by teachers. Firstly, as societal issues and current events, secondly as a national phenomenon, and lastly as a tool to enable the students to objectively view cultures, their own as well as foreign cultures, national or otherwise. Accordingly, seven out of the eight interviewees feel that the cultural component is important, but challenging to implement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 52 p.
Keyword [en]
culture, EFL, textbook, course plan
Keyword [sv]
kultur, engelska som främmande språk, läromedel, kursplan
National Category
Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-171796Local ID: 2011ht5030OAI: diva2:512421
Subject / course
Educational Sciences
Educational program
Teacher Education Programme
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2012-03-28 Created: 2012-03-27 Last updated: 2012-03-28Bibliographically approved

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