Selasa, 20 April 2010

Culture in EFL - The Lack of Research and Interest

After a decade of paying lip service to whether culture impacts upon second language learning, few serious attempts have been made to research this issue that clearly, at face value, impacts language learning.

Some 8 years ago I notice Dash debated the issue, finding such learned authors at Mangubhai to not accept that culture played a role in SLA. Text books pay lip service to the introducing culture - but then those that do make an assumption that the teacher understands the reason it is being introduced. This, as we knew from research, is a basic mistake as surveys show that up to 97% of teachers in countries such as China, Korea and Japan, have no background in SLA education, yet are the teachers.

Anecdotal evidence strongly points to the reason that this topic of research is so intangible that it is being left alone. Ellis and Chew strongly defended their alternate positions in 2005 at an international conference. Chew being a strong believer that culture impacts SLA learning, whilst Ellis disagreed.

Universities have a leading role to play in this area. Research is begging to be done. However, the topic doesn't come to the lofty heights of such research as for example the critical age theory, task based teaching -v- ppp in an Asian context, or the like, and seems to fall by the way side.

Yet recent studies show rote learning to be an effective tool for Korean young learners - this surely being an issue that goes to the heart of culture in language. As SLA theories grow, are reworked or are abandoned, at the heart of every theory lies multiple cultures. The L2 culture, the teacher's culture, and the learners' L1 culture. This is an area of vast importance in SLA learning and teaching.

taking from: asian-efl-journal
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