Nowadays,
English is a language spoken all over the world and has become an international
language. In most countries around the world, English is considered as a second
language, in a large number is becoming the first language by replacing the
native languages of some countries. English is the language of academy,
business, art, internet, and technology, which are among the most important
things of the 21st century. Linguists are including new methodologies in
language teaching and are improving them day by day. As new methodologies are
advancing they are making more student-centered classes. So, what is important
in a classroom is the student and their culture and background. With the growth
of importance of student-centered classes their culture is becoming important
as well.

Including
local culture in English language classes means including student’s interest in
learning English. And it is not only student’s culture that must be considered
in the classroom but teacher’s culture as well must be taken into
consideration. It is not that students won’t be interested in learning a new
language, but when they learn a language they learn about its culture as well
and if we do not relate it with something they already know (their culture) it
might be forgotten very fast. It is important to include as more as we can from
local culture because learning things that are related to them will make them
enjoy learning a new language. At the same time, they learn about the culture
of the foreign country and they also learn about describing their own culture
using a foreign language, as it is English in this case. So, if we work with a
varied classroom where there are students of different cultures, us as teachers
must try and adapt our curriculum to the majority of them. Which means,
including a little part from all the cultures of the students in our classroom
and teachers culture as well if it differs from them.  As Sowden has said that the teacher has “to
be aware not only of the cultures of their students and their environment but
also of the cultures that they themselves bring to the classroom” (Sowden, 2007).

Nevertheless,
my philosophy of teaching local culture in English language classes include:

For
students to understand target language it is unavoidable not to include local
culture. The least that teacher can do to include local culture is to make
examples of everyday life in the classroom in order to explain different topics
that are mentioned while teaching them the target language (English). And when
giving various examples of them using English to describe something will help
them understand English better and learn how to use it in everyday
contexts.  

In
order not to lose local culture by learning a foreign language and their
culture the development must start from the government, by engaging linguists,
teachers, and persons from different professions work on this issue. We must
change the curriculum and add stories that are related to our culture explained
in the English language, we must add poems, songs, and different exercises.
Adapting books to local culture by not excluding the culture of native language
but combining them together for better learning. As a result at the same time,
we teach them target language and give them local taste while learning that
language.

My
teaching philosophy also reflects my interests in collaborative authorship,
which it means including students as much in our classes. Instead of the
classical method with teacher-centered classes, I want my classes to be
student-centered classes which encourage students learning the language and it
makes the environment more students friendly. I prefer classroom dynamics which
allows conversations and promotes students engagement level in curriculum and
that it helps the teacher with their assessment. At the same time, I promote
the extent of development and preparatory courses in the English language
throughout the country.Being an English teacher doesn’t mean only teaching them
learning new words and their pronunciation or learning grammar, but it also
means teaching them culture. So we as the teacher must be prepared in every
aspect of the language, which means working hard, being tireless, being
creative and have the required commitment in order to be able to teach the
language to our students.

Teaching
English language, I as well focus on some other areas that have had a positive
effect on learning the language from my students; here are some other
additional elements: using different forms of communication in the classroom,
being divided into groups or working in pairs; make them record their own
speaking and bring it to the classroom asking the others to find errors in
their pronunciation or finding errors by themselves; keeping an everyday diary
in English, which it helps them be more curious about English and helps them to
enrich their everyday vocabulary; assigning them to read literature in English;
encouraging them to watch more videos in English language in order to better
their pronunciation and vocabulary, visit a country or a family where English
is spoken, make the classroom environment resembles a café, a restaurant or a
hospital in order to make them face everyday life experiences, make quizzes
etc.

Applying
these in our classes I think it is easier for students to learn and understand
a language and culture at the same time. Because teaching how to use a foreign
language and include local culture in it makes it a kind of masterpiece for
teachers who teach it. It is very hard and requires better work from the
teacher; they must be well-prepared for everything that comes, they must be
professionals, flexible and ready to face and address unexpected problems and
questions that may occur while the students raise any issue in the classroom.
All the above requirements and hard work addressed to the students must be
applied by the teachers as well. Because we as teachers must be prepared and
know all new methodologies that are used around the world and new issues that
concern our students today. So, teachers and students must work simultaneously
in order to achieve the best results.

Every
nation has its culture, language and tradition, which defines the manner of
behavior, position taken, values and knowledge systems that share properties
among members of certain ethnic groups and follows them through tradition and
culture as a whole of all processes and changes that has resulted in the base
material and spiritual intervention of society. So, every nation must ‘fight’
to keep their culture and heritage alive. Learning English and its culture help
us integrate into the modern world and become more professionals, but without
forgetting our culture because if we forget our own culture we won’t exist as a
nation anymore. Maybe one day English will be the one and only language spoken
all over the world, but cultures in different countries won’t be the same. So,
in order to prevent the world to become as a whole unit, with one culture and
one language, we as small countries must work hard not to lose our culture and
keep our existence for a long time.

Post Author: admin