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The place of the native culture in the english language classroom

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2010
Gülcü, Meriç
The aim of this study is to investigate the place of the students‟ native culture in the English language classrooms in the context of the English 101 course at Middle East Technical University. In accordance with this aim, the study is concerned with revealing the opinions and beliefs of language teachers regarding the importance of integrating the students‟ native cultures into their classes and their attitudes about practicing culturally responsive teaching in multi-cultural classrooms. During the process of data collection, various methods were utilized: Five teachers working in the Department of Modern Languages were interviewed to learn their ideas about the topic from different aspects of language instruction, and two teachers were observed while teaching to better understand the classroom application of their ideas and the principles of culturally responsive teaching. Further post-observation interviews and stimulated recalls were also carried out to make an in-depth analysis. The results of the study show that although the teachers believe in the importance of making use of the students‟ native cultures in their classrooms through different means, they usually neglect to do so. The study also shows that what the teachers associate with the term “culture” in the context of language teaching is the target culture rather than the native cultures. It is also found that while the individual cultures of the foreign students are made use of to a greater degree (but still in a very limited fashion), the native cultures of the Turkish students are ignored during the instruction.