Teaching Some Aspects of the Culture of English-Speaking Countries on the Basis of the Topic of Australia
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In times of globalisation, intercultural communication is becoming more and more important. Foreign language learning involves the blending of the target language and culture into a single educative approach. The ultimate goal of language learning is to be able to communicate in another language. Culture shapes the way language is structured and the ways in which language is used. Students need to be helped in developing their cultural knowledge about the target language through explicit teaching. The present thesis provides a theoretical framework for teaching cultural elements in the foreign language classes as well as practical tasks for developing cultural competence. The first chapter gives an overview of the issues related to defining and classifying culture as well as cultural dimensions. It also investigates the issues of the relationship between language and culture, cultural competence, and the ways of teaching culture. In addition, intercultural language teaching and learning has been explored. The second chapter introduces the procedure and results of a small-scale study conducted in the scope of the present thesis. A questionnaire was chosen as a source for eliciting data. The general aim of the research was to investigate the current situation of teaching the culture of English-speaking countries in English classes at schools in Estonia, and – based on the survey responses – to design and compile materials to teach some aspects of Australian culture.