A Content Analysis of the Cultural Content in the EFL Textbooks/UNE ANALYSE DE CONTENU DU CONTENU CULTUREL DANS LES MANUELS EN ANGLAIS

Article excerpt

Abstract:

Intercultural communicative competence has been widely accepted as the aim of EFL teaching. In order to obtain this competence, Culture teaching must be implemented in the college English teaching. Textbooks have played a very important role in the course of teaching and learning. Textbooks introduce students the cultures of different countries and regions, thus making it convenient for students to exert a relatively remarkable influence on the fostering of students' cultural awareness and competence of intercultural communication. This paper focuses on the content analysis of the cultural content in College English (New) (henceforth, CE (New)).

Key Words: College English (New); content analysis; textbook evaluation

Résumé: La compétence de communication interculturelle a été largement acceptée comme le but de l'enseignement de l'anglais. Afin d'obtenir cette compétence, l'enseignement culturel doit être appliqué dans l'enseignement de l'anglais dans les collèges. Les manuels ont joué un rôle très important dans le cadre de l'enseignement et de l'apprentissage. Les manuels initient les étudiants aux cultures de différents pays et régions et exercent une influence relativement remarquable sur la sensibilisation culturelle et les compétences de communication interculturelle des élèves. Le présent article se concentre sur l'analyse du contenu des contenus culturels dans les manuel de l'anglais aux collèges (Nouveau) (désormais, on utilise AC (nouveau) pour désigner l'anglais de collège).

Mots-clés: anglais de collège (nouveau); analyse du contenu; évaluation des manuels scolaires

1. INTRODUCTION

The necessity of integrating culture teaching in FLE has been long recognized by scholars and educators, but what kinds of cultural information should be taught is still a confusing problem, hi China, English is taught as a foreign language, so the most of English teaching and learning happen in class, which means teaching materials play an important role in English teaching and learning. Cunningsworth stated that "teaching materials can exert considerable influence over what teachers teach and how they do it" (Cunningsworth, 2002, P7). And on the other hand, with China's education heavily under the influence of Confucianism and Daoism, students get into the habit of depending on textbooks (Zhang, 2007, P262).

A conclusion can be drawn like this: the cultural content in English as foreign language (henceforth EFL) textbooks is one of the best resources for introducing culture knowledge to learners in China, and the cultural content in EFL textbooks is and will be the critical element even the determining element for culture teaching for a long time in China. The majority of English learners are non-English majors in China, so this paper focuses on analyzing the cultural content in textbooks of non-English majors.

2. LITERATURE REVIEW

Textbook is very important for both teachers and students so that it is called "Keben" in Chinese, which means the basis of a course. Although it cannot cover everything, it remains the major source for the teaching content. Textbook is the effective instrument for the educational practice and it can reflect values and senses for individuals and nations (EH Kinkel, 2005, P135). Systematic and comprehensive textbook may facilitate the culture input considerably, while a rigid textbook may leave no room for culture teaching, so the evaluation of textbooks are essential in FLE.

Among all the thorough lists of criteria for textbook evaluation, Byram's checklist focuses on cultural content outstandingly. Byram asserted that although cultural learning and teaching has been viewed as an integral part of language education, the great majority of cases were "the more acquisition of information about a foreign country, without the psychological demands of integrated language learning" (Byram, 1989, P2). This point of view was confirmed in Kramsch's survey that showed in many language classes culture was frequently reduced to "the four Fs", which means "foods, fairs, folklores and statistic facts" (Kramsch, 1993, P218). …