Academic journal article Cross - Cultural Communication

A Survey of Culture Teaching in College English

Academic journal article Cross - Cultural Communication

A Survey of Culture Teaching in College English

Article excerpt


This study introduces the condition of culture teaching in college English in China by using the quantitative research method. Through analyzing the quantitative data by means of various inferential statistical procedures, and investigating how the students' recognition, favorite approach, ideas, and attitudes on culture teaching interact and students' sex-, major-and place-related differences in culture teaching, the results show that culture learning plays a positive part in learning language. The results also indicate that the degree of the satisfaction on cultural learning of the students is varied by sex, major, grade and place. This phenomenon urges that all the language teachers should find suitable and reliable teaching resource in directing and implementing the language-and-culture teaching. Teacher should adjust and develop the existed content-based instruction into a more feasible way and also take on more responsibilities on the students in the process of learning. This calls for further study in the field of culture teaching.

Key words: Cultural teaching; Quantitative method; College English


The teaching on foreign language culture education has become a heated topic because of the increased enthusiasm toward cultural study and cross-cultural communication in international society. Both some scholars and English teachers have a common understanding that culture teaching is indispensable for improving students' cultural awareness and enlarge their cultural background knowledge. Students learn and use language as we do because of our cultural background. However, most English teachers mainly focus on the language teaching, whereas the target culture is ignored to some degree in the present situation. It leads to the students' unfamiliarity with target culture and inability to express their actual meaning in English; finally, this brings up some barriers in the real study or communication. Thus the purpose of this study is to reveal the problems underlying the current situation of culture teaching.

In the current study, the author surveyed the degree of the students' satisfaction on culture teaching in College English by administering a questionnaire to 108 undergraduates in the same college. The author applied various statistic techniques to analyze how the students' recognition, favorite approach, ideas, and attitudes on culture teaching interaction and to investigate students' sex-, major-and place-related differences in culture teaching. And the author hope that the present study will offer some insights into the problem by investigating language students' actual beliefs on culture teaching and make language teacher adjust their teaching strategies to guide and improve students with the practical knowledge in target cultural learning.


1.1 Participants

This study investigated 108 students from the same College (see Table 1). In this research, the author used criterion-sampling. All the students were studying English (including optional courses and some on compulsory courses which consisted of a part of their study programs), whose English levels are on the average in the college, thus assuring successful sampling. Because it is the time that they have just finished one-year English study (the author administered the questionnaire at the end of the second term) and are still acquiring knowledge in the English classes. So, it is the right time to explore the actual state of culture teaching in different groups of students which guarantee diverse attitudes that towards the cultural teaching are collected and analyzed.

1.2 Instrument

Conducting a questionnaire is the most common and effective one in empirical study, and its effectiveness has long been recognized. The questionnaire used in the survey consisted of 25 Likert-scale items, assessing various students' degree of satisfaction on cultural teaching. And each of the latent variables in the questionnaire was measured by several 6-point Likert-type questionnaire items. …

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