Incorporating English-Language Cultures into English Learning: Viewpoints from University English Faculty in Taiwan

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Culture has a great influence on the language learning process and the way people use the language. The concept that learning a language is not only learning the linguistic knowledge but also its culture has been greatly emphasized. The purpose of this study was to investigate the perspectives of university English faculty in Taiwan on incorporating English-language cultures into their students' English learning. A survey with a five-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree) was designed and utilized. The target population for this study represented university English instructors in Taiwan during the Fall Semester of 2007. The sample in this study included 146 English faculty members from 13 universities in Taiwan. Statistical analysis methods including descriptive analysis, independent-samples T test, one way ANOVA, and correlation analysis were performed. It is concluded that most university English faculty hold positive attitudes towards the incorporation of English-language cultures into their students’ English learning. Most English instructors agree with the concept that it is necessary to learn English-language cultures in order to master the English language. The incorporation of English-language cultures into English learning was indicated to enhance learners’ international understanding, reinforce their communicative competence, and raise their learning motivation.

Keywords: English Learning, English Instruction, Language Education, English as a Foreign Language (EFL), English-Language Cultures, Higher Education
Stream: Literacy, Language, Multiliteracies; Languages Education and Second Language Learning
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: , Incorporating English-Language Cultures into English Learning

Dr. Dylan Sung

Assistnat Professor, Applied Linguistics and Language Studies, Chung Yuan Christian University
Chung-Li, Taoyuan, Taiwan

Dr. Dylan Sung hails from the modest city of Chung-Li in Taiwan. He went to elementary school in Taiwan, high school in Canada, and university in the U.S. Upon earning his doctorate in education from the University of South Dakota in the U.S., he was asked to stay at USD to serve as a faculty member for the School of Education. Dr. Sung's international living experiences give him multicultural insights into global cultural trends and globalization's implications for education. He currently lives in his hometown Chung-Li and serves as a faculty member in the Department of Applied Linguistics and Language Studies at Chung Yuan Christian University in Taiwan. His research interests include culture and language learning, intercultural communication, and computer-assisted language learning.

Pei-Wen Chen

Intern English Teacher, English Division, Cheng-Gong Junior High School
Tainan, Taiwan

Ms. Pei-Wen Chen was born and raised in Tainan City in Taiwan. Ms. Chen has had a strong interest in language learning since a very young age. She believes that the learning of international languages would broaden her international perspectives. Ms. Chen earned her bachelor’s in English language, literature and linguistics from Providence University in Taiwan. After teaching at various English learning centers for two years, Ms. Chen went back to school and earned her master’s in applied linguistics and language studies from Chung Yung Christian University. She currently serves as an intern English teacher at Cheng-Gong Junior High School in her hometown Tainan City in Taiwan.

Ref: L09P0727